Review: Guardians Of The Galaxy – Episode 5 ‘Don’t Stop Believing’
The premiere season of Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy series has come to a close. The last episode ended in a tragic sacrifice that left the Guardians bruised, broken, and in shambles. In Episode 5, Don’t Stop Believing, Hala’s conquest of death, chaos, and destruction seems to be unstoppable as she plots her course for Knowhere. With no more Guardians of the Galaxy to stop her things aren’t looking so good. In an effort to stop the psychotic Kree warlord, Star-Lord must put his quarrels aside, reunite his team, and once again save the Galaxy.
Episode five, the finale, brings some much needed humor to the series after a seriously downer of a penultimate episodes but still knows when and where to interject emotion. One thing I really liked about this series is it’s ability to educe emotion as well as bring out some serious laughs. Nothing from Telltale has quite achieved this since the premiere season of The Walking Dead. The writing in this season has been top notch. It comes as no surprise that it’s currently being adapted in comic form as the writers have opened up some amazing new doors for not only the Guardians but their supporting characters and villains, such as Hela who hasn’t had much of a spotlight until now (is in the comics AND is getting her own Funko Pop! Vinyl Figure).
This whole season has had some pretty amazing fight scenes but one of the best was in episode five itself. The main fight later on in the game had some surprisingly amazing choreography. The interesting thing about this is that it relies on you to hit the button prompts on tie or else it throws off the whole flow of the fight. So while missing a prompt may not matter and you won’t fail (which is still inexcusable) the fight won’t look nearly as cool. The fight was also paired quite nicely with a kickass tune by the 80’s hair rock band Heart (Crazy On You).
Telltale couldn’t finish the series without giving us a cavalcade of technical issues it seems. From graphic issues to audio issues, this episode was a bit of a doozy. One of the big ones I noticed was that, on numerous occasions, I would just walk through a character. I don’t remember this happening before in a Telltale game, but it’s not great. One of the biggest audio issues I encountered was one that I come across often in the world of Telltale. Many times, mostly after scene refreshes, the voice sync would be completely off, sometimes by as much as one second (may not sound like a lot, but it is).
One of my only other concerns with this episode is the lack of kickass music. The episode that came before had an amazing scene paired with Queen’s ‘Stone Cold Crazy’ among some other songs. The first episode (still hasn’t been beat) had Electric Light Orchestra, The Buzzcocks, AND Hall and Oates. Sadly episode five did not come close to rivaling that with their one new song (Crazy On You by Heart) and a rehash of the Buzzcocks ‘Why Can’t I Touch It’ which featured in the premiere. As the music was one of my favorite things about the series, this came as a bit of a disappointment. As a series as a whole, they missed quite a few prime times to include some awesome music from David Bowie (who was referenced, but no music), Pink Floyd, New Order, or other radical 80’s era music.
Telltale sent us on an exceptional adventure in the form of the five episode season of Guardians of the Galaxy. The series was a rollercoaster of emotion to say the least. It had some pure emotion but also was not afraid to break out the gut busters and just get silly with it. The season maintained a more than solid overall quality which seems rare for Telltale these days. Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the first Telltale game’s in a while that I may just play again. They hit it out of the park with this series and I can’t wait till the next season (there has to be one, that post credits scene though).
[A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for review purposes]