Title: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Episode 5: Don’t Stop Believin’
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.
For our review of Episode 3: More Than A Feeling, click here.
For our review of Episode 4: Who Needs You, click here.
In many ways, the final episode of Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a perfect ending for the series. It easily had the most heart and the most fun of any episode so far, and it coalesced all the strengths that the game has shown so far to make for an entertaining few hours. At the same time, it further reinforced some of the biggest problems that this series has suffered from. Let’s dive in with “Don’t Stop Believin’.”
Fresh off of the fourth episode, the Guardians are in complete disarray. Even still, the continued threat of Hala the Accuser means that it is up to you, as Peter Quill, to reunite the team and save the galaxy. This brought up my biggest gripe of the episode, and the recurring gripe of this series as a whole: everyone who started the game knew this was going to be the plot progression (it follows both movies’ plots as well), and it seems doubtful that any of your decisions made an impact on where the story was headed.
After everything the Guardians of the Galaxy went through over this five-episode arc, it was far, far too easy to get the band back together. A few clicks, a snappy Star-Lord remark, and we had put everything behind us. I’m not trying to argue that the team should be together, but it brought to mind more successful Telltale titles and how they handled a team splinter. As I’ll point out later, this rushed plot point actually works fairly well for what the episode is trying to accomplish.
In every season of The Walking Dead, I wondered how my decisions may have affected who was alive and who was not. At the end of Tales from the Borderlands, the game actually showed you how your decisions changed which people were available for the final confrontation. Even their Batman titles offer an air of uncertainty about where the story is headed due to Telltale’s creative freedom. It seems that they were most likely not awarded that same freedom on Guardians of the Galaxy.
That being said, “Don’t Stop Believin'” was easily the most entertaining episode of the series. It contained some snappy writing, as well as the best multi-person fight scene the series has given us thus far. It even lets you pick your song for the big showdown, which helps give things a sense of fun that you would expect from the Guardians. The payoff for Guardians of the Galaxy is pretty satisfying, even if it felt more like you were living as part of an existing story, rather than influencing it in major ways.
The final episode also manages to pack quite a bit in. This is partially due to how rushed the reuniting of the team is. Because of that, and the fact that it is such an obvious turn of events, it was actually good that they moved so quickly through this particular moment.
One other part that was rushed (to the detriment of the episode) was the flashback that each episode has featured some variation on. Drax, Rocket, and Gamora have all gotten a chance to flesh out some of their backstories, and I definitely thought my favorite tree would get his chance in the spotlight. Groot does get a bit of a flashback (and, once again, proves to be the heart of the team in doing so), but it was cut far too short. How did Groot become the lovable hunk of wood that we know and love? I must know!
That said, Guardians of the Galaxy‘s last episode helped right the ship after what had turned out to be a fairly rocky season. The writing steadily improved, and the action scenes where also very fun to play through – each guardian got to showcase their abilities, provide some laughs, and help save the day. However, don’t brace yourself for too many surprises; the episode plays out almost exactly how you would expect, right down to the stinger.
Verdict: A strong ending to a mediocre series, “Don’t Stop Believin'” played to the strengths of Guardians of the Galaxy. The player may not have had quite the impact on the outcome of the story as some other Telltale titles, but it was still an entertaining yard with a high point of an ending.
- Snappy dialogue
- Good payoff
- Fun final conflict
- Story is railroaded