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Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Episode 1 Review

/ Apr 27th, 2017 No Comments

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue

Bringing the Guardians of the Galaxy to the big screen was somewhat of an interesting decision by Marvel and Disney. The heroes in space don’t have the same cachet as the Avengers or other Marvel characters. Despite this, the Guardians movie left viewers impressed.

With a sequel releasing soon and a Disneyland ride to debut this summer, Telltale Games is looking to hop aboard the goodwill train with Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series.

Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue has the usual Telltale Games elements — quick-time events and lots of dialogue options — but it also includes an impressive story and great comedic timing.

Mad About Thanos

Thanos is seeking to unleash the power of yet another old relic, and the Guardians are in pursuit of him. Once alerted to his presence in a nearby system by the space-cops known as Nova Corps, Peter Quill (a.k.a. Starlord) rallies the team for another confrontation with the Mad Titan.

This confrontation goes a lot better than expected, and the Guardians of the Galaxy are left thinking they’ve finally bested Thanos for good.
 

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue

Thanos is an insane fool!

Partying ensues, but then the team begins to wonder if they need to stay together after all. Is there any real need for guardians to guard the galaxy now? The plot is instantly filled with gripping questions. Is Thanos really done? What is the purpose of the relic he was trying to recover?

By the end of Episode 1, these questions are mostly answered and the full arc of the series is revealed. The opening act provides a perfect setup for the overarching plot and the story of the Guardians themselves — at least Telltale’s interpretation of who the Guardians are (which sticks closer to the comics than the movie). Background exposition about all of the characters, including the supporting cast, is provided, but if players don’t want to rehash backstories, a lot of the dialogue is optional.

The humorous tone is broken up as the game is rife with the Guardians’ typical comedy. A slow elevator down to Thanos has the guardians standing in silence, prompting players to break the awkward moment with several clever quips befitting of a “not your average” superhero team.

We Are Groot

Players primarily control Starlord throughout the first episode, but that changes during combat. When in fights, the game switches between characters. One moment, Starlord is shooting at Thanos with players needing to alternately press two buttons to fire his dual pistols, then the game quickly jumps to Gamora coming in for a punch and needing precise button combos to land it.

It gives a very cinematic feel to combat. The camera smoothly follows the action from one character to the next to give players ample time to figure out who they’re in control of and correctly pass QTEs.

Telltale really shows off how they’ve perfected what is essentially an interactive film. QTEs, a game mechanic mostly best left in the past, works extremely well, and switching between characters makes them feel less boring.
 

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue

Peter fly high, no lie, you know it!

The big gimmick for the Guardians is Starlord’s booster boots, which allow him to easily ascend and descend with the touch of a button on the controller. Exploration sections of the game thus get an additional level (pun intended) added to their dynamic.

Starlord’s boots also serve a more valuable purpose of speeding up movement, thus giving players the ability to quickly breeze through sections of the game, often parts that only require players to find a particular item and touch or grab it.

Controlling Starlord on his booster boots is just as smooth as the perfected QTEs and the rest of the gameplay.

Meet The New Guardians

The voice cast for Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is incredible. Scott Porter as Star-Lord, Nolan North as Rocket Raccoon, Emily O’Brien as Gamora and the rest of the cast is perfect. Each actor breathes life into the characters. Even the eternally three-worded Groot feels fresh.

All of this is coupled with a great 1980s soundtrack. The tracks give Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series a vibe that fits in with the characters “odd couple” dynamics.

While there are serious moments, most of Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue is fairly comical and light-hearted, focusing mostly on the group’s ideological differences. But between the voice acting and the soundtrack, players will enjoy the moments that aren’t dialogue heavy just as much as those that are.
 

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue

They’re the Guardians of the Galaxy, bitch.

Most Telltale games are dark in terms of aesthetics, but that is also due to the subject matter. With Guardians of the Galaxy, Telltale has taken on a more colorful tone in more ways than one.

Telltale balances the line between the dark tone and comedic team. The game looks similar to the comics. Wide cinematic shots show off great sci-fi locales, and interior shots show the love put into recreating every detail of the Guardians universe.

The only complaint in terms of graphics is the character design. The Guardians come off looking a little too cartoony rather than the superheroes they’re meant to be. Their bodies feel more bubbly than straight.

Overall

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue does a great job of quickly summarizing the Guardians of the Galaxy characters and team dynamic while also setting up the game’s plot. Controls are tight and intuitive and gameplay has enough quirks to separate this title from Telltale’s other games.

This game — at least what we can tell of it from the first episode — feels like a bit of a departure for Telltale. It is more lighthearted and comedic, and less dark. But fans Telltale’s signature drama won’t be entirely left out should the series stay the course.

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue was reviewed on a PlayStation 4 using a code for the game provided by the publisher.

 

Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson

Associate Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Greg is a Nintendo fanboy who would cry if they ever went third party. He writes news, previews and reviews at Gaming Illustrated.
Greg Johnson

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GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: THE TELLTALE SERIES EPISODE 1 REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall87%

GAMEPLAY8

QTEs are still QTEs, no matter how you slice them, but Telltale somehow makes quick-time events work in interesting ways.

GRAPHICS8

A cool art design showcases amazing sci-fi visuals but the characters look too cartoonish.

SOUND9

This is a true Guardians of the Galaxy experience. The voice acting is incredible and the 1980s soundtrack is even better.

STORY10

The story starts off in a way that players will not likely expect, and this is a great way to setup the rest of the series.

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