Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Episode 3 on PC
The more I play of Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the more perfect the studio’s formula seems to mesh with Marvel’s IP. While I’m still not convinced that the decisions really matter, I found myself smiling through episode three of Guardians of the Galaxy. And honestly, I don’t feel like I’ve enjoyed a Telltale series like it since Tales from the Borderlands back in 2014.
Episode three, titled ‘More Than a Feeling’ continues on from the cliffhanger players found themselves at by the end of episode two. It follows the Guardians as they stumble upon a mysterious ally, granting them the ability to uncover the secrets of the Eternity Forge. Despite episode three still moving things along in this regard, the focus is elsewhere. Just as episode two had moved things forward while providing an insight into the background of Rocket, this time its Gamora and her relationship with Nebula that comes under the microscope.
This is arguably my biggest praise of the series so far. Telltale has been gifted some incredibly eccentric and charismatic characters in the Guardians, and they’re utilizing them effectively. Sure, Rocket seems irrational and emotionally unstable, but then we got to see why in episode two. How he’s struggling to come to terms with an emotional trauma in his past. Episode two portrayed the character in a different light, and one that changes your perceptions and how you’ll think about responding to him in future episodes. Episode three did this just as well, if not better than how episode two handled Rocket’s past. Gamora and Nebula’s relationship is pretty much in tatters, but there was clearly a time, as shown in the episode, that the sisters truly cared for each other. It’s the events that led to this friction between the siblings that becomes the main focus of the episode, and it continues to flesh out the characters in a way that affects the way you’ll tackle decisions later in the series, even if it’s in just a minor way.
As for the gameplay in Guardians of the Galaxy episode three, action and conversation are the main orders of the day. There’s very little walking around environments or solving little puzzles this episode, although it does show up in the latter stages. This felt like it really slowed the pace of the episode down, not really adding anything to the experience except 10 minutes to its running time. It’s a shame, because otherwise the pacing in Guardians of the Galaxy’s third episode had remained a fairly fast-paced and cinematic experience up until that point. While I appreciate having the opportunity to work with the other Guardians to help me solve puzzles or use Peter’s thruster boots, it all feels a little unnecessary and is the weakest aspect of the episode. This is especially true thanks to the clunky handling in these sections. Moving around environments feels stiff and outdated, and it pulled me right out of the immersive experience Telltale had created up until that point.
One of my biggest gripes with Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy series so far was the lack of consequence in many of its decisions. While I felt one particular choice had left me troubled for hours after I’d made my decision, it was still largely lackluster. This continues in episode three. More Than a Feeling arguably brings the most significant decision of the series so far, and I genuinely feel it could drastically alter the way the series plays out among the community now. Whether Telltale will follow through with what would no doubt be a more complex storyline and experience for players remains to be seen, but I’m certainly intrigued. Aside from this, though, the rest of the decisions you make feel inconsequential and nothing that a one-minute conversation in a latter episode won’t patch up.
Telltale is clearly trying hard to make their Guardians series feel like Guardians of the Galaxy. Whether it’s the goofy montage that plays out to a typical Guardians track, the bickering in the group, or just one of Drax’s superbly-delivered one-liners, episode three continued to just feel like a good time. The signature Guardians of the Galaxy humor was once again present, too. A slapping fight that just kept going became a particular highlight that reminds you of the lighthearted space adventure you’re on. Despite it sounding a little silly, it works because it’s the kind of dumb thing this ragtag group does. Just as Tales from the Borderlands didn’t take itself seriously, Guardians doesn’t either, and it meshes perfectly with the story that Telltale is weaving.
As I write this review, I’m once again eagerly awaiting the next chapter of my Guardians of the Galaxy adventure. The series has the same essence of excellent writing and humor that Tales of the Borderlands embodied, and if it continues I may have just found my next favorite Telltale series. Though, most of this will come down to exactly much of an impact this episode’s big decision has on the remaining episodes.
Score: 4/5 – Great
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