While Guardians of the Galaxy further proves that TellTale needs to overhaul their engine, the story and soundtrack make up for any technical issues thanks to the endless charm and genuine fun at the heart of the game.
TellTale’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Episode 1- Tangled Up in Blue
Developer: TellTale Games
Price: $24.99 for the Season Pass
Platforms: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC, Mac, Android, iOS
MonsterVine was provided with a PS4 code for review.
When I first saw that Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be adapted into a TellTale game, I was ecstatic. As a fan of the Guardians since the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning run in the comic books, I saw a great deal of potential for the sheer amount of stories and characters that could thrive when given the TellTale treatment. While the characters and narrative are off to a fantastic start, TellTale’s incredibly dated engine hampers the experience, and is long overdue for a drastic overhaul.
The story of Guardians starts off as a fan of the team could expect: an attack on the Nova Corps by the mad titan Thanos draws the attention of the Guardians of the Galaxy, made up of the same team as in the first film. The Guardians go to investigate and hopefully make some cash for saving the world, but find themselves in much deeper trouble than they originally anticipated.
Within one episode, the whole crew battles Thanos, deals with internal conflicts, helps the Nova Corps, and potentially meets with a messenger for one of the more prevalent characters from the first movie. It’s a whirlwind of events that unfolds with surprisingly impressive pacing despite it all occurring within an hour and a half of playtime. The story doesn’t shove in an intrusive amount of content however, as it leaves you wanting more as soon as it ends.
The characters are well adapted, with the movie personas serving as the main basis for each personality. Rocket is anarchic and charmingly juvenile, Gamora is intelligent but hot-headed, and Groot is, well Groot. Since you control Star-Lord, you can decide whether you want him to be a goofy dork, or a sincere and mature leader. Both characterizations fit his movie personality in their own ways, so each choice is satisfying, and comes down to a matter of personal preference. While I prefer to be the goofy rogue with a heart of gold, there are plenty of ways to take the lovable space thief.
Visually, Guardians of the Galaxy has style, but is plagued with even more of the usual issues that TellTale games have been subject to as of recent years. Slow-downs, odd facial animation glitches, and some odd model movements all appear as a result of the dated gameplay engine. Like with previous Telltale games, these issues pull you out of the experience due to their jarring and distracting nature, which is a huge issue for such a narrative-based game.
The music in Guardians is stellar, no pun intended. With licensed music from the likes of Hall & Oates and The Buzzcocks, Guardians perfectly emulates the retro space-opera atmosphere of the films, and is straight-up jammin’ in and of itself. I was worried about whether or not there would be such iconic music in a game adaptation, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear some of my favorite songs come on throughout the episode. The original score itself is perfectly fitting as well, but nothing can quite beat the game’s licensed music choices.
The Final Word
Guardians of the Galaxy: Tangled Up in Blue serves, in terms of narrative, as a fantastic start for TellTale’s newest series, despite its tiresome technical issues. Guardians fans will find much to love, especially in the soundtrack, even if they’ll have to endure some visual let-downs.
MonsterVine Rating: 4 out of 5 – Good