Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series Episode 1 Review
Telltale Games is widely renowned for their episodic illustrations of a few big titles including Batman, The Walking Dead and Wolves Among Us, and now they have added another huge comic book title to the mix: Guardians of the Galaxy. This first episode sets the stage in an entertaining and action-packed way, leaving just enough room amongst it all for the sarcastic group of characters many of us have come to know and love. The studio promised an adventure that would be exciting and different from the movies, and so far they’ve kept their promise!
This first episode, titled Tangled Up in Blue, sets up the rest of the story well, and while it does nothing to stray from the Telltale formula, it is action-packed and charged with some emotional throwbacks that pull the story together perfectly. After receiving a frantic video call from the Nova Core, Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, gets the unlikely cast of Gamora, a green-skinned former assassin, Drax, the blue-skinned muscle, Rocket, a genius raccoon and Groot, a tall tree of few words, together.
Following the initial space battle, the Guardian’s space ship crashes onto an unfamiliar planet and these five unlikely characters set out to face off in a battle against Thanos. Players control Star-Lord, as he begins to search an abandoned temple for a path to locate the super-villain. During these beginning scenes you will get to investigate the corpses of some Nova Corp soldiers in order to discover who or what is behind their fatal injuries, as well as to try and find something to help unblock the path into the rest of the building. Of course, as you might have guessed, you are bound to encounter Thanos at some point during this episode, where, in an awesome move by Telltale, you are able to control all five Guardians in one way or another! The beginning of the Episode feels a lot like the movie, however after a little while, there is a marked difference between the storyline of the movie and the storyline of this game.
“It takes just over an hour and half to play through Episode 1, and by the time it comes to an end, you feel invested in the story already.”
After the team takes possession of an other-worldly artifact, there is an interesting wrinkle in time introduced for Peter, where he goes back into the past to share a few playable memories with his mother. These emotional moments build Peter’s origin story and allow the players to glance into his past, which, aside from the sarcastic humour, branching dialogue and action scenes, adds another layer to the story.
It takes just over an hour and half to play through Episode 1, and by the time it comes to an end, you feel invested in the story already. For the most part this first episode is really all about setting the scene for the following four episodes. From the few action scenes throughout, to the emotional memories between Star-Lord and his mom, and the dialogue between characters, Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy hits home in nearly every aspect. Now I say nearly, because while there was an abundance of little jokes, and jabs between the characters, the dialogue just doesn’t really convey the warm fuzzies that are captured in the film. There is the usual banter between the team, and some witty one-liners, however there are also some fall-outs between the team, that ultimately fall onto Star-Lord to try and smooth over. I’m all for the dialogue trees that Telltale is famous for, however at times throughout the episode this aspect of the conversations felt like a chore. Hopefully these group dynamics develop over the rest of the series, because right now they just seem a bit undercooked.
One thing that becomes quite noticeable as you progress further into the episode, are a few annoying glitches. There are a few moments within the story that caused the screen to freeze and drop. While this only happens a couple times, I noticed that it was just before the end of a scene. Hopefully this is something that Telltale will address when Episode 2 comes out, as there is nothing more frustrating than trying to play a game, yet being unable to do so because of interruptions.
Graphically, Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series is the best we’ve seen from the studio, as it has done away with the graphic novel style, and instead focused on bringing the animation to life. Telltale Games does a really great job of making the characters look less like they’ve popped out of the pages of a comic book, and more of what we’ve come to expect from a 3D animated game. In comparison to non-Telltale games, this may not feature the best graphics to ever grace your screen, but they still do look very crisp!
“This first episode sets the stage in an entertaining and action-packed way, leaving just enough room amongst it all for the sarcastic group of characters many of us have come to know and love.”
You’re probably wondering by now if Peter’s ‘Rad Mix’ makes an appearance, and I’ll tell you right now it just wouldn’t have been the same Guardians of the Galaxy feel without some glorious moon-walking to Hall & Oates! While you may not notice the music during some pivotal conversational or action-filled moments, the music really makes the cut scenes throughout the episode, bringing a sense of familiarity to both the story and the characters.
After playing through the episode I’m honestly still trying to figure out why it is titled Tangled Up in Blue. Is it because of the episodes emotional nature, or is it because all of the teams adversaries are blue? Either way, there is something so fun about being able to take the merry band of characters from Guardians of the Galaxy along the journey of the first episode. Overall, even with a few small missteps, this first episode of Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series: Tangled Up in Blue, sets the scene for what is yet to come and I’m hopeful that as we become immersed into the well-written story, these issues will melt away.
*** PS4 code provided by the publisher ***
- Emotional moments
- Stylish graphics
- As promised, different than the movies
- Lots of content
- A few small glitches
- Typical first episode set up
- Chore of maintaining peace in the team