Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Review
Usually we review each individual episode of an episodic game, but this time I decided to try something different. I made video reviews for each episode (which you can find here), and decided to write up the season as a whole.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is (obviously) based on the Marvel franchise which has several comic books, a cartoon and two Hollywood movies. Since it’s a Telltale game, it’s more narrative and choice driven than actual gameplay. You control Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket, Gamora and Groot as they chase after the Eternity Forge, to keep it from the evil Hala, who is trying to use it to restore the Kree race to greatness. Along the way they meet Mantis, and I’ll stop there to avoid spoiling anything.
I’ve been a Marvel fan for almost as long as I’ve been an adventure game fan. In fact, there are likely mere months between me first playing Monkey Island in 1990 (back when adventure games were called point & click) and first watching the X-Men cartoon in 1991. So, with this being the very first Marvel title to be an adventure game, I was worried it wouldn’t be two great tastes that tasted great together, especially with how badly written BATMAN The Telltale Series was.
If you were also worried (or read my article on the subject) that Marvel Comics wasn’t a suitable fit for Telltale Games, then you can rest easy. It’s a very funny, well written script with a great story full of feels.
As you travel through the well-realised environments, it’s almost enough to forgive the poor transitional framerates. You get to explore a number of locations, and thanks to Star-Lord having jet boots, there’s even some verticality to several sections. There are also one or two action scenes per episode, so you’re not stuck just watching and making the odd choice now and then, as often happens in Telltale games. Although I’ll admit that Episode Three was more of a movie than a game.
Each episode has a section which focusses on one of the Guardians’ past, which makes sense since there are five Guardians and five episodes. Don’t worry if you’ve only seen the movies, or just the cartoon, or even just read the comics - these characters are cut from whole cloth. They are more heavily influenced by the movies, for instance the Nova Corps use spaceships, and Drax is an alien of unknown origin instead of a human whose soul was put into a brand new body when Thanos killed him and his family… But despite that, you learn all you need to know throughout the game.
There are a number of easter eggs though, so nerds like me can chuckle knowingly at the in-jokes. The script itself is very funny, actually - I was laughing all the time while playing this. Not constantly, mind you, that would be psychotic, but there were tons and tons of hilarious moments.
There are also heartfelt moments, especially as we find out more about the Guardians’ backstories. Not all of my tears were ones of joy, I’ll admit. This gang of misfits have lived through some trauma…
The voice acting is brilliant all around, with even Groot getting some nice performances despite the limits of his script. Then there’s the soundtrack, which takes another cue from the movies (and recent comics…), Star-Lord has a Walkman on him and puts on a different song from the 70s/80s each episode. And no, they aren’t the ones from the titles of the episodes. Curiously, those don’t actually appear in the game. The ones they chose are all used to great effect though, especially when Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy comes on during an action scene.
Overall, this season of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is a good one. If you can forgive the usual Telltale glitches and random instances of poor framerate, you’ll have a blast. I look forward to the next season, hinted at in the post-credits scene. Come on, it’s Marvel, you knew it had to have a post-credits scene.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
A very funny game that will also give you feels. It will take you about nine hours to complete, and you’ll have a blast doing so.