MARVEL’s Guardians of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series (MGotG) started off really promising, similar but a refreshing twist on what fans of the big screen version know and love. Episode two however was a disappointment for me, it fell flat is far too many places and whilst the side story of Rocket’s origin was indeed fun to explore, overall the pace dropped too much for me and it became all a little meh. I really hoped that Episode Three ‘More than a feeling’ would get the series back on track and show my player choices starting to have an effect the story-line, thankfully it does.
Episode 3 picks up with Star Lord and Gamora on the path to trying to find the mysterious figure appearing as Peter’s Mother speaking to him via the Eternity Forge. Just as with Rocket in Episode 2, we get to see more back story of the Guardians as the Eternity Forge continues to share their memories as each member relive past events with this episode featuring a past memory to open the episode of Peter and his mum as her illness begins to show more and more, scaring a young Peter. Next we see Gamora reliving her past training alongside Nebula before Nebula had cybernetics installed by Thanos and undertaking a mission from Thanos.
Experiencing these past memories allows for some nice player choices that shape that memory in either dialogue exchanges or decisions that could influence character relationships in the present. Though I did enjoy seeing into Rocket’s past in episode 2, I did enjoy the exchanges between Gamora and Nebula, getting an insight into how they were both raised and treated by the Mad Titan Thanos which shaped events leading to the animosity between them in the present. The dialogue exchanges are really well written and back in tone with Episode One with a nice comedic edge to some of the moments with one in particular making me chuckle and laugh, so I won’t spoil which one it was but it should be obvious.
I will not go into too much of the story to avoid spoiling it, but the pacing here is much better than the last episode with a quicker flow to exchanges and deeper story progression along with side moments with the rest of the Guardians which leads to some truly fun elements that fit the tone and expectations from a Guardians of the Galaxy story. My main complaint is the speed at which this episode breaks down the six chapters that make up all the episodes in a Telltale game. In the first 40 minutes I had completed four chapters, and those chapters pretty much consisted of doing nothing more than dialogue decisions and limited on the rails interaction with a few QTE events during the memory sections. The final two chapters were really where the main gameplay came into action with player decisions that would shape the main story progression becoming more obvious. Happily it has a much more action packed finale than the lackluster end to Episode 2.
The introduction of a new character really gave a new ability to bring some laughs and genuinely nice and funny moments to the team with some opportunities for the player to shape this version of Peter Quill as they see fit. There are certainly plenty of choices that would require several playthroughs just to see how they turn out whilst in Episode 2 I had no desire to revisit any of the choices I had made. It certainly takes a lot of what made the opening episode so much fun to play which was sadly missing from episode 2, so to get back on the right track with this was a much welcome factor. I am enjoying the main story which really has a Guardians of the Galaxy feel very much I the tone of the animated series of GotG than the big screen version, but uses the love of music to help both tell the story and give some levity to the characters at key moments.
I am relieved to say that ‘More than a feeling’ was as enjoyable as episode one, with good story telling and character development that allowed me the freedom to make choices both small and large to influence the story path going into episode 4. Exploring the past of Gamora and Nebula did come across similar to how it does in the big screen GotG Vol 2, but depending on which choices you make in their dialogue exchanges made their relationship far more interesting for me. I managed to complete it in just less than 90 minutes, which after waiting quite a while since Episode 2 to play was a shame. I would like to have a meatier episode to play for the third and middle episode in this series but it did do enough to get me hyped for episode 4 which by the thumbnail looks as though it will focus on Drax next as the side story along the main story progression.
I am enjoying this take on the GotG again after episode two really dropped the ball for me. The cocktail of comedy and story telling worked well here with character exchanges that were natural and did not feel forced. My player choices felt as though they had actual impact although I do still find it annoying to have Rocket suddenly act up despite a previous dialogue exchange go well for Peter and him. The QTE event work well but the on the rails feel outside of big story set pieces require little effort to complete and having the player to push up on the left stick just to move a Peter forward for ten seconds just felt tedious. But this episode for me at least, has the series back on track after a worrying second episode. The length of the episodes will make this a great “wait for it all to be released” binge and having the first 40 minutes being mostly dialogue and basic on the rails sections could have benefited from having some more interactivity before the main bulk in the final two chapters kicked in.
I am enjoying my time with this Telltale series again, I only hope the recently launched Batman Season 2 and Minecraft: A Story Mode Season 2 do not lead to a lengthy wait for Episodes 4 and 5 as such short episodes mean it is easy to forget choices made here, but this episode having some replay value just to see the outcome of fun choices should make the wait for the next episode somewhat less painful.