Telltale Games continues to mine famous third-party franchises to bring us their take on Marvel's cosmic heroes with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy- The Telltale Series.
There's no doubting that the game seeks to cash in on the popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe characters, the second movie of which is now out on Blu-Ray. Fans may, however, notice some subtle differences between the look of the game characters and those in the movies.
In the Telltale Marvel Universe, whilst the Guardians act like their movie equivalents, their look, for the most part, is straight out of the comic books. This makes Talltale's game neither a sequel to the movies nor and tie-in to the comic books. It worked for Batman: The Telltale Series, and it works here.
Players looking for a fast-paced action game based on the movies are going to be disappointed. Telltale games are an acquired taste. Best described as the logical evolution of the point-and-click adventures of yesteryear. They follow a fairly linear path that relies on a good narrative over gripping gameplay. They can also be a bit of a mixed bag. Apart from their excellent Walking Dead and Batman series, to be honest, I could take or leave most of Telltale's stuff.
Playing the game on the PC, there's lots of quick-time events that had me thumping the “q”, “e” and WSAD keys in the correct sequence. Not my favourite gameplay mechanic, but not overly used to the point of being annoying. If anything, it served to make sure I was paying attention, as the game can suddenly require your input in the middle of a long cutscene.
You tend to spend most of your time in the game talking to characters- using predefine conversation sentences, searching scenes for interactive objects and clues, and aiming crosshairs using the mouse. Sounds lame, I know, but it isn't really. But still, as I mentioned earlier, Telltale games tend to be more about the story.
The game follows the consequences of the Guardians killing a major player in the Marvel Universe and obtaining a device known as the Infinity Forge. As the Guardian's embark on their planet-hopping journey we meeting the Nova Corps, examine Peter Quill's (AKA Star Lord) relationship with his mother, bump into his surrogate father, Yondu, and find out a bit about Rocket Racoon's origin.
As with other Telltale games, the decisions that you make affect the game- not just in the current episode, but those that follow as well. Characters remember how you interacted with them, which affect how they treat you in the future. At the end of each episode you get to see how your choices compare to others that have played the game.
Guardians of the Galaxy is probably the nicest-looking Telltale game to date. The visuals are crisp, the characters well modelled and the production values high. You'd almost be forgiven for mistaking the game for an animated cartoon.
In keeping with the 70's rock soundtrack from the movies, Telltale have licenced some similar tracks for their game, including the ELO's Livin' Thing (who also sung Mr. Blue Sky, which was used to such great effect for Baby Groot's dance from the second movie opening sequence).
As with Telltales other games, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy- The Telltale Series is exactly that: an episodic series. Currently, three of the five episodes have been released, with the fourth coming out on 10th October. If you are a fan of the comic-books or the movies, now's the perfect time to climb aboard with The Guardians of the Galaxy.