Minecraft: Story Mode‚Äôs second episode, Assembly Required, was a decent continuation of the first episode‚Äôs story that fell a bit short in terms of length and puzzle complexity. But surely Episode 3, The Last Place You Look, will make up for all of that, right?
The Last Place You Look once again picks up right where the previous episode left off, with Jesse and his friends trapped in what used to be one of the Order of the Stick‚Äôs hangouts. Things start glowing and the gang starts digging, then before you know it everyone‚Äôs thrown into a surprisingly lengthy and interactive title sequence before continuing their search for Soren and the Formida-Bomb. This intro is sort of indicative of the rest of the episode in that it‚Äôs a bit more action-heavy than the last one, though that also means it‚Äôs much lighter on puzzles.
Unfortunately even though it‚Äôs lighter on puzzles, The Last Place You Look doesn‚Äôt do much with what little it has. Just like last time, what‚Äôs here is kind of dull thanks to how simple it is to solve everything – flip three switches, follow a very basic crafting recipe, and that‚Äôs about it.
Still, I have to say that the new locations in The Last Place You Look are more interesting and memorable than what was in Assembly Required. You wouldn‚Äôt think there‚Äôd be much to look at once the gang has to retreat through a portal to The End – a sort of dark and foggy purgatory with creepy Endermen wandering all over the place – but there are some legitimately cool things to see. Encounters with the Endermen are are also¬†handled pretty impressively, and are suitably tense.
I think, perhaps more than the slight increase in action or the cool locales, what I appreciate most about The Last Place You Look is how it gives us more insight to the different characters. Tensions are high thanks to the seemingly hopeless situation, sad truths are partially revealed (or not, depending on your choices), and everyone starts to feel just a little more fleshed out. Also, I kind of adore Soren‚Äôs character. He‚Äôs totally goofy in an ‚ÄúI haven‚Äôt spoken to a real person in years‚ÄĚ sort of way.
It all leads up to a pretty satisfying ending/segue, with an impressive setpiece-style moment of desperation and a worthwhile cliffhanger that leads into Episode 4. I can‚Äôt say I‚Äôm a huge fan of the big choice that pops up right around this time, though. It seems kind of pointless and forced when it comes up, then has some pretty messed up consequences that made me want to yell ‚Äúshenanigans‚ÄĚ at my phone. Though I‚Äôll admit the aftermath of all this is handled well enough, and I can‚Äôt help but get a kick out of the concept (and name) of the Formida-Bomb.
As before, The Last Place You Look has me very interested in seeing where the rest of Minecraft: Story Mode goes. So far no one episode has managed to strike a satisfying balance between interesting puzzles, cool combat, and touching character moments, but taken as a whole it‚Äôs been quite the worthwhile ride. Here‚Äôs to hoping the last episode(s) can do a good job of capping off a pretty fun story.