Guardians of the Galaxy Ep 1 - Tangled Up In Blue
Telltale hasn't only become famous for their wonderful point-and-click style adventure games that are full of QTE's (quick time events); they have also become well known for designing those games around established comic book properties. The Walking Dead was just the start for Telltale. Since then they have taken on The Wolf Among Us, which is tied to the comic book Fables, and most recently The Dark Knight in Telltale's Batman. All of these games are extremely well done and I expect nothing less going into Guardians of the Galaxy. Let's hope that Telltale can deliver.
Singing to the Same Tune
Right from the outset of this adventure you can discern that Telltale is trying to mirror the experience you get from watching the feature films of the same name. From the music to the dialogue and the way the characters act, it all tries to recapture the magic from the movies. For the most part, it is successful. Rocket, in particular, feels like he was ripped straight from the big screen and put into your console or PC. However, there were a few performances that felt more like impersonations of these now iconic characters -- Drax and Yondu in particular just felt a little bit off every time they tried to capture the feel of their big screen counterparts. I understand why the writers would want to capitalize on the popularity of the films and deliver something similar to what audiences were already exposed to, yet I can't help but feel that this was a missed opportunity for Telltale to put their own stamp on these characters. Telltale excels at this and continues to do that with their Batman series (which is in its 2nd season as of this writing) and I hope that by the end of this that they establish their own version of the Guardians.
A Member of the Team
Tangled Up In Blue is presented at a breakneck pace and is full of high octane action. The series of events in this episode are some of the most enjoyable that I've ever experienced in a Telltale title. There is one fight in particular where you're put up against one of the biggest bad guys in the Marvel universe and you get to utilize the entire team as you try to save the day. The choreography is spectacular, and every member of the team gets a moment to shine. The entire sequence just works so well, and it feels like you are being put right alongside these characters in a big budget blockbuster. The only time that the pace slows down is for a few investigation areas where you must find the right object to interact with in order to move things along. These sections are simple and made me long for the days when Telltale would put creative puzzles into their games. If you, by chance, are hoping for some of that in Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy don't hold your breath. Telltale did put some clever new mechanics into these parts, such as being able to traverse the environment vertically with Starlord's rocket boots. It's nothing major, but it does help the game stand out from the rest of Telltale's catalogue. Another thing that this series has already nailed is making you feel like you are actually the leader of this ragtag group of misfits and part of the team. There is infighting, and you can't keep everyone happy. You will even be forced to pick a side between certain members of the crew. All these moments really make you feel as if you are an actual passenger travelling with this group.
No Telltale game would be complete without you having to make some pretty stressful decisions and Guardians of the Galaxy is no different. I have two save files going so that I can see the different ways that events will affect the story in future episodes. Episode one has laid the groundwork for some very interesting plot threads and I'm eagerly awaiting for the moments when my choices will come back to haunt me. What will happen with the Nova Corps? How is the Collector going to deal with what I brought him? These questions can only be answered by me moving forward and I'm looking forward to seeing where the story takes me.
The gameplay may be the standard Telltale flavour but the entire episode had high production values. The art style is very fitting for the Guardians and the game runs very smooth. Telltale used to be known for extremely glitchy games and I'm happy to report that they just keep on improving in that department. I noticed one or two bouts of slow down during some scene transitions, but nothing that affected my experience in a negative way. The voice acting was mostly top notch with only a few performances sounding off with their delivery of lines. My biggest complaint is that the episode ended just as I felt it had begun. I think that this was partly due to the ultra-quick pacing. I didn't feel cheated at the completion of this episode though and the ending did feel natural. It just wasn't the two and a half to the three-hour experience I was expecting. It was a nice start to what I'm hoping will go down as another great Telltale adventure.
Full of action
Some characters feel like mere impersonations