Minecraft: Story Mode
Developed by Telltale Games
Published by Telltale Games
*Please Note: This Review is of the PlayStation 4 Version*
Minecraft: Story Mode follows 4 ordinary heroes in the form of Jesse, Olivia, Axel and Reuben (Jesse’s pet pig) as they set out to win a building contest at Endercon in order to meet the legendary hero Gabriel who is a member of the order of the stone. Soon after one event leads to another and soon the entire world is put into peril by a gigantic wither storm created by a mysterious enemy with a sinister agenda. Left with no other option; Jesse and the gang must head out in search of the order of the stone in order to save the world.
That is all I can mention in the story section to avoid spoilers because the episodes continue beyond the main story but overall, the story was entertaining for a little while however this is definitely far from the stories Telltale have told in the past and overall it is extremely poor in comparison to their previous games. One of the big things that I wasn’t a fan of was the idea to end the big story set up in episode 1 before the end of the first season as this ultimately made the last episode of the game feel like DLC.
Minecraft: Story Mode has multiple elements to its gameplay that while very familiar to most Telltale titles adds some new things to the familiar style. So in terms of actual gameplay I will start with the familiar feature which is Telltales special brand of Point and click gameplay which most Telltale players have come to expect. In each playable section you assume control of Jesse and move the cursor to interact with objects and people in the world to help prolong and further the story. Like with other Telltale games this gameplay is simplistic and easy for people to access the game which can make it enjoyable but it can get a little bit repetitive after a while.
This gameplay isn’t the only type present in the game however with Minecraft: Story Mode also featuring elements from the source material with Jesse (The Player) being able to use crafting tables at certain points in the game in order to create items that can become of use and relevance at some later point in the story. This is personally a very nice feature to include in the game however I feel that there isn’t enough actual crafting in the game which if there was a little bit more could have truly helped Minecraft: Story Mode stand out from the crowd. The final thing that is new to the gameplay is the combat which I feel is much better than combat in most Telltale games. When you fight enemies in Minecraft: Story Mode; you fight hordes of enemies at once which gives you the option to choose which enemy you want to attack by moving the cursor over said enemy. During these combat sections, you get to switch weapons if you have multiple weapons at your disposal and it’s also easy for you to detect which enemies are going to attack as they get highlighted giving you time to counter.
All in all, The gameplay in Minecraft: Story Mode is rather fun with all the new gameplay elements included and the telltale gameplay is fun however it can get repetitive at times and just doesn’t feel as entertaining to play as much as other Telltale Games.
In terms of a soundtrack; Minecraft: Story Mode is about average in my opinion with the score being extremely familiar to that of the music in Minecraft which is certainly peaceful and relaxing at times however nothing special and rather boring at times. The voice cast however is fantastic with a huge all-star cast consisting of Patton Oswalt & Catherine Taber as lead character Jesse (Male and Female respectively) along with supporting characters voiced by Dave Fennoy (The Walking Dead), Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us), Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman), Billy West (Futurama), Grey DeLisle (Batman Arkham City), Corey Feldman (The Goonies) & Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings) to name a few.
Overall for the sound section of this game, the score is average at best but the voice acting is brilliant and the voice cast just grows bigger in the additional episodes (separate review coming upon the release of episode 8) with YouTubers: CaptainSparklez, StampyCat, Dan TDM, Lizzy and Stacy joining the mix aswell as Yvette Nicole Brown (Community).
The visuals in Minecraft: Story Mode are actually pretty good with the game sticking very close to the actual source material with each object and creature in the game looking exactly like they do in the original Minecraft title with all of the characters and worlds looking much sharper than the original source material which gives it an edge in being one of the sharpest looking Telltale games to date. The colors used in the game give the world a bright and vivid look which is always nice to see in video games however the character designs (of the heroes at least) are rather generic and bland.
Minecraft: Story Mode doesn’t exactly have too much in terms of replay value with it’s main source of longevity being the usual thing with Telltale titles in that you can make different decisions to your original choices in order to get a different overall story. The game has trophies/achievements for the hunters out there however you can pretty much earn all of them by just playing through the game.
The real source of Minecraft: Story Mode’s replay value is going to be through it’s additional episodes however since I am only basing this review off episodes 1-5 ; I am unable to include them in the replay value section.
All in all, Minecraft: Story Mode is a game which is probably about average at best. The story is not the most engaging while the characters are rather dull and generic with a sub-par soundtrack and barely any replay value however the voice acting in the game aswell as the new gameplay elements to a Telltale game and the nice looking visuals help Minecraft: Story Mode to at least stand out from the crowd. Overall though, Minecraft: Story Mode is at least faithful to it’s source material however it is nowhere near as good as previous Telltale games.
Score = 6.5/10
- Fun & Familiar Telltale Gameplay
- Combat and Crafting Gameplay elements
- Fantastic Voice Acting
- Nice and Faithful Visuals
- Bright and Vivid colors
- The Story is average at best
- Average Music Score
- Characters are generic and bland
- Not much in terms of replay value
Minecraft: Story Mode is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, iOS & Android while Episode 1 is available now for Wii U and will be available in future for PlayStation Vita. Thanks go out to Telltale Games for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let us know your thoughts on this review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee