Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy Review: Still Hooked on that Feeling

By Geoff Miller

Publisher/Developer:
Telltale Games

Platform(s):
PS4 (Reviewed), Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS

Release Date:
April 18, 2017

Beyond simply adapting the beloved series to a new format, Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series accomplishes something more. As soon as the title screen belts those signature pop hits of yesteryear, I felt transported back to that theater seat in 2014. And to tell you the truth, I’ve never been happier to find myself once again surrounded by a bunch of A-holes.

While officially designated as a tie-in to the comics, the voice and tone of Telltale’s take is clearly following the vision of the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. The property’s voice rings as true as its soundtrack, and the character dynamics between Star-Lord and company are just as rich as those so beloved on the silver screen. Fans will surely enjoy taking part in the same quick-witted banter that featured so prominently in the first film’s script.

 

 

 

The character dynamics between Star-Lord and co. are just as rich as the ones on the silver screen

Graphically, this is one of Telltale’s best looking games. The art direction is a blend of Gunn’s vision and the Guardians from the comics, and the result is a colorful world that feels truly inviting. The only issues present are those that seem to plague the entirety of the studio’s library. Character movement can be a bit choppy at times, and there are instances of delayed texture popping. Typically, these would be more significant problems, but the studio is clearly focused on the quality of the narrative over the quality of the visual presentation.

People spending too much time analyzing the mechanics of a Telltale game are falling a bit into a “forest for the trees” situation. The developer’s adaptations are pieces of interactive fiction more so than a standard video game, so the merits they should be judged by are different from that of, say, a Triple-A first-person shooter. The gameplay here remains mostly quick-time events, but there is a little bit more flexibility than usual. Star-Lord serves as the avatar for the audience, and the way the game uses his propulsion boots for navigating the environments adds a bit of freedom when traversing.

 

 

Ultimately, the game’s greatest strength is also its greatest weakness – it’s a Telltale game. Players who are looking for engaging narrative and dialogue are in for a treat. But if previous entries in the studio’s catalog weren’t your cup of tea, this isn’t going to be changing anyone’s minds. As a massive comic geek and fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I had a blast stepping into the shoes of everyone’s favorite group of degenerates, but again, more casual fans may be turned off by Telltale’s distinctive style.

As for this reviewer, the remaining entries of the series cannot get here fast enough.

Score: 8/10

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