Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, Episode One: Tangled Up In Blue is quite a mouthful, so don’t expect me to say THAT particular title very often. Despite the overly long title I was all too eager to dip my toes into another Telltale narrative, and starring one of my favourite bands of misfit heroes no less! While the characters deviate from the now famous MCU visuals, Star-Lord’s distinctive red jacket and face mask make an appearance for a familiar flare of style. All of the characters more closely resemble their comic book counterparts, and I’m sure that will please some of the older diehards of the series. The voice acting is stellar, especially by Nolan North voicing Rocket Raccoon. He’s performed the role before for Marvel Heroes, however the telltale games call for a broad range of emotion which he is already displaying adroitly. I’m looking forward to the continued squabbles between Rocket and pretty much everyone else on the crew as the later episodes release. His jerkishness is usually the cause of and solution to all of their problems.
But how does Tangled Up In Blue measure up to the other telltale series intros? The first episode is usually the launching point to really get you invested, and it’s hard to follow up on some of the most notable narrative games of the last decade. Tales From the Borderlands is their most recent sci-fi entry and it’s easy to draw parallels. Musical introductions and wisecracking leads with great hair and cool jackets. Like most of their other series, action is split up into cinematic events chock full of quick-time commands, conversations with the now infamous dialogue wheel and small free roam areas containing interactables and puzzles. The free roam areas get some cool new toys, Star-Lord can fly between levels and hover in mid-air on his rocket boots, allowing more unique areas than I’ve seen in past games. You also have access to a time scanner that shows the outline of past events, handy for investigating the scene of a battle. The main choices don’t seem too impactful now, though things tend to come back to bite you down the road in these games. The main fight sequence on display is one of their better uses of the quicktime system, even though firing guns felt a LITTLE wonky.
The plot hits all the right points for me in a new adventure, especially one involving the Guardians. They don’t worry too much over origin stories or where they’re at in the timeline, assuming you have at least the basic knowledge of who they are and why they’re together (If you’ve seen the first Marvel Guardians movie you’ll know all you need to). An early fight with Thanos, an appearance by the Nova Corps and even a visit to Knowhere before jet-booting through an asteroid field got me going “Oh yes, this is the game I wanted”. They even nail the humour of the group, Drax dead panning at human metaphor and Star-Lord smart-assing his way through serious fights. Unfortunately, and here’s probably the worst thing I can say about this first entry, it’s surprisingly short. I can’t definitively call it the shortest episode of any Telltale game I’ve played. However it all moved a little too quickly in my opinion, taking a little under two hours to complete. The series is well set up with a main villain(?) in Hala, and a mysterious artifact called the Eternity Forge, but otherwise not a lot of ground was covered. Here’s hoping they knock it out of the park with a strong follow up in Episode Two. I know I’ll be waiting on it for my next Telltale fix.
The publisher provided us with a copy of Telltales: Guardians of the Galaxy for review purposes.