For those of you Marvel Comics fans out there pondering around for a new game to get your nerdy teeth stuck into, Telltale Games has got you covered. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series welcomes a brand new Telltale story that documents the crazy whacky space adventures of Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and the whole Guardians gang with an epic 80’s soundtrack, and a new polished engine.
The first episode entitled “Tangled Up In Blue” sees the cast of misfit heroes embark on a dangerous mission to stop Thanos from retrieving the Eternity Forge, a rare relic located on the planet of Kree. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series presents the full Marvel Cinematic Universe experience for fans of the movie franchise but also establishing a brand new interwoven storyline linked to the Guardians comic book series that will please fans of the on-going Marvel comic books too. That being said, one of the few things players may find a little jarring about this game are the character designs.
Whilst a large majority of the Guardians possess their traditional comic book appearances, the characters still evoke that humorous charismatic substance set out for them in the MCU. But no need to worry as much of the game’s story and humor is still enriched with that essence from both the Guardians of the Galaxy comics and the very popular movies. It’s best not to expect the game to be directly mirroring the James Gunn movies, so if you are hoping to see Star-Lord bearing a striking resemblance to the hunky Chris Pratt, you’re going to be left a little disappointed. The characters in this game remain very true to their original comic book counterparts, and this proved to be more effective because it allows the movie fans to explore the way in which the Guardians of the Galaxy are depicted in the comics rather how they are represented in the MCU. There’s a little something for everyone whether they love the comics, the movies, or both.
The interesting thing about the Guardians of the Galaxy is that they cooperate like a family rather than the Avengers or the Justice League who cooperate more like work colleagues. Telltale did a sublime job at pulling off the “family unit” type of friendship that the Guardians share. The interactions based on decisions you make throughout the episode helped to flesh out each character of the main cast to a huge extent. Drax, Rocket, and (even Groot) were very well written in this game. Not one ounce of their dialogue felt forced and fit perfectly with their character. A trope that Telltale Games tends to portray very well and this trope is written extremely well in Tales From The Borderlands, is the idea of playing the “loser” or “down on their luck” character and making it work. In Tales From The Borderlands, we played as Rhys, the underdog Hyperion employee who is essentially the ‘little fish’ going up against the ‘big fish’ Handsome Jack and Vasquez who ran Hyperion. Similar characters are shown in this Telltale game – a bunch of little loser-like characters going up against the big fish of the galaxy, Thanos. Telltale Games have always succeeded in their direction when it came down to writing these types of characters in their games, and with Guardians of the Galaxy they were entrusted with a slew of ‘little fish’ characters to work with. Guardians of the Galaxy couldn’t have fit more perfectly as a Telltale game.
Episode 1 of this Telltale adventure had a very strong introduction to the series, and made great use of the Guardians we are familiar from the MCU along with adding that comic book flare to them. When Telltale first announced that a Guardians of the Galaxy game was in development, there were a range of interesting stories they could have written for the series such a gap storyline bridging between the two MCU movies. The writers did not decide to write this gap story, and I think the story they chose to do worked out even better. It was very fresh to see the characters being highly regarded by different communities around the universe for their heroics and have them climbed high up in their careers as the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Telltale have proven that they are capable of writing their own canon storylines for their games and not having the story connect to the comic book universes, the movies or even the animated universes. They did this perfectly with Batman: The Telltale Series. The writers at Telltale Games construct their stories by including small elements from the source material they based on but at the same time crafting them in completely different universes. This writing style gives them more creative freedom to switch around the various roles of characters and allowing them to fit into their own narrative without disrupting the comic book/movie dimensions. Batman: The Telltale Series saw the more sinister character changes of popular DC characters like Vicki Vale and Thomas Wayne and this allowed them to become more involved with the darker story they were writing for Batman. The same type of character writing is seen in this game, and helps to show the creativity and dedication Telltale puts into their games.
I think the concept Telltale Games has brought to the table for Guardians of the Galaxy was carried out in a very unique way that will appeal to both fans of the movies and the comics, but also giving players a slice of what their own Guardians universe has in store. I look forward to seeing how it eventually develops when the rest of the episodes are released. The brand new engine featured in this game manages to show off a range of new features in the game such as the smoother polished faces and animations, and is definitely a vast improvement from other titles produced by Telltale.
If you are a massive Telltale fan and are looking to invest in a new choice-driven adventure featuring Marvel’s misfit space heroes, episode 1 of Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is available now on PS4, X-Box One, and PC.