Minecraft: Story Mode has a lot to prove after the near disastrous critical reception of the last entry in the series, and the luke-warm reception of the debut episode. Therefore going into The Last Place You Look, the only way was up.
And Episode 3 falters. Badly. I honestly thought Telltale would rebound after the critical panning of Episode 2 of the series, but it’s become clear that they really aren’t the innovators we once thought they were.
To say that The Last Place You Look is more of the same would be a slight understatement. Telltale clearly have the formula for Minecraft: Story Mode already laid out at this point, and are more than happy to ride it out for as long as possible.
Therefore we have the usual character interaction moments that have defined Telltale’s game series’ up until this point. These can range from tedious to downright boring, and Telltale haven’t managed to come up with a way to spice up the basic interactions between you and your team members, something that’s really beginning to weigh down on the game.
However these are ultimately kept to a minimum throughout Episode 3, to my relief. The only interesting tid bits of dialogue come from talking to Lukas and Petra, who although are two of the more interesting characters in the series, that really isn’t saying much when compared to Axel and Reuben the pig.
It’s also in these interactions that the formula for the game really begins to fall apart. There are two clear paths you can take when talking to people: either be a complete dick, or be a nice guy. That’s it. There’s no in between at all, and to make thing worse, neither option affects the overall direction of the series in the slightest.
Telltale really have no middle ground for the player to choose from when talking to your friends, and this ultimately means that you could do two playthroughs of the series up until this point (one being nice and one being mean) and experience the exact same outcome every single time. I’m really getting a bit sick of this.
Speaking of sick, Petra’s beginning to feel the effects of “Withersickess” (admit it Telltale, you made that up on the spot) this episode. And absolutely nothing comes of it. Sure, you have the chance to tell Lukas, but it’s never given any real attention in the episode’s relatively short run time. Yet another missed opportunity for a game that’s really needed some home runs.
Also, there’s literally no mention of the increasingly annoying Ivor this episode. After being set up as the big bad villain, he’s only made minimal appearances, failing to show up at all this episode. This really drags down the series in terms of what our protagonists are actually trying to accomplish, and at one point I even forget about the Witherstorm threatening the entire world.
The writing has been sub-par through the entire Minecraft: Story Mode series, which is becoming painfully evident when it comes down to each individual character. Your companions really do feel like just that: your companions. Nothing more in the slightest. I have absolutely no clue as to the personalities of each of them, as the game devotes far too much time from rushing from point A to point B, barely ever stopping in between.
In the end, Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 3 is a tale of missed opportunities, and a showcase of Telltale’s weaknesses. The formula and bad scripting has become painfully apparent, with each character barely allowed to breath and the plot having a tedious overall direction.
If I’m being really honest, it’s episodes like this that just make we want to give up on Telltale altogether. At this point, I couldn’t care less if they do a Season 2 of The Wolf Among Us.