While Order Up! is technically a season finale, its position in the Minecraft: Story Mode season has been drastically altered by recent events. Telltale has announced an additional three episodes, making this the studio’s longest season to date. Order Up! is no longer an ending: it’s a transition piece and a fresh new beginning.
When the episode starts, it feels like a new season’s premiere. Some time has passed since the Wither Storm saga, as Jesse and friends have been holding up the mantle of The Order of the Stone for a while. The entire tone has changed, instead of being the aspiring heroes, they are now the established heroes. The story revolves around the discovery of an enchanted item that opens a portal to an ancient realm containing a mysterious artifact. Some fresh new villains are after this treasure, so it’s up to Jesse to get to it first.
The new world is one of the episode’s more interesting aspects: it seems to be inspired by the Sky Dimension, a long-lost concept for an alternate world that was once teased for Minecraft but never saw the light of day. Not only is it visually different, but it also allows us to bear witness to a very different culture and some great new characters played by some fantastic guest stars. Also notable is the shakeup in the main cast, as most of Jesse’s adventure is spent without his best friends. It’s a welcome change to spend time more time with other characters, most notably Paul Reuben’s Ivor.
While still being connected to the larger narrative, this episode is an entirely standalone story. This is a nice diversion from Telltale’s usual storytelling formula, as experiencing a complete narrative in one sitting is very satisfying. It’s got a great “monster of the week” feel that will hopefully continue through the later episodes. Telltale has finally nailed the tone they were going for all along: a fun story about a group of friends on an adventure. Gone is the doom-and-gloom of the Wither Storm, making way for something with lower stakes but that is still very exciting. Order Up! feels much more thematically coherent than anything that came prior, making it the most consistently enjoyable entry thus far.
Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 5: Order Up! was developed and published on Xbox 360 and Xbox One by Telltale Games. It was released March 29, 2016 for $4.99. A copy was provided by Telltale Games for review purposes.
To find reviews for the other episodes (as they become available), check out the Minecraft: Story Mode review hub.