Minecraft, by any definition of the term, is an absolute phenomenon. The easy barrier for entry, the unlimited possibilities and the unspeakable joy of building and sharing a universe with your friends makes it an absolute must-play. Some gaming experts theorize that massively multiplayer experiences like Minecraft, which don’t require a great deal of gaming skill or knowledge of lore to start playing, will become the norm.
That isn’t to say there aren’t spectacular stories to be told in the world of Minecraft. And when you want someone to create an episodic game out of your source material, there’s only really one choice – Telltale. In the past two episodes of the series, Telltale gave players the opportunity to journey through an endearing and emotionally impactful plot. In Episode 3, things take an even more disturbing turn. Everyone’s favorite Endermen finally take their rightful place as the most disturbing creatures in the Minecraft Universe. Minecraft Story Mode: The Last Place You Look takes a deeper look at the Endermen and makes them the centerpiece of several crucial moments in the game.
With The Last Place You Look, Telltale pays tribute to the original universe in a fitting manner – by making their stories organically fit into the larger universe of the game. It’s a remarkable feat that once again proves Telltale’s writing prowess. The pace of the proceedings resembles its predecessor, with several twists and turns punctuated by action sequences. The plot itself takes several bold risks which pay off well, creating a lot of narrative impact.
It is safe to say that most players weren’t too thrilled with the way Episode Two ended. The action in this episode takes us back to the cliffhanger where the central cast of characters had to figure their way out of a certain situation. Once this plot point gets resolved in typical Minecraft fashion, you jump straight into a rollicking action set piece. Through the course of the story, we’re given more insight into certain key character relationships and several boiling tensions rise to the brim. The sick teammate you’re harboring because you made a certain decision in Episode One becomes important to the overall story. In addition, the team makes key advancements to their strategy against the Wither.
It’s a much more complex story than we’ve been treated to in previous episodes, and this is a pleasant change. Telltale knows how to make you feel them feels. If you thought a bunch of pixelated graphics moving around on screen couldn’t possibly make you tear up, you’ve got another thing coming. It’s not Game of Thrones, but for Minecraft’s usual happy-go-lucky nature, it might as well be. Episode Three also brings the chills. The Endermen are terrifying entities and the more you see them warping in and out of reality while they shriek like soulless creatures from the great beyond, the more they start getting under your skin. Oh, and you’ll occasionally find them just looking at you. Looking at you with their abyss-like eyes while you slowly begin to comprehend the nature of good and evil, just before you realize that you’re only playing a Minecraft game.
Several Endermen encounters, puzzles and thrilling set-pieces later, the story ends at a satisfying, if somewhat predictable point. But it doesn’t matter, because the journey you’ve been through is exciting, and there’s the anticipation that a major resolution is at hand. There’s also a great twist in the last act that will have you salivating for the next game.
As with previous games, The Last Place You Look makes it evident how the folks over at Telltale are real fans of Minecraft. The world they’ve managed to create is astonishing and filled with little details that sell the experience. Characters will lower their eyes if Endermen are around and massive contraptions motor along, unaware of your existence.
The quick-time events remain interesting, even though their key prompts seemingly are chosen randomly. The introduction of new characters like Soren, who has a delightful knack for making things uncomfortably awkward, introduce some humor into the proceedings. There’s plenty of action and good dialogue to satisfy your cravings. But there’s a catch – it’s a really, really short game. You’ll probably get through it in less than two hours. Compared to previous Telltale games, that is a little short. At least that’s better than a game stretching on forever. Minecraft: Story Mode continues to be a showcase for the wonders of the Minecraft universe. Even if you don’t play the original game, Telltale’s series is a lot of fun for audiences young and old.