Another year, another huge and exciting IP gets the iconic Telltale treatment. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is the latest property to get worked over into an episodic adventure featuring Telltale’s signature choice and consequence style of gameplay. Considering the popularity of the franchise and the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 just came out in theaters, Telltale made a smart choice releasing episode 1 when they did. Now as I don't want to give too much away about the story, I won’t be saying too much about the narrative. However, since this is a review, I have to at least touch lightly on the subject. So if you haven't played it yet and want to go into the first episode completely blind, stop reading now because there will be some extremely light spoilers.
Now, let me just go ahead and get this confession out of the way so you all know where I'm coming from. I never read a Guardians of the Galaxy comic book in my life, I’ve never even heard of them until Marvel decided to dust them off and bring them to the silver screen. With that being said, I absolutely loved the first GotG movie: I watched it a billion times (more or less). I love the way the characters play off of each other with their constant back-and-forth banter, and when Volume 2 comes out on Bluray, I plan on giving it the same amount of loving as I did the first. So let’s keep in mind that the movies are my only point of reference.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series follows the adventures of the ragtag group of misfits known as the Guardians of the Galaxy as they unknowingly come into the possession of a powerful and much sought-after ancient artifact while helping the Nova Corps thwart an attack by Thanos. I won't give away any more details since the story is a big part of the attraction of Telltale's narrative-driven adventures, but the artifact and the trouble it brings seems to be the basic premise of the season (at least so far).
Now as for the Guardians themselves, I admit that there was a brief adjustment period before I warmed up to them. It’s really just a couple of tiny differences that threw me off at first. The voice actors nail the parts quite well, but I’m so used to hearing the cast of the movies so it felt weird to me hearing different voices coming out of their mouths (fun fact: Groot is played by Adam Harrington, AKA Bigby Wolf from The Wolf Among Us). I have to say, though, that Rocket’s voice is pretty bang-on, but what else would you expect when he’s played by veteran voice actor Nolan North. Drax is back to being his original green color, instead of the blue I was used to seeing him in. On the other hand, Telltale really nailed the fight scenes. The Guardians fight as a group, using their crazy, chaotic brand of teamwork to take down enemies. During the fight scenes you shift back and forth between the different characters, so you’re never just limited to the perspective of only one Guardian. Those scenes are a lot of fun and that’s where the game shines in true Guardians fashion. And of course, there are some classic rock songs peppered throughout the episode to give it that eighties flair that we’ve all come to know and love.
Almost as iconic as the comic book-like graphics and the player choice-driven gameplay is the graphical stuttering and jerkiness that often accompany a Telltale adventure. And in case you were wondering, yes, nothing has changed in that regard. Scenes often switch jerkily and in a few rare instances, it froze on me for a couple of seconds. You figure that after so many games they would have ironed out these problems by now, but I guess it’s a small price to pay to keep on enjoying the quality content that they keep pumping out.
Though it started off a little slow, by the end of the episode I finally warmed up to the voice actors and the story, and now I’m sold on it. Hopefully if Telltale continues to build up the momentum like they did with Tales from the Borderlands, we’ll have an instant classic on our hands with with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Final Verdict: Recommended
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