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.
Through two episodes, Minecraft: Story Mode has struggled to find its stride. There hasn’t been anything really bad about it, but it has been eminently forgettable with few, if any, impactful decisions and a lack of character development (probably the most attachment I’ve felt to anyone is Reuben, your pig).
Fortunately, TellTale amps things up with The Last Place You Look, which largely focuses on Jesse and his/her friends as they search for Soren. It’s still toned down relative to TellTale’s other properties, but at least there’s some tension surrounding Lukas‘ suddenly strained relationship with the group, a semi-tough choice as to whether or not to reveal what’s wrong with Petra and an old-fashioned fork in the road decision that has immediate repercussions.
Things begin with you needing to find your way out of the room that Ivor trapped you in, and it’s the start of a much more interactive episode. There are a number of scenes where you’ll need to wander around, search for items, talk with your friends and so on to advance. It’s a welcome change after much of the first two episodes have felt about as interactive as Dragon’s Lair.
I don’t want to oversell these sections — we’re talking about ambling around a research area and looking for clay blocks, or flipping switches and hitting buttons — but it’s still nice to take more direct control of the action.
There’s still plenty of button prompts to hit as well, including a lengthy sequence where you’re battling spiders and Creepers while steadily descending a massive grinder. It’s all set to music while the credits appear when blocks explode and what not.
These were used to great effect during Tales from the Borderlands, but part of that was how unique and unexpected they were. While I’m still having fun with these sequences, I hope they don’t become the norm as it’ll diminish their effectiveness.
Although most of the episode takes place underground, the final act once again finds you face to faces with the Wither Storm, and it offers the most emotional moments of the series to date. That being said, the end of the episode disappoints in some aspects in that it doesn’t feel like significant progress was made, and I’m not particularly intrigued by the episode’s final line, either.
Without question, The Last Place You Look is the best of the three episodes we’ve seen, and it puts Minecraft: Story Mode on a better trajectory than it had following Assembly Required. Obviously TellTale is casting a wider net here, but I still feel they could tighten things up a bit to make it more appealing to mature gamers.