Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale Episode 1: "Tangled in Blue" Review
This review is spoiler-free so don't worry if you plan on playing it, you can still read on and find out if it is worth your time...
Straight away you can tell that this new Guardians of the Galaxy game is based more on the film, rather than the comics. The character design and the props used, even the team line-up is straight from the first movie. This makes sense from a marketing perspective considering that these are the characters that the majority of people know and love. This leaves the game in a sort of limbo where it doesn't fit in with either the ongoing comic continuity or the Marvel Cinematic Universe either. It's a whole new continuity for the team. Thankfully, this is handled well and if you have seen and enjoyed the movie you should be happy enough with this interpretation.
Telltale games involve a lot of decision making, through quicktime events. If you're going to play this then make sure you know what to expect! The series focuses on story and so there is not a lot of complex gameplay. Telltale are great at what they do but what they do isn't for everyone. In this case, the Guardians have slid in nicely to the Telltale template.
The loading logo is the mix tape and the saving logo is a floppy disk. They are going for that retro feel, which is a minor thing but it is kind of fun!
For the most part you play as Star Lord, occasionally controlling the others during battle scenes. Star Lord is great in this, he is witty and you get the opportunity to quip as much as you wish! It's not quite Chris Pratt but it is a good substitute. The voice acting is on point. At first, it is very weird hearing different voices coming from the characters that were so perfectly portrayed in the film but it's not long before you settle into it. The voice actors made these parts their own. Voice actor Nolan North does Rocket's voice in this, which is yet another comic book character that he can tick off his list! (He has worked on animated shows and movies including TMNT, Avengers, Batman and Spider-man!)
The big fight scene with Thanos near the beginning is probably the best part of the game. It's really well choreographed and it is almost a shame that it is over within the first half of the game. I feel that, thanks to the MCU, we as an audience have been conditioned to see Thanos as more of a final boss battle. However, there is enough plot to keep us engaged for the rest of the game.
The music is something I was very intrigued by. I was curious to see if they would use the original soundtrack or just similar music. Turns out, this is the "Rad" mix tape, which has similar music to the film but not the same tracks. The pop hits are used sparingly but when they come on they are effective! I found this whole idea of the Rad mixtape to be a straight-up rip off of the movie. As I said, this game has it's own interpretation of the team but the mix tapes were never a part of the Guardians' story until James Gunn added it to the movie. So it seems strange to try and mimic this idea. I still enjoy hearing this kind of music though, so although it was distracting, it is only a minor complaint.
The game really makes you feel good. When the Guardians are fighting you want them to win, when they are arguing, you want them to get along and when they are celebrating- you are too! You really feel like a part of the team.
I was greatful to find that the overall game was longer than anticipated. I played for just over two hours. There were several moments when I thought the first episode would have ended but then the loading screen left and I was just on to another chapter! It's not a spoiler to say that you face Thanos because as I mentioned, this occurs fairly early on! The action scenes weren't the most complex to play through but they definitely captured my attention! Unfortunately, certain conversational scenes dragged on for a bit. However, this is common with the Telltale franchise and a necessity for the story..
Obviously, some decisions are more significant than others. When it came to a decision about who to report to, I found it very difficult to decide. This is an aspect that adds to the replayability though, so that's cool! I rarely replay games but I may consider it with this one. When the game is finished, it shows you the percentage of players that chose similarly to you. I seemingly picked the unpopular choice for that one...
I give this game a B+, I enjoy spending time with these characters and they were all portrayed really well in the game. If you're a fan of the movie, like I am, then you should definitely give this a chance. It will keep you going until the new film is out!
Also: Be sure to check the messages in the Milano's system for fun easter eggs from Howard the Duck and Cosmo the Space Dog (amongst others!)