Telltale has done a pretty fantastic job of acquiring licenses to some of the most popular franchises in recent memory. Whether is be past or present Telltale has managed to take existing IP and present their own stories with their charming and yet sometimes janky episodic formula. Guardians of the Galaxy is no exception.
The first episode titled “Tangled up in Blue” starts off with an already established group of heroes battling Thanos. Right from the beginning the voice acting for Rocket Raccoon stands out compared to the rest of the cast. The banter between the protagonists is fine but it is very noticeable that Rocket Raccoon is voiced by Nolan North and he is the veteran on the team and is quite entertaining. As for Starlord he is quite boring compared to his portrayal in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie and that is kind of disappointing. Overall the dialogue and choices you face for the majority of the episode are mediocre and the attempt at tension between teammates really seems unimportant, but there was a good balance of fun and cheeky banter within the team of guardians.
Where this episode really shines is the backstory for Starlord. In typical Telltale fashion there is a more dramatic story being told with more meaning that your normal save the universe super hero tropes. In fact the episode only really gets started three fourths the way through when the back story about Starlord’s mother begins. Another area where this episode seemed flat was the introduction of the new antagonist towards the end. As a fan new to the series I was unfamiliar with the character and Telltale did not do a great job selling her as a real threat nor a character whom I should care about, but it is still really early and this could change.
As far as gameplay is concerned Guardians adds a little extra flavor to the mix for a few new additions to traversal and combat mechanics. This episode definitely made me feel more involved rather than as the player just sitting back and watching the game play out. There were sections of combat where you had your standard quick time events, but there were also shooting sequences and sections where you jumped from character to character that were quite enjoyable. This added to the idea that you are part of a team and not just one lonesome hero with people in the environment. You also get to use Starlord’s rocket boots to solve Batman style detective mode crimes. Using the boots to investigate different levels of the world was pretty cool, but the detective mode stuff was less than fun. At one point I was convinced (and late proven right) that I had the solution to the puzzle, but was forced to exhaust all possible options before the scene would play out. This took the fun right out of the scene. Graphically Telltale continues to add style to their games and their presentation gets better and better. The best part of Guardians is the sound track. Telltale comes right out of the gate with some great licensed songs that put a nice pretty bow on their take of Guardians of the Galaxy.
Overall this was a good starting point for the series and I am optimistic about where Telltale will go from here. Some parts were less than stellar but overall it was a fun experience and there is plenty of potential. My biggest take away from playing this game was that I immediately wanted to go watch the movie. Telltale did their best to make their story different from the cinematic universe but yet still managed to capture the charm of the guardians that fans new and old have enjoyed.