Since the release of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy movie in 2014, the lesser known comic series has become a household name that has children and grown adults around the world saying “I AM GROOT.” The main character of the modern adaptation of Guardians of the Galaxy, Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, is a child of the Earth’s 1980’s; because of this, the music for the movie franchise and the Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series game revolves around the music from the time period and other pop-cultural trends. Although Star-Lord is a fan favorite, he is not an original member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, which allows Marvel and its affiliates to create a unique story revolving around him and the current iconic team as we see in Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series.
Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series is the Telltales adaptation of the franchise many have grown to love over the last three years and follows those characters in an all-new adventure that seems to take place outside of the theatrical timeline. What characters from the comics may make a surprise appearance in this Telltale adaptation?
In Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series Episode 1 “Tangled Up in Blue,” Star-Lord and the other Guardians respond to a distress call from the Nova Corps requesting aid from the Guardians to stop a rampaging Thanos. Although the Guardians respond quickly, they arrive too late and must combat Thanos on their own. When the group catches up to Thanos, they discover that he has done all this over a Cree artifact called the Eternity Forge, which is rumored to have mystical properties. After defeating their arch enemy Thanos, the Guardians go to celebrate their victory at the cosmic bar to share in the glory. After the celebrations are over, Peter and the other guardians must decide what to do with their haul and the player must choose between making a deal with the Nova Corps or The Collector.
As the Guardians are waiting for the buyer, Star-Lord has a realistic memory about his deceased mother that ends with a female voice saying come find me. No matter what decision the player makes, the Guardians are attacked by a race of blue aliens called the Kree, who were rumored to be extinct. The battle goes the way of the Kree and the Guardians lose the Eternity Forge. Star-Lord and either Drax or Gamora give chase. The chapter ends with Star-Lord barely surviving his encounter with Hala the Accuser and the Guardians discovering how and why the Eternity Forge got its name.
Interestingly enough, the first chapter’s title might be a reference to Bob Dylan’s song “Tangled Up in Blue.” Certain lines of “Tangled Up in Blue” tie into the events that transpire throughout the chapter.
She turned around to look at me
As I was walkin’ away
I heard her say over my shoulder
We’ll meet again someday
On the avenue
Tangled up in blue
So now I’m goin’ back again
I got to get to her somehow
All the people we used to know
They’re an illusion to me now
Whether or not the lyrics of the song have anything to do with why the developers chose the title for the first chapter of Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series, it is still a 1970/1980’s reference. The developer’s choice of songs for the game seems rather lacking and forthcoming though, where a player could guess what is going to happen based off of the songs that they have heard throughout the chapter. The song choices seem rather forced and makes it feel like they are trying to play off the nostalgia of the first movie too much, rather than creating their own unique memorable experience. Yes, “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall and Oats, “Living Thing” by Electric Light Orchestra, and “Why Can’t I Touch It?” by Buzzcocks are all great songs, but they still all hint at the events that are to come rather than enhancing the moment that is occurring in front of your eyes.
Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series Ep 1’s story is rather simplistic, focusing predominately on Star-Lord and the Eternity Forge. For a majority of the first episode, Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket Racoon are Star-Lord’s sidekicks rather than his partners. Star-Lord can interact with the rest of the crew, either in the ship or through his headpiece, but other than the battle with Thanos, the player mainly interacts with either Gamora or Drax. If the player chooses Drax as his main ally, the two will go guns-a-blazing after their foes; whereas if the player chooses Gamora, they will stealthily proceed throughout the levels.
The levels are beautifully laid out, making it feel like you are stepping into a Marvel comic. The characters in Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series are modeled off of their modern comic counterparts. Fans of the movie franchise may not like the Telltale depiction because the characters look different than the movie adaptation. However, the characters act like their movie counterparts. Players can use Star-Lord’s jet boots to escape from enemies and explore different levels. The game plays like any other Telltale game but the Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series game seems to have fewer options than its predecessor and in the end, the decisions you make seem to have no significant results yet. The episode does not offer much replay value at the moment either; it only offers two major choices that have no changing value at this time.
The voice actors for Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series do a great job embodying their characters and making them sound similar to their movie counterparts. Famous voice actors Nolan North and Adam Harrington team up to embody the dynamic duo of outcasts Rocket Racoon and Groot. Scott Porter takes up the mantle of Star-Lord, who is best known for his roles in other Telltale games, Tim Armstrong in Scorpion, and Jason Street in Friday Night Lights. Brandon Paul Eells may not look the part, but he makes a convincing Drax; Mr. Eells is still a relatively new actor with the role of The Daves from Watch Dogs being his most notable role. Although the male voice actors may contribute a decent performance in the game, Faye Kingslee and Emily O’ Brien do a great job showing their male counterparts that female voice actors can give a kickass performance as well. Fay Kingslee is best known for her roles as TimeKeeper Jean in In Time, Citra Talugmai in Far Cry 3, and Faith Connors in Mirror’s Edge Catalyst. Emily O’ Brien is best known for her roles as Jana Fisher in The Young and The Restless, Eryn in Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor, and Faris Scherwiz in World of Final Fantasy.
Overall, Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series Ep 1 “Tangled Up in Blue” is a decent first chapter for a Telltale game, but it feels lacking for a game centered around the Marvel universe. The special effects and sounds for the game are decent and rival other space themed games. The soundtrack feels rather lacking, focusing more on songs to hint at what is to come rather than letting the player enjoy the moment and drawing them in further. Hopefully when the second chapter releases, Telltale will structure the soundtrack differently and have the other Guardians play a more significant role.
Guardians of The Galaxy: The Telltale Series Ep 1 is available now on pretty much all platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, PS4, and Xbox One. For more information, check out the official website.