Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy starts strong. Your heroes are summoned to protect an ancient artifact from an invading army led by Thanos himself, the often mentioned but rarely seen villain in the Marvel universe. I was sure that Thanos would slip away and I’d spend the game chasing him down but, no, you’re battling with Thanos in the very first chapter. And you leap from Guardian to Guardian during the battle as Groot, Drax, Gamora, Peter and Rocket attempt to gain the upper hand. It’s exciting. It’s well done. It’s decisive. And, sadly, it’s probably the most fun you’re going to have in this eight to ten hour adventure.
Guardians of the Galaxy takes Telltale’s usual gameplay style (conversation choices and quick time events) and uses it to tell an interesting story about some of the most fascinating characters in the Marvel universe. The Guardians make great heroes for the game and allowing the player to see more about the life of Drax and Gamora works well (Gamora and Nebula still have the most interesting relationship in any universe). The game really shines, however, in moments where you get to know Rocket. He is easily the funniest, darkest, most magnetic Guardian, and he gets a worthy backstory for his character. On a team of maladjusted misanthropes, his tragic past and cutting wit still stand head and shoulders above the others on the team.
The weakest link in the game is, sadly, your protagonist. The Starlord in the movies is charismatic and magnetic. He’s like a light-hearted Han Solo. Peter Quill here is cloying, almost manipulative, and I never understood why the Guardians would follow him. I never really appreciated how well Chris Pratt pulls this character off in the movies. He makes Starlord heartfelt and compassionate as well as daring and heroic. When I play Starlord, I make him seem whiny, incompetent, and remarkably self-involved. Given the strength of the supporting cast, I found myself wishing that the game might shake things up and let me play as Gamora or Rocket for a chapter or two.
If you like Telltale’s games or the Guardians of the Galaxy, you’ll probably enjoy this title. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that this is one of Telltale’s lesser titles, not nearly as enjoyable as the first Batman game or any of their Walking Dead episodes. Gamers would have more fun playing the similar and superior Tales from the Borderlands. That interstellar adventure game also started strong, introduced a terrific cast of supporting characters, and ended with one of the best finales I’ve seen in any game. As cool as these characters are, the Guardians could learn a lot from the Borderlands.
THE BEST PARTS
The supporting cast is a lot of fun, particularly Rocket and Drax. The music is also pretty excellent.
THE WORST PARTS
Puzzles here aren’t much fun to solve and Peter Quill really got on my nerves after a while (though I like his taste in music).
OVERALL: SKIP IT
This one is fun but there are better Telltale games out there, most notably Tales from the Borderlands. If you want to watch some loveable losers come together to save the universe, those guys are a little more fun.