Is it just me, or are the Guardians episodes coming out waaaaaay slower than typical Telltale games … or maybe I’m anticipating the story way too much.
Anyways, here we are with episode 3 of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy … finally and I am low and behold still enjoying this game so much even with all the waiting, I detest doing, but if I have to be real, I forget about it most of the time (the perks of having a balloon as a brain).
Before I go into story and character details I actually wish to start this episode’s review with a paragraph about choices. Now usually, I adore Telltale choices, not because they are well thought of and have great variety, which they totally are, with some exceptions of course, but I love them more because they are not seldom difficult to make. I am the type of person who either goes to one end or the other and I find it hard to achieve some form of middle ground. This is mostly the reason why choices are difficult for me to make, however, while I did enjoy the decisions presented in this episode, I found them quite easy … in a way. Indeed, I remember, every time when I play a Telltale game, I get into a moral dilemma or 2 at least per episode, however, here I felt very one-sided. Every choice I was presented with, I could decide upon easily and there was hardly a need for me to ponder over them. There are 2, I believe, decisions, which determine the fate of a character and the ending of the episode, possibly how episode 4 will pan out and I quite enjoy this type of variety. So now, I am expecting a different beginning in episode 4, to follow the 2 different distinct endings in episode 3.
Other than that, choices were well balanced out and of course I will be put in the middle of the team, where one of the choices will get half of my team angry, the other one, will anger the other part of the team. It’s like, I can never get into everyone’s good side and that’s all I ever wanted. Anyways, as far as that goes, I suppose minor decisions we have made in previous episodes will influence who will hate us to what degree. To be fair, reading episode 4’s description, I know things will fall into chaos and I only pray, there is a way for me to fix things. Also, at the end of the game I would just wish the Guardians will be like a happy family again.
Let’s move on to story, to which I will possibly speak about, so … SPOILERS. Episode 3 quickly took me to reminiscence Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, which recently came out and I quite enjoyed. With the whole Celestial One deal and Mantis, which are a much centered point of focus in this episode. Basically we finally meet the one, who has been leading us around with our memories, in an abandoned Kree temple and it turns out to be non-other than Mantis. I was very surprised to see her in this game and to be honest, it was a pleasant surprise, because I quite enjoyed Mantis’ character development in the movie. She didn’t disappoint here as well. Reminds me of those kind characters, who are very socially awkward and can do no one harm. Also I laughed so hard when we were fighting the Kree and Hala at the end of the episode and when she had to defend herself, she just made the soldier cry. Almost pissed myself laughing.
Other than that, the episode is very centered around determining the relationship between Gamora and Nebula. We experience their last parting memory together and we get to see both sides of the coin, not just one side of the story. We can then make the choice whether to encourage Gamora to fix her relationship with Nebula or just tell her to leave her be, to which we see the way Gamora will treat Nebula onward in the plot. I, myself, kept encouraging them to reconcile. I mean, I’ve been doing it since the beginning and it wouldn’t really hurt to have Nebula on my good side, so why the hell not?
The main plot is still centered around the Eternity Forge and we finally get to decide what to do with it – whether we want to unleash its full potential or destroy it. This is the choice which changes the ending of the episode and possibly the outcome in the future and it is a very important decision, however, as I mentioned, I didn’t really ponder too much over it, here even. I know Rocket wants to bring back Lylla, I know Peter and Drax miss their families, however, I decided to still destroy the forge, because A) it was bound to end up in Hala’s hands and the last thing I need is a Kree army tailing me and B) it’s hard to move on from such a loss, let’s not make it harder by reliving everything again. You know, Mantis said something really true. We shouldn’t be focusing on the past and instead live in the now :D.
As far as gameplay goes, most of the episode was dialogue and action sequences and we didn’t really have much to explore on our own. Exceptions make one time when we get to speak to the Guardians, but that is as far as just going around talking to everybody. The second one was at the end of the game, where we do get to solve a mini puzzle as to how to fix the pedestal for the forge. It wasn’t anything that hard, however, I myself really enjoyed it. It shows how great the Guardians actually are when they work as a team and set their differences aside. We also get to use all elements from before – the jet boots and the hologram thingie for tracking past events. And again with combat I loved the fact that, unlike in other games where we only get to control our main character, here we controlled the Guardians as a unit and everyone got a piece of the action.
Concerning character development, I’m glad we get to see different Guardians’ personal stories. In the previous episode we got to experience a lot of Rocket’s ordeals, now we finally get to unravel the assassin sisters’ story and deal with their relations, I really hope we get to see more personal things for Drax and especially Groot. He was holding onto a small plant, which kind of makes me think, is that just a precaution, much like in the first movie when he sacrificed himself and the team had to replant him to grow again. Holy crap, if we get baby Groot for at least episode 5, I will die a happy woman. As for Drax we might get that option if we don’t destroy the Forge, but I don’t know, only time will tell. I really hope we don’t delve much more into Gamora and Rocket though, because we already saw a lot about them and I think we should give at least a bit of spotlight to everyone.
Anyways, as a verdict I will give Guardians of the Galaxy episode 3 an 8/10. I think it does better than episode 1, but a bit worse than episode 2 in terms of moral choices and character development. I guess I’m seeing it that way, because I had already set myself on the “let’s try to reconcile Gamora and Nebula” path right from the very beginning, so it wasn’t hard for me to decide. Also I would have liked a bit more action and exploration sequences in the episode, not so much talking and dialogue only. However, speaking about dialogue, it was very well written, as always kudos to Telltale.
At the end of the day, I am very much looking forward to see now, how a team, which is facing its greatest relation crevasse, will work together for a common cause in episode 4. I am also a bit concerned on that note, mainly because I, as their leader, gotta deal with all that ish.