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Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 2: Assembly Required
Score: 70%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure


Second episodes must be difficult to get right. After the first episode sets the hook, it is the secondís job to flesh out the story and begin building tension. With the stealth release of Minecraft: Story Mode Ė Episode 2: Assembly Required, Telltale delivers an enjoyable but mostly unmemorable follow-up to The Order of the Stone. Itís not yet time for surprises and high-stakes action, so this is to be expected. If anything, it adds credence to the notion that these games are best played after the staggered release schedules have run their course. Iím still confident that Minecraft: Story Mode will ultimately turn out great, but itís going to take some time to get there.

Boomtown or Redstonia?:

At the end of Episode 1: The Order of the Stone, Jesse was forced to make a choice: go with Axel to recruit Magnus the Rogue or take Olivia in search of Ellegaard the Redstone Engineer? This ultimately isnít much of a fork in the road, as it only determines how Chapter 2 will unfold. Regardless of your choice, you will end up with both in your traveling party by the time Chapter 3 begins.

Ultimately, this variable second chapter that provides the most unique and entertaining moments in the entire episode, and you may want to copy your save just so you can see both the griefer haven of Boomtown and the eccentric inventors of Redstonia. Both options offer very different experiences, and both are worth seeing. The Boomtown route takes you through a funny chase sequence and an experience thatís almost evocative of Gladiator. The Redstonia route has Jesse and Olivia arriving on the scene of a building contest, the participants of which are misfits cut from the weirdest cloth.

Status Quo:

Apart from the events of Chapter 2, not much happens in Episode 2: Assembly Required. Magnus and Ellegaardís lines are mostly reserved for bickering with each other, which is to be expected, as some as-of-yet unexplained incident drove them all apart. But in terms of storytelling, itís a worn out clichť that most players will be bored by.

Apart from that, not much ground is broken and not much progress is made. A traveling companion shares a distressing secret, the location of the third Order member is revealed, and Ivor makes an unsurprising appearance, all the while the Witherstorm contentedly devours the world at a steady clip. A mid-episode choice changes the circumstances of our heroesí journey to the north, but all roads lead to the same cliffhanger.


Minecraft: Story Mode Ė Episode 2: Assembly Required is as charming as last monthís opening act, but itís also a rather standard second outing for Telltale. Itís understandable: these stories need time to breathe, and these characters are endearing enough to deserve the downtime. I still consider this series a promising one: it continues to nail the look and feel of Minecraft, and it utilizes whatís already there to build something more original. You might not want to be kept waiting once you're invested, however, so waiting it out without taking that initial plunge is probably the smartest course of action.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox One Pinball FX2: Balls of Glory Microsoft Xbox One The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated