2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy is still the best Star Wars movie ever made. Charming, packed with action and cruising around an unfamiliar galaxy without the need to stop off for some quick exposition, it’s one of the best films in the Marvel library to date. A combination of heart and quality directing from James Gunn and his cast resulted in a flick with a lightning-fast pace and humour set to the backdrop of a catchy soundtrack and a third act twist that made you want to jump off the couch and dance.
That’s the template for Telltale’s crack at the franchise. Five rogues in the form of Peter Quill’s Star Lord, Gamora, Rocket Raccoon, Groot, and Drax as they emulate the personalities from the big screen. That’s both the greatest strength and weakness of the first chapter, Tangled In Blue, as it may be foot-tappingly familiar but it doesn’t exactly take any brave liberties with the characters like Telltale did with their Batman series last year.
Marvel’s hesitance to allow Telltale to deviate from the set path clearly shows
It’s a pity really, because there are moments when this first episode of Guardians of the Galaxy shows some actual promise, whether it be some light puzzle-solving using neat gadgets or small interactions with the crew that adds some layer to their established personalities. It’s an episode which runs out of steam right after its first act however, with choices seeming to matter very little as Marvel’s hesitance to allow Telltale to deviate from the set path clearly shows.
Maybe the biggest fault in Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t its lack of originality, but rather its pacing
A pity really, because there is a solid foundation underneath all of this familiarity. The new visuals pop, the soundtrack is clearly on point and there is at least one choice that might have some ramifications for the crew of the Milano. Maybe the biggest fault in Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t its lack of originality, but rather its pacing.
Tangled in Blue certainly kicks off with a big bang, but it finds itself meandering throughout the rest of the episode, stringing stories together haphazardly until the conclusion finally catches up with it. It feels very much at times like the kind of Telltale game that you’re too used to, going through the motions and yet somehow not playing to the strengths of the characters it stars.
I’ve still got hope for Guardians of the Galaxy though. While the pacing may be inconsistent and the race for a McGuffin hardly the most original narrative to tackle, it does set the stage for a bigger threat that has barely been done justice in the Marvel Universe. Guardians of the Galaxy may not be Telltale’s finest hour with a comic book adaptation, but at least it’s a familiar tune that is worth a listen.