The Guardians of the Galaxy movie was the surprise hit of 2014 for Disney, and the highly-anticipated sequel is right around the corner. As a brand that is now well-established Marvel and Disney have decided it is time to get them into a starring role in a video game. They’ve appeared previously in games like Disney Infinity and Marvel Heroes, but never in their own title. Thus Marvel teamed with the venerable Telltale Games to bring them to Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and mobile devices (sadly no Switch release, yet) in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series.
If you’re familiar with Telltale Games’ past efforts then you already know what to expect. If you never had the chance to try out their narrative-driven games then this is a good entry to jump into. The gameplay aspects are on the lighter side with a heavy emphasis on quick-time events and basic exploratory puzzle solving. The hook is in the storytelling and character interactions, as well as your ability to make choices that impact the course of the narrative. The destination may ultimately be the same (or, at least, very similar) for most gamers, but the journey will be largely unique to you. As far as the story itself goes it is one of the better ones in Telltale’s lineup, and it gets its hooks in you early. There are some stumbles midway through and the characterization sometimes can’t decide if it wants to be based on the comics or the movie, but overall it is off to a strong start.
This is probably the best looking Telltale Games effort we’ve seen so far, but from a technical perspective, it is still marred by many of the issues we have seen in their previous titles. Random stutters in the game, facial animations that don’t match what the actors are saying and a general lack of ambiance are common. The stutters are more noticeable this time, and it may well be time for Telltale to build up a new game engine from scratch as their current one struggles. Telltale could have masked these a bit with their sound design efforts, but unfortunately, they slacked a bit there, too. A scene with you in a crowded bar sounds the same as when you’re exploring an ancient temple or having a pitched battle in the middle of a hangar. A little more work put into these aspects would have gone a long way towards immersion, and it’s a shame they are missing at the moment. On the plus side, the characters are all well voiced, with only Drax being a jarring change from his movie counterpart.
Final thoughts on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale Ep1 Tangled Up In Blue:
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is available as a season pass which will get you all five episodes of the game once they have been released, or you can get each episode individually. Right now only episode one has been released, and it takes just under two hours to play through if you explore most of the nooks and crannies. At $20 for all five episodes (the Steam version is $25) this is a solid deal, provided you don’t mind waiting for the rest of the episodes. Individual episodes are $5 each, which is still a decent price for a two-hour experience, but you’re probably better off going with the season pass if the game interests you at all. There are technical issues that Telltale really needs to address before they become more than annoyances, but otherwise, this is a solid entry into their lineup. Guardians of the Galaxy fans should definitely check this one out.
Related: Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale Preview: