Telltale has announced recently that Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 4 will release sooner than expected, along with news for the final installment of the series to be coming in early 2016.
This Minecraft inspired adventure game didn’t really show much promise at its beginning, sometimes misleading young customers due to its title, some of them thinking that they will be able to build and craft. This game is pretty much a Telltale game, just like The Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us or Tales From Borderlands.
You control various characters through their adventures in a Minecraft world by using simple point and click mechanics and story-altering choices throughout their 5 episode journey to defeat an Ether storm. But what set this game apart from other Telltale games was its aesthetic direction, using the blocky environment developed alongside the creator of Minecraft, Mojang, to its advantage.
Even if this series will most likely not be able to dethrone the current leaders in the Telltale style of games, The Walking Dead and the Borderlands spin-off, it is a pretty serious contender. This is most likely due to its relative comic approach to an adventure-filled journey as well as making fun of Minecraft mechanics like lava griefing or chicken spawning machines.
Even though most game critics, even some fans of adventure games in general, are getting tired of the Telltale style of telling a story, the company is still set to keep its direction. A new Telltale game was announced at the recent Game Awards 2015 event, focusing on the story of Batman in a much more noir setting. This new installment may be a bit reminiscing of The Wolf Amoung Us aesthetic, mood and general feel.
Another problem that these types of games have, apart of the current market saturation, is that the player’s choices do not really affect the outcome of the story in a big way. Most of these options are simply false choices that lead to a similar outcome, with just a few major choices actually making the end completely different from other playthroughs.
This recent trend of choice based gameplay has also been approached by other companies besides Telltale as well, with some of them actually surpassing the aforementioned company. The horror game Until Dawn as well as the time-bending Life is Strange proved that Telltale does not hold the crown when developing Telltale style games.
But with the announcement that Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 4 will release sooner than expected, on December 22nd on PC, with other platforms to receive it in the same week, this series might become the best game that this company has made in this style. Even if some fans of the company wish that Telltale would return to their Sam and Max type of games, focused on a point-and-click genre instead of a cinematic feel, it seems that the company will still make basically the same game every year, unfortunately.