Minecraft Story Mode Episode 3: The Last Place You Look Review
Minecraft Story Mode Episode 3: The Last Place You Look Review
Recaptures the humor and action of the first episode and finally begins to expand the universe in meaningful ways
Posted: 12/02/15 | Category: Review | Developer: Telltale Games | Publisher: Telltale Games | Platform: Android, Ios, Xbox one, Xbox 360, Wii u, Playstation 4, Playstation 3, Windows, Mac

Genre: Horror Adventure
Release date: September 21, 2015

After the debacle that was Minecraft Story Mode’s second episode, I was terrified Telltale wouldn’t be able to reclaim the magic. After another quick turnaround, Minecraft Story Mode: The Last Place You Look not only recaptures the humor and action of the first episode; it also finally begins to expand the universe in meaningful ways for both Minecraft veterans and newcomers.

Story
 

When we left off, Jesse and the gang had recruited Ellegaard the Redstone Engineer and Magnus the Griefer. The party had ventured out to Soren the Builder’s great castle in the mountains only to be outsmarted by the potentially redeemable villain and former member of the Order of the Stone, Ivor.

Ellegaard and Magnus are largely absent from the episode, which I greatly enjoyed since it allowed Jesse’s team of misfits to step up to the challenge. Ivor himself doesn’t make an appearance, but the story fills his absence with various moments that keep the tension running high.

I initially assumed that Soren was difficult to track due to his use of the Nether to travel, but Telltale proved that wrong this episode. Inside Soren’s castle is a portal to The End where he is studying the building powers of the Endermen. While it’s no doubt that Soren is an excellent builder (props again to Telltale for their truly expansive set design), it’s immediately clear that his time in isolation has contributed to his eccentric personality. In Soren’s study, Jesse can find several recordings of Soren attempting to speak the language of the Endermen, theorizing about their architectural capabilities and generally expressing his loneliness. It’s a great moment of characterization that acknowledges the mysterious nature of the Endermen.

And that brings us to the Endermen. Every Minecraft player remembers the first time an Enderman appeared and the horrifying guttural noises that came with it. Endermen are tall black creatures with glowing purple eyes. They teleport around the world while peacefully arranging blocks. At least until you look them in the eyes, and then they turn into screaming maniacs out for your blood. Telltale successfully harnesses this fear during several of Jesse’s close calls with these creatures.

After escaping Soren’s castle, the group is quickly set upon by the Wither Storm. Jesse volunteers to deliver the Formidi-Bomb into its maw, and the group shames Ellegaard and Magnus for their refusals to step up as heroes. Frankly I’ve been waiting for this moment since the arrogant and rude Order of the Stone was introduced. In an attempt to redeem themselves, both Ellegaard and Magnus offer up their armor to Jesse in a choice that appears to carry lasting consequences.

Though off to a rough start, the action-packed battle with the Wither essentially goes as planned. Those who had been consumed by the Wither Storm (including Gabriel the Warrior) are released, but the Wither Storm re-forms itself as three individual monsters and continues the destruction.

Throughout the episode, Petra continues her descent into her Wither sickness. Her sickness acts as an impetus to push Lucas into a more aggressive role within the party. He’s a mix of despondency and confident leadership, though he fluctuates in an occasionally frustrating manner. The other characters are given significant growth through the number of action scenes and the tightest dialogue Minecraft has seen thus far.  

Gameplay
  

Minecraft Story Mode continues to provide watered-down versions of the more complex QTEs that we’ve seen in other Telltale games, but this episode was a big step in the right direction. Although puzzles never seem to have more than one solution, at least QTEs are finally being utilized. However, in a universe that prides itself on crafting your own solutions, it still feels disappointing to be limited to a set path.

Mistakes in Minecraft Story Mode aren’t punished as drastically as they are in other games. Players can miss commands and not end up dead. Gamers who are half-decent might not notice, but if someone were to accidentally drop the controller during a fight scene, that person might be surprised to see that Jesse has managed to fend off an army of skeletons without any player input.

Game Design
  

As I mentioned earlier, Telltale shows true respect for Minecraft through a continued onslaught of extraordinary creations. Soren’s castle, a wool replica of a forest, and a truly complex Grinder make up the biggest structures, but everything in-between is lovingly crafted.

I did a little bit of research into the development and found a neat nugget from Kevin Bruner, Telltale’s Co-Founder and CEO: “We ‘test build’ our environments and contraptions in Minecraft Creative Mode to verify every idea we have can actually be made. And sometimes we export builds directly from Minecraft.” This, more than anything, perfectly showcases Telltale’s dedication to the authenticity of this project.

Conclusion
  

The Last Place You Look gets Minecraft Story Mode back on track to be a good series. By appealing to a younger audience, they lose some of the inherent complexity of their other games, but strong screenwriting and powerful action sequences tip the scales in Telltale’s favor.

 
Horrifying Endermen
Super witty dialogue  
Expansion of the Minecraft universe
 
One-solution puzzles
- Lack of consequences for missing commands
 
 Logo
 
 
Trailer:
 
 
System Requirements
 
MINIMUM PC:
OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3
Processor: Core 2.0 Duo GHz or equivalent
Memory: 3 GB RAM
Graphics: ATI or NVidia card w/512 MB RAM 
DirectX: Version 9.0
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Sound Card: Direct X 9.0c sound device
Additional Notes: Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics
   
MINIMUM Mac:
OS: Lion (10.7.X)
Processor: 2.3 Ghz Intel
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: 512 MB Nvidia or ATI graphics card
Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
Additional Notes: Not Recommended for Intel integrated graphics or Mac Minis or early-generation MacBook
 
 
Specials from Digital Download
Cognition - Season Pass
$14.99
Knee Deep
$19.99
Stasis
$24.99
Leave A Comment
Screen Shots
Related Articles
More...
Special From The Shop
Subject 13
$9.49
$9.49
Popular Articles
More...
1997 - 2017 Just Adventure, LLC. All Rights Reserved
Web Analytics