Okay, I have to say I finished the episode with very mixed feelings. And it’s not the type where there is a true mix and you go like “yeeeeah, it was ok, but also some things were kind of not so ok” – NO! I mean the typical polar opposite opinions about something (and most things when it comes to opinion / decision-making and me. In truth I am very hyped by this game. I love the guardians as a franchise and I loved them even more when the Vol1 movie came out in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because they are not only action-packed, but have that little pinch of comedy spice in their … well everything, So ever since my eyes were laid on the title I was all over it like hot Indian pita with curry … damn I love it. But as that hype went on (and trust me I still have it, and I can’t wait for episode 2 to be out), I have my concerns about the title and the direction it’s going.
First of all, I asked myself, how is this series going to play out? Is it going to follow the original guardians or take us to the cinematic universe perhaps? To be fair I got the movie vibe straight up from the main menu. I mean come on, the song … the characters’ positioning – even the title itself. I felt happy and hyped, because while I do like the comic characters I’m a big fan of the movie and can’t wait for the second one to come out just in a matter of a week or so. But we all know that movie universes, while do follow what’s cannon and not, do have their slight alterations in order to make everything work as it should. And the main reason that I loved it more than other movies in that universe was how James Gunn managed to mix in action scenes with comedy and humor. And I’m not talking about that typical type of “clumsy” comedy as I like to call it, which you see in romantic comedies usually, or that other one that I don’t find funny at all in the face of pure retardness to the point where it gets ridiculous, I’m talking about witty humor that doesn’t try to overwhelm you, but is mixed into the action just like 2 beautiful ice cream flavors, leaving a delicious aftertaste in your mount, and if you’re like me, a person who very much likes ice cream, you’d probably want more … NOW!. If I have to go even further down this pointless road, I’d say that the movie was like chocolate chip cookie dough. The dough is the action superhero movie, which is good on its own, however the chocolate chips inside the dough (which represent the comedy) make it 100 times better. Ok, but enough about the movie, basically what I’m trying to say, before my thought completely derails, is that I was hoping that the game follows this standard and gives me an equal or even better experience than the movie. And while it does manage to do that, my worries creep in.
Let’s talk about the characters first, before I go into anything else. Before all I’ll gladly say that the guardians felt like their usual selves, especially Star-Lord and Rocket. Peter is the typical classy goofball, who is willing to crack a joke out of every situation and is remarked for his witty comments even to the likes of Thanos. Rocked is also that same greedy little fur ball, who on one hand is all about money, money and more money, but at the end of it all has s heart somewhere beneath all that fur. I was just confused as to why he got all butthurt when I tried to joke around with him at his part of the bar scene, but it’s good that you can redo stuff (tee hee). Anyways, generally speaking I did it because I wanted to keep everyone from my team happy … well as much as that would be possible, because knowing Telltale, I was gonna have to pick sides at some point, whether I wanted to or not and seriously, this is something I want to whine about, because not as much here, as I see it in The Walking Dead S3, especially in episodes 3 and 4 now. Hopefully I don’t forget. Anyways, Drax is the reckless “revenge” killing machine as we all know and love and Groot is, well Groot, nuff said, best tree ever, I love him and now I will mentally die in the theater from baby Groot next movie from cuteness overload :3. My only concern is with Gamora’s character. I know she is usually serious and conscious about things and wants to do the right thing, but to be honest this is how I felt she faired in episode one: half of the episode she was trying to crack some witty lines, that came out as rather bland and awkward, then the other half she turned into this whiny mess, arguing with Rocket about everything and Heaven forbid you decide to turn the corpse over to the collector, you will never hear the end of it from her. Anyway, what I’m saying is, I hope she feels more natural in future episodes, in comparison to the stiff Gamora we saw here.
As for my other concern, it’s basically down to the chocolate chips in the dough. I have to say, the comedy was not that bad, but it was definitely not on the level I’d expected it to be. What I’m saying is that I know Telltale can do better and here I will give an example of another one of their own collection and that is Tales from the Borderlands. It’s the default Telltale experience, set in the world of the Borderlands games, but the comedy there was 10/10. I enjoyed it so much, it made the experience so lighthearted and amazing to the point of me not being able to control my laughter in some situations. Also some choices produced variable comedic situations and this is another thing I loved. I know that maybe the guardians are meant to have a heavier setting, however, there were so many missed situations for comedy. For example – the bar scenes. Hello? Comedy, you there? No? Okay, what the hell? Yeah, there were some heartwarming situations, but that’s not really the place for them to occur, while the guardians are getting drunk, after killing … a certain someone, who I will not name for the purpose of no more spoiling. Anyway, point being is, it was a missed opportunity for a comedic situation, rather than the butthurt Rocket I got after making a joke in a conversation with him.
Anyway, let’s talk about the story, because I want to unleash the spoiler alert, so without further ado, proceed on your own accord, but I will try not to be too giving away.
Story wise I thought that the game universe would follow the cinematic universe as a canon, however I am not so sure in that anymore. I think it’s just as a standalone story itself, set in the comic verse, which is good on one hand, because they can work more freely with the franchise and I am actually having really high expectations of the plotline. To be fair, I will just go straight out and say it. Telltale, please surprise me. The way they set their things in episode 1, I can kind of guess what the general plotline will be about and what might happen, relating to some certain events, which occurred, which were kind of surprising at first, however, prove me wrong. I mean, I hope there will be some unexpected turns, just as there were in The Walking Dead, season 3. I hate when I can predict storylines, alas most of the cases I can.
Other than that – this is the *SPOILER* section. First off, we are called by the Nova Corps to help out with Thanos and while I was expecting a confrontation, it took me by surprise that it happened so suddenly. Top it off, his death happened so anti-climactically and so sudden. Yeah, I know the weapon Rocket built was said to be overpowered and he needed time to make it work (tho I found it funny how a screwdriver and a few punches got the job done for most things) and that it has only one blast, but that was it. One blast and it was over. I found it anti-climactic, because while it was a tough battle and he did beat the guardians a bit … there was no build up. The buildup happened off-screen pre-episode 1. I know it’s well known that Thanos is an intergalactic baddie and he is like super overpowered and to be feared, but in this fight he felt … lacking. I know they are probably planning to bring him back from the dead with that device thing that Hala wants to use to resurrect the kree with. I find it funny how she wants to resurrect the kree and she needs a sacrifice for every single one of them and I remember thinking “wow – from one tyrant, wanting to conquer to universe, to the next”. Like come on people, get better #goals.
I don’t really think I need to go in depth about gameplay, it’s your standard Telltale experience of exploration, story and everyone’s favorite QTE. One interesting feature I want to mention here is the use of the jets to get to higher levels and explore other parts of structures when prompted to explore. I like when Telltale do these game specific features. Every game, which is not The Walking Dead, which is a shame, actually, to not have a game specific mechanic, no matter how small it is. But anyway, I thought that was a nice touch and I really enjoyed using it. Also the time thingy, I forgot what it was called, but basically it was that device that Peter uses in order to establish events that occurred. I found that quite wonky to be honest and allow me to tell you why. When I played the episode, I was supposed to use the device to find out which corpse had the item I needed for progression. However I ran around, kept using it but nothing really occurred for me. I did find the device myself by exploring everything, however the interesting thing is that the second time I played the episode, I actually managed to activate it at the exact right position for the event to occur (you might be wondering why would I do that again when I know what to do and to you my friend I say … shut up, ok!!! I do things my way!!!). Point is, maybe don’t make the activation radius that small. I’m sure I was quite extensive the first time. Also, one last point, I love how in battle QTE we get to control all guardians, not only Star-Lord, as we do in exploration and conversation sections.
I feel like I need a paragraph for music, because Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack was and will always be awesome retro songs. That’s another part that brought me straight into the cinematic universe vibe and I’m glad they kept that, because the movie’s soundtrack choice was brilliant, I have no doubts for part 2 and the game sure doesn’t fall behind as well. Definitely will be looking into songs myself.
Verdict tiiiiiiiime 7/10. I want to give it more, but there are some things, which I talked about, I want to see improving. I’m going to skip the final paragraph about me telling you how this game is so worth it, because to every Marvel fan out there, you gotta already own it and to the rest of you, it’s worth it. Go get it … now :).
Anyways, I didn’t forget that thing I wanted to talk about, however I decided to leave it for the episode 4 review of The Walking Dead, because it was more relevant there.