It's been an interesting adventure with some significant highs and lows but now that the dust has settled and Minecraft: Story Mode and Episode 8: A Journey's End? has finally finished, it is possible to finally look back on everything that has happened. Overall, it's been a relatively enjoyable adventure; however, recurring issues and lacklustre gameplay sour the final product. While it's nice that the series got a second season, and is clearly is going to run and run, it would have been better for it to be wrapped up a bit cleaner.
Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 7: Access Denied is certainly one of the better episodes in the series to date; however, that's hardly something to shout from the rooftops about. It's an enjoyable and weird experience, although its shorter runtime often feels like some conversations and sequences are cut short.
While the experience that The Voice of Freedom offers isn't a bad one and has a couple of enjoyable moments, this reviewer would have a very hard time persuading someone to drop £4.79 on the DLC when the behemoth of performance issues is still an ongoing problem, and the content itself only lasts an hour if you make a conscious effort to drag it out.
Destiny: Rise of Iron has absolutely given new life to a title which was dying for fresh content. As an expansion, it doesn't by any means feature anything revolutionary, but it surely brings plenty of fantastic missions, strikes, raids, and gear that players will be grinding away on for weeks to come. If a fan of Destiny's gameplay, this should absolutely be on your wish-list.
Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 6: A Portal to Mystery is certainly one of the better games in this fairly mediocre series; however, by the standards that we've came to expect from Telltale, it's nothing special. Fans of the YouTubers involved will absolutely love this episode and the references they make, but if you don't follow it, chances are a lot of the jokes will be missed.
Episode 5: Order Up! is certainly the strongest episode yet, but it's not exactly terrific, especially given what TellTale Games is capable of producing. The lack of real Minecrafting (yes, that's a word) clashes with the core of what Minecraft is, forcing puzzles to be solved rather than walls blasted through? It's Minecraft by name to shift more copies, which is disappointing, and looks somewhat mundane when compared to the open world survival game.
Following the original title, this is one of the most bitterly disappointing games in a long, long time. It has been practically ruined by the horrific development hell it went through and the end product is a great example as to what can happen. Every time it seems Homefront: The Revolution is about to start getting good, its mountain of ugly issues re-emerges, reminding of the frustrating mess it truly is.
Telltale has clearly shown it understands the lore of Minecraft; however, that alone will not make you love the latest episode of Minecraft: Story Mode. A significant chunk of this episode was fairly dull and painfully slow, and the last 15-20 minutes were the main redeeming factor of this adventure. It'll be interesting to see how Episode 5 plays out, considering the events that happen in Episode 4.
Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 3: The Last Place You Look is a substantial improvement on the previous episode, and yet, it's still nothing to shout from the rooftops about, especially after taking a look at some of the masterpieces that TellTale has created in the past. This episode has helped get the story back on track, and was jam-packed with things to do, but almost felt like it was action for actions sake.
Action Henk is an odd one. Mechanically, it's spot on, and it's hard to fault the gameplay, but the issue is that as soon as the first section has been fully completed, there is is very little point in continuing to play through it again, since it proves to be just the same thing over and over again. It may look pretty, yet within about 40 minutes, this runner hits a brick wall and it suddenly becomes a real chore to play.
Minecraft Story Mode: Episode 2 - Assembly Required is one of the most forgettable adventures to come from Telltale Games. Its short running time combined with practically nothing major happening during the episode almost makes it feel pointless, and it could have easily been added into either the first or third episodes. It still contains some entertaining dialogue and neat sequences; however, it's definitely a step down compared to the previous installment.
Not a Hero does have a few major faults. Most notably, it can easily be blasted through in the space of two to three hours with very little effort, and it'll only take longer because of frustrating controls that lead the hero to slide to its death, either out of a window or into the barrel of a machine gun. That said, despite featuring one of the oddest stories ever seen, its witty dialogue combined with addictive gameplay makes it a fantastic game.
Frustratingly, the first 10-15 minutes of Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 1: The Order of the Stone is extremely dull. It's trying to set the scene but just very little happens to the point of it almost being completely off-putting. It then goes from 0-100 in the space of roughly five minutes, and from that moment onwards, the player will be hooked and craving more. Bring on Episode 2!
What an absolutely fantastic game. Bethesda has nailed Fallout 4; the world, the graphics, the perk system, the story - almost everything about this game demands coming back to over and over again, where players can happily sink hundreds of hours into exploring the harsh wasteland. However, it's disappointing to see problems that have plagued other Bethesda titles are still showing their gruesome face.
The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 is a great example of a point-and-click adventure, but, at times, the puzzles that make up a massive portion of the game are awfully difficult to figure out and sometimes don't make much sense. This causes constant hits into brick walls when it comes to progress and makes it drag on for several hours longer than it should already do. One massive redeeming factor is how wonderfully written it is, though; two or three chuckles are guaranteed.
Absolutely fantastic! Helldivers is one of the few games where everyone should actively persuade friends to purchase the game to play it together. It's a game that, at first glance, looks very shallow and repetitive but even after just completing a few stages, it will be realised that this just isn't the case. It really is twin stick shooter mechanic at its finest, and it's mountain of fun - even though it's a pretty visually subpar title.
OlliOlli is a fantastic indie title that fills a great void for anyone with a love of skateboarding titles. It contains a tonne of content and anyone will easily get their money's worth with this 2D runner title. The main major drawback is its extremely frustrating controls - there are dozens of buttons on the One controller, so at least use more than three of them!
Minecraft is still, without a doubt, one of the best games available on the Xbox One, even after the ridiculous number of hours most will have invested into it on every platform under the sun. It contains an unbelievable amount of content and it's only going to get better over time as more features are added. The simplicity of Minecraft: Xbox One Edition's gameplay constantly brings players back for more, and inviting a bunch of friends into the game at any time to help on a creation never gets old as the only limit is the imagination.
It's nice to see a developer try and re-imagine the Geometry Wars formula with varying worlds, but it's not entirely paid off this time round. The vast majority of the game is great fun, it plays brilliantly, and there really is mountains of content on offer for a fairly cheap price. It's a shame that a good chunk of these new, rotating worlds are painfully frustrating to play on because of the player's lack of vision.
How to Survive: Storm Warning has its fair share of problems and doesn't really contain that much content, yet credit should be given to developer EKO Software. It has attempted something different to make its game stand out in a genre that is already extremely saturated. It controls well and is fairly enjoyable to play, but even after just a few hours, it feels like there is nothing left to do.