Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 3: Jailhouse Block (PC) Review

By Olivia Falk 19.09.2017

Review for Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 3: Jailhouse Block on PC

Things weren't looking so great for Jesse and company at the end of the last episode. Forced to look on in horror as The Admin enslaved one of their friends, the rest of the crew was cast down into a horrid prison. That's exactly where episode three of Minecraft: Story Mode picks up, with Jesse crash-landing in a bleak, fiery realm. Stripped of their items, Jesse desperately struggles to track down their friends and escape. The question is: is escape even possible?

By now, it should come as no surprise that the story is briskly paced to fill out its two-hour run-time with new characters, locations, and dialogue choices. Most of the returning cast takes a back seat this time around, with more of an emphasis being placed on Jesse's interactions with other members of the priso-*ahem* "correctional facility". The warden is of particular note, managing to pique the player's interest with a performance that's a bit more than the standard "asshole warden" role. There's also a couple amusing nods to (non-YouTuber!) celebrities that are too good to spoil here.

Telltale seems willing to steer back into slightly darker territory here, and the game's all the better for it. Now, this is still Minecraft; don't expect missing limbs, gore aplenty, and steamy romance scenes. Yet there are still some surprisingly grim moments. One of the big choices in the episode brought back memories of The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us, where both outcomes from a scenario can have significant consequences. Having to think about the ramifications of decisions makes them that much more interesting, and while there are still a few "two paths that eventually converge" points, they lend some contrast to the more thought-provoking scenes. Hopefully the ripples caused by these will carry over to the last two episodes; it could lead to some exciting sequences.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 3: Jailhouse Block on PC

Of course, that's where the concern comes in, as the game actively forgot about decisions. In the recap portion at the start of the episode, Jesse was shown freeing Stella from some ice in The Admin's fortress. It was later referenced by Stella in the episode, providing extra context for her actions. However, freeing Stella is a choice in episode two, and one which was avoided on this playthrough. Sure, The Admin subsequently freed her, but it meant she (theoretically) had more of an axe to grind with Jesse. A visit to the episode two "Choices" screen confirmed this. Now, this was just one instance of such actions being forgotten, and it didn't seem to have a major impact on the game; Stella's a twit regardless. However, it's worrying that something like that was overlooked, be it due to a bug or developer oversight.

Speaking of bugs, there were also assorted technical problems, with lines getting cut off, dialogue overlapping in a confusing fashion, and mouths sometimes continuing to move, even after they stopped producing sound. At least the music's improved, with some catchy synth compositions that add to the tension in certain scenes.

Screenshot for Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two - Episode 3: Jailhouse Block on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

While comparable to episode two, episode three of Minecraft: Story Mode is hampered by its technical problems. The audio issues could be forgiven, but its absentmindedness towards the player's choices completely undermines the core concept of the experience. Thankfully, its isolated nature means it could be a one-off thing. Considering how enjoyable everything else is, it would be a shame if this episode marked the start of a downhill slope for the series.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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