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

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Platforms:

  • PlayStation 4
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation Vita

Extras:

  • PlayStation TV Compatible No
  • Cross-Buy No
  • Cross-Save No
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 1 The Order of the Stone
Format: Blu-ray Disc / PlayStation Network Download (892 MB)
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Original MSRP: $4.99 (Single Episode) / $24.99 (Season Pass) (US), €29.99 (Season Pass) (EU), £24.99 (Season Pass) (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 12
Minecraft: Story Mode is also available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android.
The PlayStation 4 version was used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
The first thing that struck me about Minecraft Story Mode: Episode One is that it was over too quick. I couldn’t even drag it out by exploring the three tiny areas that I could freely roam around in during the short game. There wasn’t much to do aside from chat to a few people or examine one or two things.

I’m getting way ahead of myself and should really start from the beginning. You can be either a male or female character with three different looks each but it doesn’t matter who you pick as the story remains the same. You are able to have four different save files that you can also rename, so you can choose to play through several times making different choices. This helps to extend the longevity of this painfully short episode.

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The story begins as you, a few friends, and a pet pig named Ruben are about to enter the Ender-Con building competition. In a small but significant twist you end up on a very big adventure. Well I say a big adventure but this episode feels more like the prologue than anything else.

Just like other Telltale games you have a limited time to pick replies to questions and perform certain actions. There are a few exceptions where you can walk around and talk to a couple of people and pick up one or two things. The quick-time events seemed dull, simple, childish, and on two occasions unresponsive. I’m surprised that after all this time Telltale hasn’t perfected this gameplay mechanic.

… caters to the younger crowd and their short attention span …
There are a few jokes and gags peppered through the short episode, all of which are uninspired and fall flat. The story is good and shows promise but mostly for what is to come in the following episodes. The true target audience for this game is kids, and both of mine have become just like me, very critical of it, giving their final conclusion by simply walking away near the end of the episode to play something else.

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My nephew on the other hand loved it and in his twelve-year-old mind considered it to be awesome, so I’m wrestling with the judgement of this game more than I expected. It caters to the younger crowd and their short attention span but will probably leave the adults feeling a little short-changed.

Remote play on the Vita is good and works well enough to be playable but an alternative control scheme would have been welcome as opposed to the two rear touch actions. Trophies are very easy to attain for this episode, and if you have the Season Pass it wouldn’t be too difficult to acquire another Platinum trophy.

… just like a Minecraft world, but without the freedom …
Visuals:
The look is a very nice blend of Minecraft and Telltale visuals with a hint of LEGO style to the characters. It includes smooth animations and just enough detail to have everything recognizable but keep it in the simplistic blocky Minecraft style that so many people love.

I would have loved to explore the area more than I was allowed and sadly felt very restricted in where I could go and what I could see. It did look and feel just like a Minecraft world, but without the freedom.

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Audio:
The game includes a nice selection of voice actors that fit their characters very well, especially Catherine Taber, who delivers some extra class, wit, and likeability in the lead role.

There is the strange inclusion of a mild swear word on three occasions that bumped up the age rating. This alone is a disappointment as everything else in the game is perfectly fine for a younger audience. I didn’t see the need for the expletive and the game would have been better without it.

Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single-player only with no online component.

Conclusion:
Minecraft Story Mode: Episode One is a boring letdown that is over too quickly, unless of course you’re a kid or young-at-heart, in which case this game is awesome. Either way it shows promise for future episodes and could be the start of something great.

Score:
6.0

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

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Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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