PS4 Review: Minecraft Story Mode – Episode 8: A Journey’s End?

May the odds be forever in your inventory…

So here are, the true season finale. The 8th episode in the series after Telltale kindly decided to add 3 more episodes to the line-up where Jesse and his friends try and escape the Portal Hallway found at the end of Episode 5. Episode 6 saw us unmask a serial killer in true Agatha Christie form, while Episode 7 went full on Matrix/Terminator with a psychotic AI possessing everyone. Episode 8 goes all Hunger Games as Jesse and company track down the rest of the Old Builders.
After ascending the massive staircase at the end of Episode 7, we arrive in an arena where it’s all out warfare. Some of Jesse’s friends are killed in the battle and as shocked as I was, I kind of guessed where they were headed…they didn’t die, they respawned. Those who respawn get sent to work at the Quartz mines till they get another chance to compete in “The Games”. The Old Builders make a deal that if Jesse wins the tournament, he will receive the Portal Atlas and be able to find the Portal to take him and his friends home. Sadly though, the Old Builders are double-crossing cheaters, who even forged a story of someone winning the games when they didn’t even exist.

The story goes the way you would expect, but that doesn’t stop it from being superb throughout. The action scenes and quick-time events are really on point here, perhaps being the most adrenaline rushing of the entire series, while it’s not clear how your choices will impact anything if there is a second season…I assume there will be and I personally hope there will be. The Telltale sense of humour has always been top notch throughout the series and it’s no different here, resulting in plenty of laughs along the way.
There are some interesting new characters in the episode and it’s good to see Harper stick around from Episode 7, especially since Ivor is clearly smitten with her…which is always funny to see. I always found it weird that Ivor went good after unleashing the Wither Storm, but the banter between him and Jesse definitely pays off here. The voice-acting has always been strong and the finale doesn’t disappoint, it’s also good to see Axel and Olivia after a number of episodes away.

It’s a strong finale, ending on what will the New Order of the Stone do now? Of course, it’s impossible to know at this point…but I would guess going through more Portals with the Atlas and gathering treasure would make the most sense. We’ll just have to wait and see…oh and be prepared for the cruellest moment of the entire series when Jesse is reunited with Axel and Olivia. THE.CRUELLEST.

The Verdict

A Journey’s End? brings the Portal Hallway story arc to a close…for now. Chances are it’ll be revisited in a potential second season. It’s a superb episode that clearly takes inspiration from The Hunger Games and it pays off incredibly well. The entire series has been a huge success, even last week’s South Park episode had a “Minecraft Story Mode” poster in Kyle’s brother Ike’s bedroom. Let’s hope they don’t leave it too long to let us know if they plan to make a second season, because this has been something special.

Score: 9.0