We’re past the halfway mark in Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy premier season. We’ve learned the true power of the Forge and the dangers it hold and the strength of the Guardians is wavering. Newcomer, Mantis has proved to be a big help but she’s creating more questions than she is answering. In ‘Who Needs You’ the Guardians must deal with their decisions from the ending of Episode 3, decisions that will change the game in a huge way.
Episode 4 has some straight up fun action in it. From a fun opening battle to a high speed hold-on-to-the-side-of-the-ship-and-repair-it-while-being-chased-by-a-giant-hungry-rock-worm chase, the action is exhilarating, especially after a rather ‘action-light’ episode that preceded this. There’s some rather fun button prompts (whenever they actually matter) that really add to the whole immersion of everything.
Telltale has never really dealt in really kickass soundtracks (aside from Tales From The Borderlands) as they’ve mostly just stuck to scores. That being said, Guardians of the Galaxy had one rockin’ soundtrack! The first episode has been the best with some hits by Electric Light Orchestra, Hall and Oates, and The Buzzcocks. ‘Who Needs You’ has some great tunes to play along to as well. That’s not to say it doesn’t have a great score as well. From a great opening tune to a high paced getaway chase set against Queen’s ‘Stone Cold Crazy. The soundtrack is definitely one of, if not THE, best things about this series.
Remember the ending of Telltale’s Walking Dead season one? Remember it tearing your heart out and stomping on it a bunch? Well that’s just seems like practice for how this series gives some serious yanks on the heartstrings. From Peter Quill’s longing to bring back his mother, to Rocket’s determination to be with his beloved Lylla once more. The Guardians are made up of a group of broken beings who each have their emotional hangups. This episode especially is enough to break out the tissues.
Most of the issues I had with this episode revolve around audio so let’s start with that. First of all, most of the voice acting has been more than solid so far, the only issues I have are with young Peter Quill and Drax. First, young Petey Quill, emphasis on YOUNG, just doesn’t sound like a kid. He’s about 12-13 in the game, but he sounds like he’s 16-17. The voice is just not a good suit for the character and took me out of the immersion a little bit. Drax’s voice isn’t terrible per se, it just lacks the proper cadence. It’s like they just grabbed someone without any formal training and said do your best impression of a brute.
One of the biggest issues I had is one I’ve been having for a while. Failing button prompts sometimes don’t result in a fail screen. That’s not right. When I fail a prompt I should get a ‘Game Over. Retry?’ screen, not have the action performed anyways. It’s frustrating because what’s the point of playing if the prompts are just going to be ignored for 70% of the time.
The inability to move the camera is kind of disappointing. There were a couple scenes where I had limited visibility of where I needed to go and being able to move the camera would have helped greatly. Trying to find the ‘sweet spot’ to walk to where the camera angles change isn’t always the easiest thing to do.
After following a rather slow and uneventful episode, ‘Who Needs You’ is simply excellent. It rivals Episode 1 for action, fun, humor, story, and music, not to mention the emotional impact it will have on you. Unfortunately Telltale’s main issue of inconsequential button prompt failures is a rather big one and it’s one they still don’t seem to be improving on. If they could just fix that issue I’m sure they can make these games even better. If anything Telltale can deliver us some really great stories and the story they’re telling this time around is one worth witnessing, so I implore you to check it out. If you’re a fan of the Guardians and/or Marvel you won’t be disappointed, but be aware, after this episode you might need a hug.