The finale to Minecraft: Story Mode Season Two is finally here, meaning you can now play the entire game from start-to-finish in one sitting. To be fair, this may help the series a great deal, as Season Two has really struggled to produce lengthy episodes that keep your interest. The finale is no different clocking in at around the 75 minute mark, although that includes some unnecessary padding in the form of uninteresting conversations.
The final episode takes place almost entirely in Beacon Town, where the Admin has taken the form of Jesse and is reshaping the whole village to his liking by building a lava covered tower that looms over the area. Of course, Jesse and the gang rock up to put a stop to his plans. If we’re being brutally honest it’s nowhere near as memorable as Season One’s Wither Storm plot.
The Season Two story on the whole is a mishmash of various elements without an overall key focus. Yes, there is a main villain, the Admin, however the way in which he is used fluctuates wildly between episodes. One minute he has taken the form of a giant sea temple guardian to destroy Beacon Town (oh how we wish he had, we’re sick of that place), the next minute he is a snowman who has challenged you to navigate a labyrinth of puzzles, then suddenly he is bedrocking over the whole world trying to start a fresh one. Throughout the entire season his motives are left a mystery to the player and as for his masterplans, they are utter nonsense.
Season Two also suffers from pacing issues and using the same environments too many times, Beacon Town being the main culprit. It was a pretty uninteresting location in the first season and then to be forced to explore it again in the opening of Season Two only for it to be brought back again for the majority of the finale is disappointing to say the least. The pacing is rather slow throughout the season and the finale is especially slow to get going as Jesse and gang take their time planning their approach to stop the Admin in a flash-forward scene that you then play through a few minutes later almost entirely as planned. As if to rub salt in your wounds, the most interesting bit where you get to fight the Admin is rushed over like it’s irrelevant and feels like a really anticlimactic ending to the season.
About half way through Above and Beyond is a puzzle that has no explanation on how it can be solved; it's also required to be solved to progress. It involves removing blocks from a grid with numbers at one side; all you have to help you out is the code #Potato451. As for what that means or refers to we have no idea, as far as we're aware it’s utter nonsense. Although it’s just a simple enter the code puzzle the way in which it is designed is confusing as you have to remove blocks from a wall and if you can’t figure that out you won’t be able to progress and just be left staring blankly at a wall.
The finale spends a lot of time undoing the decisions you made in the previous episodes as characters that you thought had met their demise magically reappear to save you or just because they can. It’s a real shame as it makes all the decisions feel redundant even though at the time of deciding it seems critical to make the right choice. The outcomes generally end up the same no matter what you choose.
Above and Beyond is a rather disappointing end to a rather lacklustre second season for Minecraft: Story Mode. The season’s plot is forgettable, the pacing is slow throughout, and the same environments are used repeatedly. Although the final boss fight is enjoyable, the ending is surprisingly anticlimactic. Unless you were a huge fan of Jesse’s first outing, you won’t be missing much by skipping this season.