I have to say: for all of the episodes I’ve played throughout Season 2, Episode 3 was by far the best.
Platform Reviewed: Xbox One
Platforms Available: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, Android
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Release Date: September 19, 2017
This review is based on a review copy provided by Telltale Games.
Since this is an Episode 3 review, I’m going to assume you’ve already gone ahead and played episode 2 or at least read the review. Beware of possible spoilers from the previous episodes. Don’t worry though, I won’t be spoiling what happens here.
And if you’re confused about the title, don’t be. This episode isn’t in any way similar to Shawshank Redemption. It’s just in prison, and I lack movie knowledge to compare it to something more accurate. But the episode does take place in prison. You can be rest assured of that.
Following the previous episode, Jesse is thrown into a prison institution by the all powerful Admin for rejecting his offer. So yes, this is a prison episode, hence the Shawshank reference. And much like Shawshank, Jesse and friends are going to need to break out of there.
This episode also seems to be inspired by the maze. As outside the Sunshine Institute (an oxymoron, yes), there is a massive maze that is filled with monsters. These monsters are quite strange, even towards regular Minecraft players.
While I wouldn’t say that this episode goes down too deep, it does take a darker tone than the rest of the Season. You have inmates, cruel and unusual punishments, fights to the death. Sure it’s still something kids can handle, but it is still pretty dark in comparison to episode 1 and 2.
Like always, Telltale does give you the illusion of choice.
In this episode, you seem to have to make quite a lot of difficult choices. More so than the previous episodes. They do feel like they have impact for the upcoming episodes but not much difference in total. The choices we’ve made in the past episodes don’t really change anything in total. Which feels like a complete waste. But if you’ve been playing the game up till now, don’t let that stop you.
Despite the lack of any meaningful choices, Telltale makes up for it with such a great story.
Things in Episode 3 take a darker tone. We’re introduced to a set of characters that are a bit unhinged and a bit sympathetic. They’re definitely interesting. We can definitely see that the effects of Sunshine Institute have taken a toll on them. Although the punishments are K-rated in themselves that doesn’t make them any less horrifying to go through.
Telltale also takes the time to break expectations on this episode. Things might not play out the way you expected them to. And that’s great. Telltale definitely knows how to use the tropes to their advantage for excellent story telling.
Combat system still holds well despite being basic. There’s plenty of unique enemies to face here and even what could be considered as a boss fight in the end. Though, it’s pretty standard in itself and you’re not going to be utilizing any tactics to take it down. But it is still interesting nonetheless, and the monster designs for this episode will amaze even regular Minecraft fans.
If you haven’t gotten this episode yet, go get it. It’s worth it if not for the story and characters alone.
With all things considered, I’d give Telltale Minecraft Season 2 Episode 3 a good 8 out of 10. Though, the score is only for this episode and not for the whole game entirely.