Review: Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 5: Order Up!

Editor’s Note: Before reading this review, we highly recommend checking out our review for Episode One: The Order of the Stone,  Episode 2: Assembly Required, Episode 3: The Last Place You Look and Episode 4: A Block and a Hard Place as there are spoilers ahead.

Telltale Games has a way of making games based off of characters or stories that already have impressive stories and making them better.  With Minecraft: Story Mode, however, they managed to create an entire universe and story based off of a game that didn’t necessarily have either of those.  We’ve seen our hero, who is meant to play the role of your average Minecraft player, traverse the overworld with his friends, each who represent different types of players, in order to meet his favorite band of heroes.  Of course, not everything goes as planned as chaos ensues and Jessie and his friends are put in a position as the only ones capable of saving the world from the Wither Storm.  This episode, though, is much after those events with Jessie being in charge of the new Order of the Stone, fighting monsters and searching dungeons for loot.  They’ve become what the old Order used to be and are loved by the common folks but hated by other adventurers who do the same thing but aren’t as well known as them.

The game begins with the newly formed Order of the Stone infiltrating a dungeon that Ivor tipped them off to.  They manage to find a treasure room that contains what appears to be an enchanted flint and steel.  After escaping the booby trapped dungeon, they come across the former Ocelots and their leader Aiden.  They don’t seem too happy with the fact that you reached the dungeon before they did, Aiden mostly, and they begin to spew hurtful comments to the new team.  Ambushed by the former Ocelots, now known as the Blaze Rods, Jessie and his friends explore an entirely new area only known as Sky City where resources are plentiful but nothing exists below the world.  the world is conceived using what is only knows as the Eversource, a material that has the power to create all materials.  Aiden convinces the city’s ruler that the Order is up to no good so that they can be punished and he could take the Eversource for himself.  While this episode may be jam-packed with story and new characters, be warned; this will not be the last we see of Minecraft: Story Mode.

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The episode in itself offers a lot of promise for the rest of the announced episode, but it also cuts them short.  The next slew of episodes will be adding new story arcs to the new Order of the Stone as they go on new adventures to build up their legacy.  That being said, in the two hours it took to finish the episode to its completion, it made the entire premise feel very unimportant.  So much had happened and so much story and character development was involved that Telltale could have made the entire plot itself into a single season if they wanted to.  Some characters could have definitely used some development to give the story a little more depth and the entirety of Sky City itself has so much more that could have been explored.  It’s a little bit of a shame that what could have become a great season based on the new Order of the Stone’s adventures was downgraded into a single episode that takes place over the course of about two days.

The episode also alludes to death; a lot.  Considering the fact that both Olivia and Axel are completely omitted from the episode save for the prologue, there is basically no comic relief.  Not that you should play a game simply for its humor, Minecraft: Story Mode has a reputation for having humor and making friendship stand above all else.  While this episode does focus on friendship and how your decisions can shape the future, death always seems to be around the corner and everyone you come in contact with seems to want you to die, or at last Aiden openly expresses it.  It also doesn’t help that Aiden and the Blaze Rods were basically considered obsolete until now, so it’s difficult to really believe that he would want to do this to the citizens of Sky City just because he’s jealous.  Had this episode focused on why they are being brought back rather than throwing them into a whole new story, the episode would have made a little more sense.

The episode in itself offers a lot of promise for the rest of the announced episode, but it also cuts them short.  The next slew of episodes will be adding new story arcs to the new Order of the Stone as they go on new adventures to build up their legacy.  That being said, in the two hours it took to finish the episode to its completion, it made the entire premise feel very unimportant.  SO much had happened and so much story and character development was involved that Telltale could have made the entire plot itself into a single season if they wanted to. The entirety of Sky City itself has so much more that could have been explored and so many more characters could have been introduced, but the story was limited to a couple of hours of gameplay.  It creates a new kind of gameplay that forces you to pay attention and actually play the game rather than just putting your controller down and making a decision every once in a while.

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Closing Comments:

Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 5: Order Up! shapes up to be an incredible introduction to the Order of the Stone’s newest adventures, but still manages to fall a little short.  Telltale introduces new concepts, characters and worlds, but their biggest mistake was shoving it all into a single episode.  Had they created a separate season talking about the events of Sky City and expanding a little bit more on the environments and characters, this episode would have been much more successful.  That being said, however, this episode does deviate from previous installments as being much more adult and changes the characters as once being small time builders to being full-fledged heroes risking their lives to save common folk.  Hopefully Telltale will continue to capitalize on that aspect of the characters and convey it in the following episodes.