Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 1 – The Order of the Stone Review (PS4)

I was going to either totally skip this game or at least wait until the whole game was released before picking it up. If you haven’t already heard, I’m not at all that happy with Telltale at the moment with their release schedules and their lack of improvements on issues that have been existing since the start of all their games dating back to Back to the Future. Anyway, I took a chance on this game because it was on the Playstation Black Friday sale, plus there was a 10% coupon and I can never pass up on a good deal. So, how did the first episode hold up? Keep reading to find out more.

Kudos: I have to start out with a Kudos because the narrator for this game is Billy West. My first reaction to the game starting was “It’s Dr. Farnsworth!” For that reason, and that reason alone I became a little more interested in the game as a whole.

Before going into my review, I want to be up front with you and tell you that I’m really not up to date on the whole Minecraft culture. I’ve played a few times and that’s about it. Anyway, the story beings with the narrator telling the story of the original four heroes who slayed the Ender Dragon. Those heroes are basically gone now and the story starts with the main character Jesse planning to go to Ender Con with some of her buddies in order to enter their building into this competition in order to meet Gabriel, one of the heroes who slayed the Ender Dragon. Things go haywire and the friends, along with a couple of new friends and a frenemy(?) have to basically save the world of Minecraft. This means they have to reunite the original four heroes (five if you count that plot twist revealing that the big bad used to be part of the heroes…what?) and become heroes themselves.

Memories: I don’t like to spoil too much, but during the events of the game I chose to save Ruben, Jesse’s pet pig instead of saving the competition entry. Pigs before things…(I couldn’t come up with anything better) I guess. Anyway while running through the woods if you press R3, you can call out his name over and over again. This reminded me of the classic scene from Heavy Rain that turned into a YouTube phenomenon, Press X to Jason. Instead this was more like Click R3 to Ruben.

I went into this game not really expecting much because it’s a game based on a game that either does or doesn’t have an actual point. I mean yes there’s a beginning an end, but is that really the main point of Minecraft? Anyway, I have to say that I actually liked the story and it was one of the things that made me want to continue with the episode and keep playing the game. I’m actually really eager to see where the story goes and am actually enjoying this series a hell of a lot more than Game of Thrones. The characters are actually interesting, and before you ask, I am totally shipping Jesse and Petra. I want Jesse to be that hero who saves the girl and then basically gets the girl in the end and everyone lives happily ever after. Although I did think that the story lagged a little and maybe stretched out a little too long for the first episode, I did enjoy the plot twist and all of the decisions that had to be made throughout the game.

Playability is a big factor when it comes to these games because if we’re being honest then we already know that Telltale isn’t really big on the whole flawless playability factor. I have to say though that episode one did not suffer from those common Telltale problems. I experienced no loading time issues, no stalling, no trophy pop issues, not weird and awkward movements, nothing. The only tiny little problem that I had with the game was the battle sequences. The quick time events were fine, but it was the whole swinging the sword thing that just felt weird.

Sometimes when it comes to the graphics Telltale either fails (Game of Thrones) or nails it (Tales from the Borderlands). This time they basically nailed it. Like I said, I’m not a big Minecraft person but from what I can tell the graphics matched up completely and actually held up with the regular Minecraft game. It was enjoyable to look at and it ended up enhancing the game as a whole. I think they actually took what the original Minecraft had to offer and then improved on it.

Trophies, of course there are trophies for this game. There are the standard, getting trophies just for playing the game, and the new edition of having to actually do something specific in order to get a trophy. This makes me feel a little mixed because the reason why I enjoy Telltale games as much as I do is because I don’t have to worry about the trophies. They come naturally and I can concentrate on the story instead of worrying if I missed a trophy or not. I can always go back and get the trophies, but for these types of games I would rather just get the trophies the first time around.

Bonus: Play this whole game through and through and you’ll have a new platinum trophy to add to your collection by the time you’re done.

There’s no multiplayer for this game, but it would have either been a cool addition if it was added on or an epic fail. I think it was probably better since they already had one epic fail this year, yes I’m talking about you Game of Thrones.

Overall I give this episode a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Interesting overall story, a little cliché with the whole turning the so-called losers into heroes, but still interesting.
+ Strong start to the game that makes you want to keep playing.
+ Playability issues fixed! I’m not going to be too overjoyed at the moment because they could be absolute crap the next episode, but it’s a start.
+ Fitting graphics that build on the original Minecraft graphics.

What’s Not So Great:
Battle scenes are a little off. Swinging the sword and trying to target enemies doesn’t feel natural. There’s too much effort going into doing such a small task.
There were times when the first episode dragged just a little bit.

So far, I’m pretty happy with my purchase. I enjoyed the first episode and am pretty eager to play the second one. I can say that the level of storytelling is right up to par with the other Telltale games and it actually makes me want to go back and play the actual Minecraft game again and give it another chance. If you’re a fan of Minecraft you may or may not enjoy this game. This is basically Minecraft Telltale style which may not be all that appealing. Either way, so far I would say that the game is worth the season pass price.

Spoilers! Below are the choices that I made for the first episode.

Minecraft: Story Mode

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