TellTale Games has finally released Episode 5 of its Minecraft: Story Mode series, Order up. It’s been three months since Episode 4 was released, a far cry from the couple of weeks between the earlier episodes. The extended wait is somewhat tempered by the fact the main Wither Storm story was wrapped up in the previous episode, and this new on is pretty much a stand-alone story. In the spirit of self-containment, TellTale has also announced that they will make three more episodes available as add-ons.
Surprisingly, I have little to complain about with Episode 5: Order Up. In case you haven’t read my previous Minecraft: Story Mode reviews, I’ve criticized this series pretty much non-stop, since I first heard about it. From its voice cast, pulled straight from the eighties to its checklist approach to the source material, I’ve questioned the game’s purpose. My five-year-old son has enjoyed watching me play the game much more than I’ve liked actually playing it, but he can’t read well enough to actually execute the timed dialogue sequences. He also doesn’t care that Patton Oswalt, Pee Wee Herman and Mouth and Steph, from The Goonies do the voices.
That’s left me wishing that TellTale’s Minecraft: Story Mode was just a television episode that kids could watch, and I didn’t have to play. I know, I’m complaining about having to play video games, but as a reviewer, that actually happens way more often than you’d think. Again, I completely understand how referring to playing video games as a chore sounds. Despite my history with the series, I have very few complaints with Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 5. I actually, kind of enjoyed it.
With the main plot arc wrapped up in the Episode 4, I really had no idea what to expect from Episode 5. According to TellTale, this episode bridges the gap between the Wither Storm story arc, and the three new adventures that have just been added to the schedule. Essentially, after having made nice with Ivor, Jesse and his friends agree to go on an adventure with him. Along the way, they run into the envious Aiden, who ends up causing a number of problems for the group, along with the queen and the citizens of the aptly named Sky City.
So, what is different about Order Up? Truthfully, not much. It’s still the same formula of dialogue choices, quick-time events, a clunky combat system, and the token crafting mechanic. What Episode 5 does, is slow down. There’s no frantic packing of content, and the majority of the inelegant combat is one particular scene where players can actually get into somewhat of a rhythm, similar to one of Tales From The Borderlands’ better title sequences.
Obviously, Minecraft: Story Mode has been commercially successful enough for TellTale to extend the season, and if the previous four episodes worked as well as this last one did, I’d probably endorse their purchase. As it is, I think you’d be perfectly fine ending here, on a high note. That doesn’t mean I’m totally against the season’s extension. If you’ve loved the journey so far, or were totally won over by this last episode, by all means, go for it. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait so long between episodes again.
Minecraft: Story Mode -Episode 5: Order Up is rated E10+ (Everyone 10 and older) by the ESRB for Fantasy Violence. This game can also be found on: Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows PC.