Minecraft Story Mode Season 2: Episode 4

Below bedrock the pace falters at times, but it’s a solid release that will leave you excited for Minecraft Story Mode Season 2′the conclusion.

After the disappointment prison block, which was as satisfying as chewing a handful of packing peanuts, Under the bedrock sees a return to form for the Telltale episode Minecraft series. The episode begins on a high note as Jessie and her fellow adventurers make their way through a vast other underworld. Contemplating this bizarre landscape is enough to give you shivers, even before encountering one of the horrors that inhabit it; think HP Lovecraft meets the Hollow Earth Theory and you’re in the right ballpark. Even if you’ve been a long time Minecraft player, you will not be safe Below bedrock unsettling atmosphere as it takes you to depths the main game has yet to plumb.

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Under the bedrock pushes the plot forward at a respectable speed as you hunt for a weapon to fight the Admin, the season’s big baddie who, you’re told in a real in-game moment, is wreaking all sorts of havoc on the surface. There’s a lot of tension, even if Telltale sometimes plays it a little too safe. While it’s true that Minecraft is a kid-friendly property, it lessens the impact of a character’s “death” when, as you suspected, they come back alive and well at the end of the episode.

Jessie and company are, by now, pretty well established, so there isn’t much character exploration to be found here, and there doesn’t have to be. Petra has her moment in the spotlight, but for the most part you learn about the administrator himself who, as it turns out, wasn’t always the insufferable megalomaniac you meet. Under the bedrock offers food for thought by drawing stark parallels between his story and Jessie’s, which made me want to find out if, in the final episode, he’ll get his own shot at redemption.

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There are a few moments that, while they’ll make you want to laugh, will dampen the episode’s otherwise fast pace and sense of urgency. At one point you’re tasked with winning a trivia contest, and twice you’re asked to build a statue, which breaks the flow of the game. Although I’m willing to forgive the game for the latter since the a few remaining citizens of the underworld were praising me for building a giant donkey on their doorstep; a rare experience indeed. Below bedrock the appeal is heightened by its appealing, otherworldly setting that blends the familiar with the foreign; one moment you’re exploring a house, the next you’re outside, staring into a vast, bottomless abyss.

This penultimate episode doesn’t reach the dizzying heights of the season-opening salvo, but it’s a solid and satisfying outing. Minecraft Story Mode Season 2: Episode 4 – Below Bedrock Perfectly balances action and dialogue, advancing the plot just enough to whet your appetite for what promises to be a killer finale.

Minecraft Story Mode Season 2 is available on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. We tested the PlayStation 4 version.