It doesn’t seem two minutes since I reviewed the third episode of Minecraft: Story Mode, however here I am, getting ready to sink my teeth into the fourth. ‘A Block and a Hard Place’ gives Telltale Games the opportunity to instil some consistency into the series after a much improved third outing. Will episode four be able to lay a great foundation for the upcoming finale to thrive upon?

In ‘The Last Place You Look’, the game introduced the wacky final Order of the Stone member, Soren. His genius mind led to the Formidi-Bomb being created and all signs seemed to point towards it being the key to putting an end to the Wither Storm. It wasn’t the end of the chaos though, instead the Command Block stayed intact, thus ensuring the madness continued. Finding an old friend amid the rubble was the only silver lining, but the Story Mode gives with one hand and takes away a new acquaintance with the other!

Now, after losing a member of this rag tag team of builders, the group mentality is rather defeatist and cracks are really starting to show between friends. This is an interesting episode because it is billed as the Wither Storm finale, so how exactly will Jesse find the solution to this massive problem? One thing is for sure, there’s a lot about the Order to discover in this episode and the fine line between heroes and villains becomes slightly blurred.

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To keep everything fresh on the eyes, we’re treated to visiting new environments such as a swamp and most intriguing of all, the secret lair of Ivor. Located in the Far Lands, it’s a real task just to get to the entrance, no thanks to a maze and all the creatures hounding the group. Nothing will come close to how good Soren’s artificial bright room was, however it was still a nice change to traverse these places.

QTEs are all the rage in Telltale Games series’ and it’s been no different in this one, especially when the gang are attempting to avoid being destroyed by the Wither Storm; something that’s happened a few times this series and is becoming a bit samey. Of course there are other instances where this QTE action occurs. There is also a new enemy that pops up for a quick battle and I must say it’s a bloody creepy looking character.

Puzzles have become something of a rarity in the Minecraft: Story Mode, I imagine that’s mainly due to the series being aimed towards a younger audience first and foremost, making it tough to offer anything that isn’t too challenging. Telltale Games delivered some decent ones in this episode though, two of which are reminiscent of a comprehension exercise at school, only with listening instead of reading, before solving the puzzle using the information given. It’s a great way to engage with the gamer and to ensure the tales told are being taken in and processed.

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It feels pretty odd to be writing about an episode that comes across as a finale throughout, despite it actually being the penultimate episode of season one. Minecraft: Story Mode stepped it up to a higher level, much like that experienced in the season opener and the story is extremely interesting as not all is as it seems when it comes down to the true reason behind that snake Ivor unleashing this monster on the world.

Jesse has come full circle from attending Endercon as a fan to… well, you’ll have to find that out for yourself. Tune in next time for the real finale and the start of a brand new adventure!

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