Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 Review

Minecraft: Story Mode is a surprising series from Telltale. The game could have taken so many different story tracks and picked one that was completely unique. The first season was enjoyable, with a few bumps here and there, then it ended an episode early, after the main story with a new adventure of its own. Then season 2 was announced, surprising once again and delivering a series of enjoyable episodes, even if the bumps in the road continued. Now the finale is here, and sadly, any surprises seem to be gone from the show. The episode wraps up the story predictably, with deus ex machina throughout, but if you’ve been around that long, it’s a useful conclusion.

The admin is wreaking havoc in the world of Minecraft: Story Mode. Impersonating Jesse, he has taken over Beacon Town, and it’s up to our group of heroes to stop him using the newly discovered “Password”. The team has traveled across the country and to other areas no one knew before, but now things are coming home for the final battle. Can Jesse and his friends stop The Admin? Can he still be redeemed from his evil ways? It’s up to you.

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Conclusions are difficult, especially for Telltale titles where players often make choices that send the story down different paths. Putting it all together for a finale usually cuts the choices and results in the most simplistic episode of the season. This isn’t always the case, as seen in The Walking Dead and Tales from the Borderlands, but the team falls into many traps in Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 “Above and Beyond”.

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 doesn’t stick on landing, but it doesn’t totally fall on its face either

The plot is almost exactly what you’d expect, if you’ve played every episode so far. There are no shocking developments, no surprise introductions, nothing that really makes this episode feel like it was needed as a standalone experience. In fact, the lack of surprise extends beyond the overall story and into very minor plot points.

Without going into spoilers, there’s a heist-style moment in Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 where Jesse plans a way to get fireworks. As usual, you can see this plan unfold as he explains, before winding down and letting the player put it into action. What’s odd here is that there’s not much wrong during the shot, so what you’re playing is pretty much the exact same thing you saw happen a moment earlier. It’s a simple complaint, but it illustrates the problems found in this finding.

The story here is just not very interesting. The episodes before it had some cool elements, but things don’t come together in a solid way. Instead, everything is predictable and clicks together exactly the way you’d expect. Everything is also very practical with several times where our characters have been put in an awkward situation, only to be saved by random chance. This even extends to elements of the previous story that seemed ripe for a revisit, but instead just wave.

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There are also plenty of hits for players’ suspension of disbelief. It’s not the first time for the series, of course, but it’s pretty heavy going here. Things like, characters working hard on complicated plans to solve relatively simple problems, given what we know about how this minecratian world works. Characters are placed in time-sensitive life or death situations and spend precious seconds explaining how dangerous it is and what they could do to fix the problem. Things like this break up the delicate tension the game is trying to build, and it happens a little too often in Episode 5 “Above and Beyond.”

That said, it’s not a terrible installment of Minecraft: Story Mode. It’s palatable and wraps up the story you’ve probably put close to 10 hours into. If you’ve played the season so far, you should finish it. There are some funny moments here, and the humor is some of the best the season has had to offer. It’s nothing more than what needed to be in the story department, and even takes away some of the most important moments from previous installments.

Everything else remains largely the same for Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 compared to its predecessors. The visuals are still solid, delivering a true-to-source look that’s actually better in some ways than the original Minecraft. The music is again quite enjoyable, as expected. The voice acting is generally solid across the board, but two returning characters seem either out of the picture or recast. It’s quite shocking if you’re a long-time player.

The verdict

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 – Episode 5 doesn’t stick on landing, but it doesn’t totally fall on its face either. The season was better than expected, but it’s some of Telltale’s weakest job overall. This conclusion wraps things up in a very predictable way and without too much real drama or tension. The humor is decent though, with the more cringe-worthy aspects of the game toned down. It’s a fitting conclusion to the season, but if you haven’t bought in yet, there’s not much reason to do so now.

– This article was last updated on December 18, 2017