Please note that since each episode of Minecraft: Story Mode features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final four episodes. To read our thoughts on that, refer to our review of Order of the Stone.
Well, that didn’t take long. While we’ve become accustomed to waiting months — and in the case of Game of Thrones finale, almost four months and counting — for TellTale to release a new episode, Minecraft: Story Mode is getting its second chapter a scant two weeks after the debut.
Assembly Required picks up with Jesse on a quest to recruit a member of the Order of the Stone. Whether you’re with Olivia en route to find Ellegaard or traveling with Axel to Boom Town to locate Magnus is based on what you decided at the end of the previous episode.
That choice defines your experience for a significant chunk of this installment, which is nice as a common complaint with TellTale’s style is that things don’t change all that significantly based on your decisions. That isn’t the case here. Not only is your travelling companion different, but so is the location and the tasks laid out in front of you.
Of the two, I found heading to Boom Town to bring Magnus into the fold to be more enjoyable. There’s a manic excitement during your team there as people are constantly “griefing” each other — the online term for hassling and destroying stuff — to become the King of Boom Town. The Ellegaard path is fine, too, it’s just a little more straightforward.
No matter which choice you made the stories will converge after that, and you’ll have to try to locate another member of the Order, Soren, who has the recipe for a super type of TNT that might just be powerful enough to destroy the Wither Storm.
Unfortunately, our old friend Ivor is thinking the same thing, and you’ll need to intercept him before he reaches Soren; a task that’s made more difficult because the other two members, Magnus and Ellegaard, can’t get along. Honestly, their relationship is a bit abrasive (and not in the intended sense), and neither character has endeared themselves to me
Despite some fun moments, Assembly Required is quite short (a consequence of the two lengthy but divergent storylines?), and with 40 percent of the story already finished I’m not sure where we’re headed. You make some decisions, but they don’t feel important. The dialogue is solid and the performances are good, but I don’t really care about anyone — and that’s something I can’t recall thinking about TellTale’s other recent efforts.