Telltale Games has released the next installment of their newest episodic story driven game: Minecraft – Story Mode. Does this new episode continue the amazing ride that was episode one? Let us equip our gear and prepare for battle.

Minecraft Story Mode Episode 2: Assembly Required

Available on: Playstation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One (tested), PC, Mac, Android, Wii U (planned)
Developer – Telltale Game, Mojang
Publisher – Telltale Games

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Episode 2: Assembly Required starts the player from where they left off after making a decision between two separate paths, and the outcome plays out during the first half hour of this installment. After traveling back to the temple and rejoining the group the story starts to take off again. The other path that you did not follow in episode one is mentioned briefly by some in game banter, but aside from that you will need to replay the game again to encounter the alternative route. The episode itself was somewhat short and felt like hardly anything significant happened throughout the story at all.

In just about every aspect where the first episode excelled, but Assembly Required falls short in comparison. The dialogue is a lot less exciting this time around, with limited opportunities for the voice actors of this game to really shine. Many of the choices the player will make in this episode does not really seem to impact the story which leads to poor design in general. The last episode was kid friendly and surprisingly this episode had a joke that diverges from that path, and while funny, it seemed out of place for what Telltale had brought to the table.

The majority of the action happens towards the end of this episode during a fast-paced and brilliant encounter that breaks out into swordplay and a sequence of quick time sequences. This climactic fight scene is by far the saving grace of this episode and was truly exciting: it felt as if the story was back on the right path, until it cuts off for scenes of the next installment, which could leave the person playing a tad bit unsatisfied.

Another key component that saves this episode is the environment design layout, each area looks simply breathtaking. It is obvious that a lot more time was invested in the artwork of this segment rather than the story or the pacing. The player will truly be impressed with each area layout and how creative the scenery appears around them.

The unsatisfactory experience does not stop there: it is also damaged by the unpolished design. While The Order of the Stone had a few flaws, this one has many. Way too many. Music cuts out or gets too loud at times, characters briefly disappear for a few moments during the middle of certain scenes, and during the dialogue portion characters can begin talking before the other characters are finished saying their lines.

Even with the short length and disorganized pacing, Minecraft Story Mode Episode 2 could have been extraordinary if it played to the strengths seen from The Order of The Stone and expanded on them. Instead, Assembly Required lacks the glamour or the high level of action that was known from the previous installment, which makes this section of the story feel more like a follow-up rather than a full episode.

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