This is a review for the fourth episode of a five-part series. Due to the nature of this type of review, it will contain spoilers from the first three episodes.
Thus far, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series
has been a mixed bag. It's not as gripping from the get-go as Telltale's The Walking Dead
series. It doesn't have as much mystery and intrigue as Batman
. It's suffered from odd pacing and repetitive dialogue. It even had an episode that was downright not very good
. But, after all that, it finally feels like Telltale is getting somewhere in Episode 4: Who Needs You
We last left off after our eclectic group of heroes were faced with the decision of whether or not to destroy the Eternity Forge. Episode 4 puts that on hold for now when the Guardians go tumbling down a crevasse from which they must escape. Down in the abyss, they'll have nothing to do except converse with one another and work together to get out of the jam. As boring as it sounds, this pit stop provides a lot of great moments and flashbacks among the team.
Part of this is due to Episode 4 actually having enough time to accomplish something. In the last episode players barely had enough time to sit down with their popcorn and a refreshing beverage before the credits rolled after an hour. Episode 4 clocks in at an hour and 45 minutes and is much more respectable in both length and content. Without spoiling anything, we do get a few more glimpses into the pasts of multiple Guardians. These sequences are well done and emotional, and it can't be overstated how much better Telltale's dialogue is at handling sensitive content this time around.
The newest member of the team: Blue
As Episode 4 draws to a close, the decisions get weightier, and there are some real opportunities to change the course of the Guardians' lives. A new feature, the "State of the Galaxy" recap at the end of the episode, lets you know how all of the crew ended up. This episode might even be worth a second playthrough — or, at the very least, looking up some videos of how the other decisions turned out — if you're especially invested in seeing the different ways things can turn out.
The gameplay is much more fun this time around, too. As anyone who is familiar with a Telltale game knows, the prolific developer's gameplay formula is nothing more than dialogue choices and "action" button pressing. It still may not be the most exciting way to play, but there are some pretty great scenes of sliding around and kicking butt to some of the catchy tunes Peter Quill, or Star Lord, is known for having in his music library. However, Telltale still struggles when they veer from their timed button pressing, and one scene where Peter must use his jet boots to find materials feels especially wonky. Since the jet boots aren't working properly, you must land strategically to recharge your boots while crossing a dangerous pool of acid. The spots you are allowed to land on are touchy, and it's a struggle to find a spot where the game will let you land on the platform, even if you're clearly hovering over it.
Pretty, but we still gotta get out of here
If you're an achievement hunter, you know how it goes with Telltale: complete every chapter of the episode, and you'll be in business with 100% of the achievements earned. Per the usual episodic structure, there is an additional 200 gamerscore that can be added onto your previous totals from Episodes 1-3. If you've completed all four episodes, you'll be up to 800 gamerscore by the end of it.
After the disappointing and short installment that was Episode 3, Guardians of the Galaxy and Telltale fans can breathe a sigh of relief because Telltale has redeemed themselves. Episode 4 is much more fulfilling than its prior episode in both length and content, with weighty decisions to be made and lives to possibly be changed forever. We also get more glimpses at the Guardians' past, and these sequences are done well and will evoke emotion. The gameplay also hits a high note in this episode with several escape and combat scenes set to more classic songs from Peter Quill's mix tape. Telltale still struggles outside of their signature quick time event sequences, so the parts when you need to walk around and interact with things are as awkward as ever. But, finally, we're getting somewhere in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series
' fourth episode.
- Much meatier than Episode 3 in both length and the quality of content
- Challenges the player to make several tough decisions
- The best action scenes yet so far
- Jet boots part is wonky gameplay-wise
The reviewer spent an hour and 45 minutes playing through the latest episode of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series. In typical Telltale fashion, all the achievements were handed out for completing it. A review code for the season pass was provided courtesy of the publisher.