Home / Reviews / Dragging Its Feet Toward The Finish – Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two: Below The Bedrock – Xbox One

Dragging Its Feet Toward The Finish – Minecraft: Story Mode – Season Two: Below The Bedrock – Xbox One

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Whether
you’re talking about a television series or an episodic adventure video game
like Minecraft: Story Mode, a season’s penultimate episode best serves the
story when it raises the stakes of ongoing narrative and sets the table for a
thrilling finale. While a single final shot accomplishes the latter, the former
is conspicuously absent from the fourth episode of season two.

Throughout
much of season two, the stakes have remained high as Jesse and friends have
fought directly against the all-powerful Admin in climactic battles that feel
increasingly personal. Rather than continuing to build that tension en route to
the finale, this episode has Jesse wading through the past by exploring a
subterranean world where The Admin once lived and thrived in with his friends.
Now, it’s been left to become a wasteland as the season’s big bad eyes bigger
prizes.

I do
like how this episode features a larger focus on my two favorite parts of
Minecraft: Story Mode’s gameplay mechanics: free builds and action scenes.
Though the novelty is beginning to fade, I still enjoy being able to place
blocks on a grid however I see fit to accomplish what I’m supposed to do. This
episode features two such sequences: one where I’m asked to build a structure
that looks like a specific character, and another that’s supposed to look
scary. Unfortunately, these prompts only highlight how limited the building
tools are, but I still have fun each time these moments present themselves in
an episode.

The action
sequences are also fun. One scene in particular sticks out as perhaps the most
involved the series has seen to date. Sadly, even as I’m guiding Jesse forward,
avoiding fireballs as I try and bait a massive creature to hit a switch and
bring about its own destruction, I can’t help but think that this standout moment
in the series would be nothing more than a standard action scene in nearly any
other franchise. The rest of the action is fun, but with my success or failure
determined by easy-to-hit quick-time events, the excitement is capped.

While
the final shot does give me a sense of intrigue about the finale, the rest of
the episode does very little to excite me. Telltale addressed its main issues
with the last episode by doubling down on action and providing more meaningful
interactions, but with such a detour from the main conflict right before the
final episode, much of the tension was let out of the balloon. I’m still
curious to see how this all plays out, but Below the Bedrock did little to fuel
my interest.

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