Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS
Where To Buy: Steam
For our review of Episode 1: Tangled Up In Blue, click here.
For our review of Episode 2: Under Pressure, click here.
I really want to enjoy Telltale’s take on Guardians of the Galaxy more than I do. There are times when the writing clicks, and there is that perfect balance between the characters and the onscreen action that the films achieve so well. However, the third episode indicates that the series is running out of time to bring everything together, and I’m not sure it will pull it off.
For the uninitiated, Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy functions exactly like their other adventure games. You take control of Peter “Star-Lord” Quill (and sometimes the other guardians), making dialogue decisions that affect character opinions of you, sometimes making a “big decision” that moves the plot one direction or the other. You also occasionally do quick time sequences (usually fight scenes) that are fun to watch and help break up some of the heavy expositions. These games are often criticized for not being “games,” but the storytelling is often so rich and rewarding that they work well.
More Than A Feeling has some strong moments, but it also has more issues than many of Telltale’s games. The biggest one to me is this: the characters don’t respond in a way that makes your actions seem important.
In most successful Telltale games, the writers put you in positions where you have a no real “win” situation. Do you maintain loyalty to Commissioner Gordon, jeopardizing your relationship with Waller, who could make things difficult for you? Or do you hurt your friend’s feelings, knowing Waller will prove a powerful ally? You make the decision knowing how it will influence things.
In Guardians of the Galaxy, it seems like characters are acting the way they are because they have to in order to advance the plot. The best Telltale games disguise that fact very well, so it almost makes you want to go back and see how things could change if you side with different characters or make different big decisions.
More Than A Feeling tries to change that, but it still feels like too many of the characters are being unreasonable and are instead forcing team division to keep the story compelling. Maybe it’s because we’ve already seen this song and dance twice with the Guardians of the Galaxy films, but it seems like the events of the story thus far should have united the team more, not driven them apart. Yet, here we are.
That’s not to say there weren’t things to enjoy in More Than A Feeling. A new member joins the group and provides some interesting wrinkles for the already unsettled team. The dialogue is getting sharper; it seemed a bit stilted in earlier episodes and is finding its footing.
The best aspect of More Than A Feeling is the back story and interaction between Gamora and Nebula. They had some great moments in the second film as well, and it’s a fun story-telling technique to let you shape their relationship through choices in flashbacks. I feel they also provide the best voice acting in the episode as well; you can feel Nebula’s rage and Gamora’s desperate attempts to make things right by her sister.
It’s similar to what Telltale did with Rocket in the last episode. By letting you play into their backstory, it helps you better understand why they respond the ways they do. Even with Under Pressure‘s look into Rocket’s backstory, he still remains the most infuriating character in Guardians of the Galaxy.
I get where Rocket is coming from, but his attitude and personality are wildly inconsistent, and it does not often make sense with the decisions you make as Peter Quill. He seems very much like a “drama manufacturer,” and it seems to make your decisions much less consequential. I do my best to please other members of the team because I’m constantly worried that Rocket will get pissed at me regardless of what I do. Maybe that’s what Telltale was going for with the character, but it still doesn’t really work for me.
Verdict: The story behind Guardians of the Galaxy is a good one, so it still manages to be a pretty enjoyable experience. However, it will most likely (barring a dramatic shift) not go down as one of Telltale’s best. The backstory with Gamora and Nebula is well done, Hala finally gets an opportunity to shine, and the dialogue is getting sharper. Even still, the lack of decisions feeling consequential tends to drag the game down a bit.
- Good voice acting
- Nebula/Gamora backstory is well done
- Tells an interesting story
- Choices don't feel meaningful
- Character reactions don't come from choices
- Plot is strong, but seems forced
Jordan has been gaming and geeking as far back as he can remember. You can find him on Twitter @Jordality and occasionally find him streaming on Twitch.tv/JojoTheNinjaGaming. You can also check out his YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCExyOMK798p7mCXwSayD2hg.