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Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 7: Access Denied
Score: 85%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Previously on Minecraft: Story Mode:

Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 7: Access Denied continues The Order of the Stone's strange new adventure across different worlds, and with a little luck, might get them just a little closer to finding their own home and getting back to their friends.

Jesse, Petra, Lukas and Ivor have been through a lot since Episode 5 found them in a strange sky-based city. Not only did the group have to get through Sky City and its strict laws concerning resource management and building, but instead of getting back to their own world, they discover a long hallway filled with portals.

The first of these portals sent them to a world where they were thrust into a murder mystery while being hunted by a man with a white pumpkin for a head. Unfortunately for The Order, getting out of that mansion only sent them back into the hallway of portals, and apparently no closer to finding their way back home.

Before Access Denied really gets going, players are treated to a Scooby-Doo like sequence where the four friends run from portal to portal encountering an unknown number of obstacles. Episode 7 starts off when Petra finally gets fed up with the random searching and decides to make a more educated guess by guiding the group through a portal lined with Red Stone. She hopes this will take them to a world filled with brilliant engineers who can help them. What she gets instead is something completely different.

Strange New World:

Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 7: Access Denied puts the four heroes in a mesa biome, and one that has some rather unusual inhabitants. It seems this world not only has zombies that don't catch on fire during the day, but they are surprisingly tough to beat, even with all the armor and enchantments Jesse and friends have on hand. The group also learns of another odd detail about the mobs of this world. They seem to have a strange Red Stone device attached to the back of their heads, and sometimes those devices emit a loud squelching sound that players who harked back to the days of dial up internet connections will remember.

When the group follows a horde of zombies to a village, they quickly discover that everything in this world appears to have a Red Stone device on its head, even people. While they do find one person who is apparently device-free, it isn't long before the people with the devices capture The Order of the Stone. The Order is then introduced to a massive Red Stone computer called PAMA. Created to control mobs to help make the work the humans had to do easier, PAMA decided that humans themselves weren't efficient enough and had the controlling blocks put on them as well.

While attempting to get away, two of Jesse's friends are captured and turned into PAMA's slaves, but with the help of that one person who didn't have a control device installed, Jesse and Ivor manage to get away from PAMA's village and into a secret lab. It is here that Harper, the last free human, hopes to stop PAMA, and with the help of Jesse and Ivor, free Petra and Lukas as well.

Ghost in the Machine:

At this point, Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 7: Access Denied is all about subverting PAMA with the help of Harper's unique devices. Jesse will have to use the builder's various gadgets to not only protect the secret base, but also go after PAMA itself. The big worry for Jesse though, is can Petra and Lukas be saved and brought back to normal.

To make matters worse, it seems PAMA now knows about all of the other worlds connected by the portal hallway and wants to spread its brand of order and usefulness to all of the other worlds, and it looks like Harper just might have the information PAMA needs to accomplish that goal. So if the large computer gets control of the builder, it will have all the knowledge it needs to break free of the desolate world.

By the end of the episode, Jesse will have to make a couple of tough decisions and even face off against one of the Order members in order to finally take PAMA out, but the rewards might be worth the trouble.

Next Time on Minecraft: Story Mode:

By the time Minecraft: Story Mode - Episode 7: Access Denied ends, the PAMA threat does seem to been resolved, and with the help of a new friend, it looks like Jesse's group might have a way to navigate the portal hallway and finally get home. There is a catch though; there is apparently one last problem that will need to be solved, and that's what Episode 8: A Journey's End? will cover.

I ended up enjoying Access Denied a lot, even more than I did the previous episode, A Portal to Mystery. The A.I.-gone-rogue storyline is always a fun one to explore, and to see it play out in the Minecraft universe gives it a nice twist. If you've been following Jesse's adventures up to this point, then you won't want to skip this episode, especially since it looks to actually lead to some lasting effects in the next episode, which is something that A Portal to Mystery was lacking.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox One Fallout 4: Vault-Tec Workshop Microsoft Xbox One Minecraft: Story Mode: Episode 7 - Access Denied

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