Telltale Games are well known for their story focused cinematic games that offer limited interactivity but instead focus on a dialogue heavy, character-driven adventure that hark back to the point and click genre, but puts a more modern twist to it. Guardians of the Galaxy is their latest attempt in tackling the super hero genre after Batman and despite their best efforts, it doesn’t come closer to the heights of The Walking Dead, but it does offer a fun experience if you are fan of the characters.
I am not really a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy and haven’t read them in comics. My only introduction to them was through the Marvel Cinematic Universe but the characters have always been my favorite part of the series. From Star-Lord to the talking Racoon, Rocket along with his companion Groot, the talking tree – these characters are what elevates the series as a whole and their intergalactic adventures are always a delight to witness in the Hollywood movies. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series unfortunately doesn’t come close to the movies, but this is not to say that the game is bad as a whole, it does offer some great moments but they are let down by equally bland experience that feels like it is implemented to add more content to each episode.
The story focuses on the Guardians finding the Eternity Forge which is a stone with mysterious power carrying a huge potential. The game begins with an action focused prologue that features Thanos and culminates with a fight between Thanos and the Guardians. If you have played any of the past Telltale Games, you might be familiar with how these action scenes can play out in real-time, and honestly not much has changed in this regard. The difference this time is that due to improvements to the engine, I didn’t really find the quick time events as clunky as they were in the past. The transition between the animations is smoother now.
The game has a rather slow pace where it feels like the story begins to drag itself to the point you will feel bored. It also offers some nice mix of great action sequences that might be limited by their QTE but they are creatively utilized here to keep the flow of the action from breaking up. The start with Thanos is just the beginning since you will have more action sequences later in the game as you progress through each episode. Speaking of which, I really enjoyed how each of the episode was focused on a single member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, not only giving us a deeper insight on the background of each character, but also building their relationship with Star-Lord in this process. You will learn more about them throughout the episodes and it all culminates in a great finale.
The new additions to the gameplay show that Telltale is now focusing on adding more interactivity for the players. You can explore around a location during certain moments and solve puzzles, even though it mostly is a linear focused affair. You can use the jet pack of Star-Lord to reach a different elevated position when you are prompted to explore and it seems to be nicely implemented here. One of the aspect of each Telltale developed game that I usually like is how they utilize the unique aspects of each character and this seems to be the case for Guardians of the Galaxy as well.
Guardians of the Galaxy offers multiple choices to give the impression of a branching narrative however, while some of the choices do indeed have an affect on the story of the game, most of these usually lead to the same story sequence. At the end of the day, you might get slightly altered story sequences or a different set of dialogues but honestly these are not enough to replay the game and repeat everything to see the additional sequences. I do enjoy such branching narrative because if you do plan to go through the story again, you might get a completely different experience than the first time you played it. Simply put, this doesn’t offer additional incentive to replay the game, but it does have plenty of potential if you want to play through the story again in the future.
As someone who hasn’t really read the comics or dig deeper into the characters, I can’t comment on how well Telltale has managed to represent them in their game, but I do feel like that they have developed the personality of these characters quite well. The idea to focus on the backstory of all characters for each episode was a pretty good one in my opinion, and it helps in alleviating the slow pace of the story.
There are a grand total of 5 episodes for Guardians of the Galaxy and it can take you somewhere between 2 to 3 hours for each episode, or more if you fail the quick time events, however that can prove to be annoying forcing you to replay the same sequence again. It is not a bad length in term of the content the game offers however as I have explained, I didn’t really have the incentive to replay through the game again just to see the outcome of the difference choices. I did enjoy what I played and consider it one of the better Telltale published game.
Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Review (PS4)
Game Reviewed on: PS4
Game description: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is an episodic graphic adventure video game series developed and published by Telltale Games. Based on Marvel Comics' Guardians of the Galaxy comic book series, the game's first episode was released in April 18, 2017.
Guardians of the Galaxy has a rather dull start despite having potential for a vast intergalactic universe. The story focuses on building the main cast of characters and features plenty of great gameplay improvements that allow the player to interact with the environment and control the flow of the story.