Guardians of the Galaxy is the new video game that you can certainly play with your MAC device. It starts off on the right foot, with a great script, great actors, and a universe packed with personality and backed by catchy tunes to explore. If it can continue to deliver the quality of dialogue and panel-perfect action over the course of the rest of the season, it may find itself seated in the upper echelons of Telltale’s catalog. The first of five episodes in the series, “Tangled Up in Blue”, is available on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Mac and mobile devices since April 2017.
Marvel’s interstellar, ragtag Guardians of the Galaxy prove a natural fit for the style of storytelling Telltale puts out these days – and it doesn’t take long into episode one Tangled Up in Blue to recognize why. It manages to pull together some of the best elements of the comic books, the Guardians film adaptations, and Telltale’s ability to deploy well-paced and witty comedy with just enough interactivity to make you feel like a part of the action.
Like Telltale’s recent Batman game, this version of the Guardians doesn’t seem to be ripped directly from either the comics or the movies but is rather a respectful pastiche that skews heavily toward the latter. Rocket, Groot, and Drax are almost indistinguishable from their cinematic incarnations, while Peter Quill, Gamora, and Yondu, the blue guy with the big red mohawk-thing on his head incorporate a lot more traits from their paper-and-ink equivalents. There are also lots of small, clever easter eggs to find for devoted comics fans, which is definitely appreciated.
The voice acting is applause-worthy, especially Nolan North as Rocket. Despite North’s voice being heard in just about every video game ever, he turns it into something so energetic and over the top here you would not have known it was him if you hadn’t been told ahead of time. It’s a spot-on replication of Bradley Cooper’s endearing and memorable performance from the film. Scott Porter’s version of Peter Quill/Star-Lord, the primary hero, is a little lighter on the quippy delivery than Chris Pratt but brings a relatable, emotional depth to the character that fills in the gaps.
The big, knock-down, drag-out showdown early in the episode is a major highlight. Guardians’ gameplay doesn’t stray too far outside the Telltale formula you would come to expect, with only minor but welcome additions like Peter’s rocket boots allowing vertical exploration in some areas. There are semi-tedious detective segments where you wander around looking for the right thing to click on that make you long for the more difficult, puzzle-focused challenges of adventure games past.
There are quippy, well-paced conversations with timed dialogue that affect various characters’ impressions of you. Also are the extended quick-time events which, while they don’t involve any twists beyond hitting buttons really quickly at the right time, are some of the best Telltale has put together, presentation-wise. The big, knock-down, drag-out showdown with one of Marvel’s most iconic super villains early in the episode is a major highlight. You get the joy of controlling each of the guardians and their unique abilities in an alternating fashion, becoming part of an exciting, well-choreographed brawl that looks like it could have come right off the pages of a comic.
When Drax’s fists aren’t flying, and Rocket isn’t pointing a firearm three times his size at anything that moves, Peter is forced to step in to hold a group of big personalities together through a time that calls into question what their place in the galaxy really is. It’s impossible to keep everyone happy all the time, and some of your friends will be almost literally at each other’s throats by the episode’s end, forcing you to take a side.
You will have to see how impactful these choices end up being in later episodes –but for now at least Telltale has done a good job where you feel really important and enjoyable. The series’ five episodes will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC and Mac, as well as the Apple App Store and Google Play. Episode One: Tangled Up in Blue, and subsequent episodes, will cost $7.99. Also the Multi-pack that has Episodes from 2 to 5 tagged with price AU $22.99.