Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series is, as its exceptionally long name implies, a new episodic adventure game based on the characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies and comic books. The series is scheduled to include five episodes. This review is only for Episode 1: “Tangled Up in Blue.”
In the game, you control Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord. You’re on board your ship the Milano when you get a distress call from the Nova Corps. They’re being attacked by the intergalactic criminal Thanos, and they need your help. Surprisingly, you kill Thanos very quickly, but while fighting him you come into possession of an artifact called the Eternity Forge, which looks like it’s going to be the driving force behind the series. The Forge has some sort of power over life and death, and everybody wants it.
Since Guardians of the Galaxy is based on a summer blockbuster, I was worried that it might end up being like Telltale’s Jurassic Park game, which relied heavily on action sequences. But Guardians of the Galaxy includes some down time on the Milano, where you get to talk to the other guardians to learn more about them, and where you have to make some decisions (like what to do with Thanos’ body), and so it’s a mix of talking and action.
During conversations, you just have to click on the responses that you think work best (usually out of 2-4 choices), but you have to be careful because the game remembers what you say. During exploration sequences, you use the WASD keys to move around, and you click on hotspots to interact with them. And during action sequences, you press the WASD or QE keys at the right time to move or hit or grapple, and you press the mouse buttons to shoot Peter’s guns. That is, Guardians of the Galaxy works about the same as Telltale’s other games over the last few years.
Interestingly, after doing a bit of research, I’m not sure if Telltale’s game is trying to fit in with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise or the comic books or both or neither. Unlike Telltale’s Game of Thrones title, the guardians don’t look or sound exactly like their movie counterparts. Plus, Groot is an adult, and so the game seems like it’s leaning more towards the comics. But then Peter has a mix-tape (featuring ELO’s “It’s a Living Thing”), which I’m pretty sure was an invention of the movie. The good news is, because of this ambiguity, it doesn’t really matter if you’ve seen the movie or read the comics. The game stands on its own, and it gives you enough information (including providing a codex on board the Milano) so you understand what’s going on and who everybody is.
As with Telltale’s other recent titles, Guardians of the Galaxy is basically an interactive movie where your choices make a minimal difference. There is only one “sort of” puzzle in the game, where you have to figure out how to open a door. Everything else happens linearly, and you only have one way to do it. Luckily, the writing is good, and the opening episode raises enough questions that I’m interested in seeing what happens next — which is certainly an improvement over Telltale’s recent Batman and Minecraft games. So everything looks good for Guardians of the Galaxy so far. Hopefully, Telltale can maintain the momentum.
Reviewed By: Steven Carter
Publisher: Telltale Games
This review is based on a digital copy of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series for the PC provided by Telltale Games.