Guardians of the Galaxy
Developed by Telltale Games
Published by Telltale Games
*Please Note: This Review is of the PlayStation 4 Version*
The story of Guardians of the Galaxy follows everybody’s favorite team of space rogues as they assist the Nova Corps in taking down the mad titan; Thanos. Upon defeating the legendary Marvel villain; the Guardians stumble upon a mysterious relic known only as “The Eternity Forge” which they find out has the ability to resurrect people from the dead. Upon finding this out and the many visions he sees of his mother; Star-Lord sets out across the galaxy with the Guardians in tow to help rescue his mother from the dead. Upon setting out to resurrect the people they hold dearest; the Guardians stumble upon a former Kree leader who wants to use the forge to bring her people back from the brink of extinction and exact revenge on the Nova Corps and the many planets in the galaxy. With lives at stake; The Guardians must face the Kree aswell as their greatest threat yet…Themselves.
In terms of the story; I personally feel that Guardians of the Galaxy was a great experience that really has a lot of strong messages such as the power of true friendship, self sacrifice and what people would be willing to do to save the ones they love. I personally had an emotional connection to this season and I loved the bond that you could form between Peter & His Mother since it added to a lot of the games emotional moments and it actually moved me to tears at points (Because of how beautiful it was and personal reasons). I also liked how the game explored some of the backstories of the other characters such as Rocket where we find out he found love or Drax where we got to see the bond between him and his daughter; Kamaria. For a final brief note; I also liked how the game also references other characters connected to Guardians of the Galaxy through Peters email inbox with characters mentioned including Cosmo the Space Dog and Howard the Duck.
All in all, I feel Guardians had a really strong opening season that could lead to many more great adventures should Telltale pursue a second season.
In terms of the Gameplay; Guardians of the Galaxy like most previous games from the company takes on the usual Telltale Games brand of point and click adventure gameplay. This gameplay heavily consists on you moving your character (Primarily; Star-Lord) around the many different locations the game has to offer while interacting with people, items and the environment using a cursor which you move around using the right analogue stick. Of course; It wouldn’t also be a Telltale title without at least some form of combat which is mostly done through QTE’s (Quick Time Events) which Guardians does have plenty of and while it’s not as good as the combat gameplay present in Batman: The Enemy Within (So Far); I did like that each individual Guardians gameplay felt true to them such as Star-Lord being trigger happy (L2 & R2) or Gamora always knowing her next move leading her to get button inputs that are invisible (Predict a button). A new feature I did like in Guardians was the ability to explore different floors of certain locations by using Star-Lords rocket boosters to fly up to them. I feel that while it was small and literally situational for the task at hand; it was almost like it still felt a brand new element to the gameplay.
Other than the fact I liked the fact that all the Guardians were playable at one point or another in the season; I don’t really think there is a lot more I can say about the gameplay other than the features I have mentioned I liked and the rest is just the usual brand of Telltale gameplay.
The sound section of Guardians of the Galaxy is probably hands down my favorite part of the game apart from the story. Guardians of the Galaxy has a voice cast that’s just as good as the actual soundtrack but I’ll start with the actual music. In terms of actual licensed music; Guardians easily has the best soundtrack in a Telltale game (Tales from the Borderlands originally held that mantle) to date with many classic songs in a similar vain to the movies. The soundtrack includes songs from incredible musicians such as Queen (Stone Cold Crazy), Hall & Oates (You Make My Dreams Come True), King Harvest (Dancing in the Moonlight) and more to name a few however the best song on the soundtrack is Livin’ Thing as performed by Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) which plays in pretty much every episode of the game and is featured as the main menu music. You can check out the full soundtrack below.
Now we move on to the voice cast and Guardians of the Galaxy probably has one of the best ensemble voice casts in recent years. The game features some incredible performances from an extremely talented cast with the Guardians of the Galaxy being voiced by Scott Porter (Injustice 2) [Star-Lord], Nolan North (Uncharted) [Rocket Raccoon], Emily O’Brien (Batman: The Enemy Within) [Gamora], Adam Harirngton (The Wolf Among Us) [Groot] and a great debut from Brandon Paul Eells who portrays the complex character of Drax. The supporting cast are just as good as the heavy hitters in the main cast including Ashly Burch (Horizon: Zero Dawn) who plays Nebula and Johnny Yong Bosch (Persona 4) who portrays Bal’Dinn.
While the whole cast was great I personally have to say that the show stealers of this series were Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time) and Courtenay Taylor (Mass Effect 2) who portray Peter Quill (in his childhood) and Meredith Quill respectively. I felt there was great chemistry between all the characters however Star-Lord’s flashback sequences contained the best chemistry because you really got to form that bond with your sick mother and through the dialogue and the chemistry between Shada and Taylor; it felt real and immersive.
All in all, the sound section as a whole is spectacular and I feel that Telltale truly outdone themselves with this.
In terms of the visuals; I think the art style in Guardians of the Galaxy is perfect and it adds to one of the many reasons why I believe that Telltale were the right people to adapt the world of the Guardians to video game form. Telltale use a very similar comic book style visual to what they used in their Game of Thrones and Batman seasons with each character looking like just the right blend between comic book superhero and realistic protagonist. The many different locations in this game were beautiful to look at from ancient Kree temples to the bowels of Knowhere; Guardians of the Galaxy has many locations that both viewers of the movies and fans of the comics can recognize and truly appreciate. Another thing I really loved was the amount of detail given to the Milano and how you could see every last detail at points from each individual access panel, to the wiring inside the ship and even the iconic tape deck. I also loved the giant action set pieces with one of my favorite sequences in the game taking place during a chase between the Guardians and a giant space worm (While Stone Cold Crazy plays) and I just loved how the visuals on screen had the same frantic and exciting thrill of the movies.
All in all, I didn’t notice any problems with the visuals in Guardians of the Galaxy apart from the game being out of sync at times.
Overall, I feel that Guardians of the Galaxy has had a pretty strong opening season and while it is far from being on par with the Telltale greats like Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us or Batman; Guardians has a special feel to it that gives you a true sense of family. The voice acting, story and soundtrack are all phenomenal and this game had plenty of replayability since there was multiple decisions that could determine the different outcomes of the game. The visuals were decent enough and at the very least faithful to the characters and the gameplay while a little repetitive helped with the story they were telling.
All in all, another great job from Telltale and I look forward to seeing what the future brings for the Guardians.
Score = 8/10
- Great Story that was Heartwarming and fun
- Fantastic Soundtrack
- Superb Voice Acting (Especially Shada & Taylor)
- Visual Set Pieces were amazing to look at
- Great new gameplay elements (Jet Flight, Predict a Button)
- Each Guardians play style felt different
- Plenty of Replay Value
- Sound was out of sync in a few episodes
- Gameplay can at times feel repetitive
Guardians of the Galaxy is available now for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Android & iOS. Thanks go out to Telltale Games for supplying the game and assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Review by Matthew McNamee