Minecraft: Story Mode -Episode 7: Access Denied continues Jesse’s band of merry travelers through the hallway of portals, on their quest to return home. It is the middle episode of TellTale’s Adventure Pass expansion of Minecraft: Story Mode, and for the most part is what everyone should expect from the series. While I’ve often criticized the entire concept of the game, the more episodes have somewhat won me over. Episode 7, doesn’t however, feel like the penultimate chapter of a long running saga as much as just another stop along the way.
I’ve commented extensively in my reviews about how odd it is that the series tries so hard to appeal to Gen X, when that’s clearly not the typical Minecraft fan demographic. Episode 6: A Portal to Mystery, was almost a complete formulaic riff off Scooby Doo, and the 1980s icons that fill out the voice cast makes for a schizophrenic promotional campaign. While younger kids seem to love watching someone play the game, the timed dialogue choices make it a difficult game for their reading ability. As for me, it might have taken half of the series, but this Gen Xer has finally come around, and started to enjoy the series. I still doubt many others have though.
While the last episode’s influences were apparent, Episode 7’s are bit more of a mash-up. It’s a little bit War Games, with some Star Trek and other sci-fi from decades past. This time, when Jesse and friends travel through portal, they find themselves in a seemingly abandoned world. In actuality this realm is entirely controlled by PAMA – a sinister “thinking machine” bent on creating a world of optimal usefulness and efficiency. With the help of a new ally, they need to defeat the misguided computer and free the population it’s enslaved.
After seven episodes, everyone should know what Minecraft: Story Mode is all about. A lot of dialogue choices, some quick time events, and maybe a puzzle, are always on the menu. It also means, that TellTale has been able to get the formula down to a science, as far as what works and what doesn’t in the series. Strangely, Story Mode is the only one of their efforts that is able to incorporate action sequences competently. Access Denied isn’t my favorite episode, but I can appreciate the game’s return to a focus on the group’s relationships, even if it probably won’t change what happens in the upcoming finale.
Minecraft: Story Mode – Episode 7: Access Denied 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.