GAME REVIEW | "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" - Episode One
It's far past due for Star-Lord and the gang to get their own video game. For the past few years Telltale Games has shown they can adapt comics of many ranges for the gaming realm, be it The Walking Dead, Bone, and Fables. With Guardians of the Galaxy now under their belt, it seems that they've practically monopolized the American comic book scene with their rendition of the choose-your-path video game. However while it has an impressive presentation, the overall experience of the first episode leaves a bit more to be desired.
"Tangled Up in Blue" has the Guardians being called by the Nova Corps, as they take on the mad Titan Thanos in a battle to the death. After a well-deserved celebration Star-Lord takes a look at the strange artifact that Thanos was grasping, only to find himself back in time on Earth for a brief moment. Once finished recollecting himself, Peter Quill and the rest of the crew meet up to collect their reward, only to come face-to-face with Hala the Accuser. After stealing the artifact from Star-Lord and causing some ship damage, the Guardians take on Hala and what remains of the Kree race for a nice face-to-face confrontation.
Telltale's adaptation throws its players right into the chaos in Guardians of the Galaxy, with those familiar with the lore knowing exactly how everyone on the team will react to the battles occurring. Star-Lord is a quick quipper, Gamora takes caution, Drax wishes to destroy, Rocket goes all in if cash is involved, and Groot is Groot. Although I cannot speak for those unfamiliar with this series, I can imagine that those who have never seen or read anything related to the comics will more than likely be slightly confused by what is occurring. With that being said, once the guns start blazing and the fists are flying, it'll be easy for anyone to get into one of Marvel's most underrated series.
However I cannot help but think "Tangled Up in Blue" is a little dry in places. The episode takes a good while to really chomp on the meat of the story, and even when the fight with Thanos occurs it's presented in a manner that lacks the epic back-story of the long-telling tale. Once that done and over with, it takes quite awhile for the main plot line to get back into focus. It helped that the dialogue was as funny as both the comics and films, but even then what was coming out of the mouths of Rocket, Drax, and Star-Lord seemed just a tad off from their canon characteristics.
Thankfully the action sequences shined brightly in this Guardians of the Galaxy adaptation. Not since Tales from the Borderlands has Telltale Games delivered a more satisfactory range of QuickTime Events. It felt more like I was actually taking both the offense & defense during a heated battle, rather than just simply pressing a button and watching what happened next. Whether it was firing off my weaponry or blasting away a giant purple brute with Rocket's custom-made gun, it always felt exciting to be participating in the action at hand.
The icing on the cake had to be the game soundtrack, with composer Jared-Emerson Johnson delivering a score that fit perfectly with the mentality of these strange heroes. With the Electric Light Orchestra, Buzzcocks, and Hall & Oates blaring once in awhile, the licensed song selection meshed with the Awesome Mix that Star-Lord is often seen carrying alongside him. In regards to voice-acting Scott Porter and Emily O'Brien captured the polar-opposite attitudes of Star-Lord and Gamora quite well, with Brandon Paul Eells delivering a strong performance as Drax the Destroyer. As for Nolan North's Rocket, he sounded way too much like his Deadpool portrayal, which kinda threw me off on many occasions.
- Great action sequences
- Funny moments
- Wonderful soundtrack
- Takes awhile for story to get going
- Dialogue not on par with series
"Tangled Up in Blue" is a bit of a messy start for Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy adaptation, but the parts that do work make it worth checking out. Its fun action-packed moments and killer soundtrack feel right at home with the series lore, whereas more work could've been done to spruce up both the story and dialogue. Here's hoping that the next chapter irons out some of these wrinkles enough for players to return and get their love's worth of intergalactic planetary mayhem.
Promotional consideration provided by Kim Manuel of Sandbox Strategies. Reviewed on the Xbox One.
Background Noise: The Next Day by David Bowie → Wonder what I listen to while I write my reviews? From here on out, I'll be showcasing the records and the like that fill my eardrums as I type away these articles for your reading pleasure. As this was a piece on the beloved Guardians of the Galaxy series, it seemed fitting that the Thin White Duke should guide me through as I organized & jotted down my thoughts. If you wanna listen for yourself, simply click the album name and give it your money! (Special thanks to Robert "TheDCD" Workman for the name suggestion. Be sure to check his writings on WWG and hear him on Another Retro Gaming Podcast!)