Telltale Games has been, for the past few years, one of my favorite developers; putting out exceptionally good content such as, The Wolf Among Us, and The Walking Dead series. Their newest entry is surprisingly good. The past few entries have fallen short to the expectations which their first three games had risen to, but with this latest entry, we are subjected to the great dialogue and narrative that Telltale Games so masterfully established in the aforementioned titles.
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is among the best adaptations they’ve tackled. With the updated engine, the graphics look sublime; though at first a bit off-putting, as they are not like the past titles, the more mainstream animation which they are going for fits into the game’s overall aesthetic. It’s relateable, authentic, funny, stressful, and any other positive adjective you can fit on the list. The dialogue between the characters establishes the player within the game’s universe, immersing you in the game through adequate representations of the goofy team’s members. Much like the movie, the game captures each character’s personality with impeccable detail, and no matter what conversation box you choose, Star-Lord will deliver it rightfully in his character. In past titles, their adaptations had freedom as they were dealing, a lot of the time, with original characters. With this title, they really captured the characters, and even introduce a new one, that, so far from what they showed in this first episode, has definitely sparked my interest.
Guardians of the Galaxy takes on a unique, yet grounded, outlook on this interstellar team of misfits. The game begins with all too classic Peter Quill (Star-Lord) listening to his “RAD Mix” mixtape as he gets a distress call from the Nova Corps stating that they need his help to stop the Galactic outlaw and “Great Titan” Thanos. After some fun haggling with the Nova Corps officer, you and your team descend to a planet to stop Thanos. Guardians of the Galaxy introduces some new elements to the series’ mechanics. First, since Star-Lord can fly using his jet shoes, Telltale Games took advantage of this to add some verticality to the gameplay. In this section, before the team confront Thanos, you are looking for a way to open an entrance so the rest of the team can join you in your pursuit.
There are three platforms which you can fly up to with a quick use of a button and reach each level while you move around in mid air. With Telltale’s fixed camera and fairly linear walking pattern, this adds a great deal of movement to the game. A very fun boss battle ensues shortly after, and Telltale makes great use of a full team as you get to control every character in their respective quick-time events. Though you mainly play as Star-Lord, the game never lets you forget that you are dealing with a team, and that each character is intrinsic in the overall dynamic of this team. This sense of belonging is where Guardians of the Galaxy becomes truly interesting. The game doesn’t start with tension between the characters, but it shortly confronts you with feelings of uncertainty and angst as the team starts to fall apart. I specifically remember choosing a poor dialogue option, thinking nothing of it, when talking to Rocket and something set him off which caught me off guard. A few other arguments followed after this with the rest of the crew and I had to start picking sides; something especially difficult when everyone is yelling at you and no one is really making any logical sense. This draws me in closer to the screen, I start paying attention to every mannerism, tone, and wording that each character uses in order to plan out my next move.
Among all this seriousness revolving around the characters, the other great thing about this entry is that it’s really damn funny. Which is a relief, because there’s no Guardians of the Galaxy without witty comebacks and awkward whistling in an excruciatingly slow elevator ride before the big boss fight. I’m refraining from sharing too much of the episode as it is an experience worth working through. It certainly feels like every choice matters – even if we know that in the end some choices result in the same outcome – but with this title I was able to push that aside as I actually enjoy every character in my group, and as the leader, keeping your team together is just as important as being the hero.
Telltale Games tackled yet another big franchise with impeccable precision and authenticity while still remaining original in their own take of the heroes; with dialogue which truly immerses the player within the game’s realm. Despite some very forgettable and inadequate shortcomings, this first episode, in which I can only imagine will be an amazing series, is a great beginning to something new. The graphics are nice – although I do miss the classic graphic-style aesthetic of past installments. The new verticality to the game adds more to the level design and the inclusion of the rest of the team in the quick-time events embodies the feeling that you are part of an actual team. The characters are well established, funny, witty, and voiced by a great cast. The new threat, proposed within this first episode, has got me begging for more. I can’t wait to see how this adventure unfolds.
I give Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series EP. 1 – Tangled Up in Blue a solid 9/10.
Here is the Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Launch Trailer:
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series episodes is now available for $4.99 USD or equivalent on PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, Windows PC (Steam), Mac, the App Store and Google Play.