Open-world block-building game Minecraft gets the campaign mode you didn’t know you needed in Telltale’s Minecraft Story Mode.
Minecraft Story Mode follows on from the celebrated developer’s other game based on popular franchises: The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Game of Thrones and Borderlands.
The five-part game follows the adventures of Jesse, a rookie to the intricacies of crafting and building in the world of Minecraft. Players can choose to play as a male version voiced by Patton Oswald or a female version voiced by Catherine Taber. Depending on your age there’s a few other familiar voices in the cast, such as Corey Feldman and Martha Plimpton from The Goonies, as well as Pee-Wee Herman, himself, Paul Reubens.
Fans of Minecraft (who I’d consider to be the exclusive customers for this game) will recognise the graphics which are a faithful reproduction of the cult favourite. Even though the game retains the same textures and block style of Minecraft, the lighting in Story Mode seems a lot more sophisticated than Mojang’s game. The result is almost a next-gen version of Minecraft’s graphics. You can’t help but fall in love with the game’s simple depiction of its world,
The actual story isn’t as engaging as Telltale’s previous efforts, but considering the franchise that they are taking inspiration from, they’ve not done too badly. Just don’t expect the wit of, say, The Lego Movie.
Minecraft Story mode is the polar opposite of Mojang’s Minecraft. Whilst the player’s actions in Minecraft are their own, Story Mode holds your hand all the way. And this is perhaps the biggest issue that I had with the game.
Considering Minecraft’s draw is open game play limited only by the player’s imagination. Story Mode’s constrained adventure may not appeal to folks that like the freedom to chop trees and dig holes as they see fit in Minecraft.
Telltale have shoe-horned a few crafting sequences into the game, but these are shallow representations compared to the deep gameplay of Minecraft. Also, considering Minecraft’s unlimited gameplay, Story Mode offers little or no replay value.
Unlike Telltale’s Walking Dead games, Story Mode doesn’t really offer that much of a challenge, being more of a narrative adventure than an interactive one. There are lots of decisions to be made and furious button-mashing (to build things), but nothing that is going to exercise your brain.
But that’s no necessarily a bad thing as the Minecraft game, itself, can provide you with all the creative thinking and puzzle solving opportunities you need. Story Mode is just that, an interactive story set in that very familiar world.
What is great about Story Mode is that it’s the first Telltale game in a long time that is actually suitable for kids. During the review I had no problems with being joined by my four and six year old boys, something that doesn’t happen often, due to inappropriate content.
What we have is a light, rather charming game aimed at a far younger demographic than Telltale’s more recent hits. Minecraft Story Mode perfectly captures the world of Minecraft and adds a narrative that it may or may not have been missing, depending on your own view. It looks wonderful and builds upon the graphical charm of the original. If you like Minecraft I’d recommend that you give it a go. If you don’t like/understand Minecraft, you may want to look elsewhere.