Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Episode One: Tangled Up in Blue (Xbox One) Review

By Josh Di Falco 03.05.2017

Review for Marvel

Telltale Games is a master class above the rest of the pack when it comes to delivering emotionally charged but equally gripping adventure stories. The developer's latest series is sure to be a hit with Marvel fans, by taking on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. The first of a five-episode series, titled Tangled Up in Blue, throws the Guardians straight into the mix with Thanos, as the large, purple villain has stolen the Eternity Forge from an ancient Kree tomb. How does this latest adventure fare against previous Telltale titles?

From the opening scenes, the main thing that is most obvious is that Star-Lord/Peter Quill, Gamora and Drax do not at all share likenesses to their film counterparts. However, this does not detract at all because this is not supposed to be linked to the films at all, but is rather an original story. Rocket and Groot round out the Guardians, bringing with them their cuteness combined with their cheekiness. The opening portions of this episode is meant to quickly introduce each of the Guardians to new players, while skipping the origin tale to instead establish their existing relationships with each other in this story.

The Buzzcocks - 'Why Can't I Touch It' opens up proceedings in typical Star-Lord fashion. Combined with the title song 'Livin' Thing' by Electric Light Orchestra, this first episode has a real 1970's flair to it that Star-Lord could only have brought from Earth. While Peter Quill is rocking out, the space police Nova Corps send the Guardians a distress call, which soon gets them thrown into the deep end when they must bring Thanos in during his attempt to steal the Eternity Forge, a powerful and mysterious artefact.

While the story is not anything special, it is the characters and their interactions with each other through the spoken dialogue that really brings the emotional connection to each of the main cast. Of course, it is only possible with some brilliant voice actors who play their respective characters quite well. Rocket is the hot-headed cracker of the group with his cheeky tricks and plans to get rich quick, while Drax is the ever-destroying brute hell-bent on revenge for the death of his wife and daughter. The former assassin Gamora is at war with herself over the situation with Thanos and her sister, Nebula, while Groot is always loveable every time he says, "I am Groot". None of these characters feels out of sync, and watching these characters trade quips and remarks only strengthens the attachment with each of them.

Screenshot for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Episode One: Tangled Up in Blue on Xbox One

The gameplay is as expected from these types of stories, with the game playing out as a graphic adventure riddled with Quick-Time Events (QTE) during fight scenes and the like. The timed dialogue options allow players to influence how the story plays out, with minor differences depending on how certain situations are answered. Though they make minor differences in Episode 1, they may become something larger in later Episodes. There a few play areas where Star-Lord can move around and interact with environmental hot spots, which help in developing some minor background details, while hidden Easter Eggs are sure to make fans happy.

The fight scenes are choreographed nicely, as each of the characters get plenty of opportunity to throw their weight around with various QTEs. These portions are very generous in how much time they offer, while a missed button press does not always lead to having to restart, but rather the story is very good and just going with it. Because of this, some scenes will play out in different minor ways, though for the most part it is still a linear narrative.

The main issue with this first episode comes down to the technical issues that happen. During some cutscenes that appear to be elementally busy, the screen may freeze for a second, or the frame rates skip. While these things do not break the game, it is an annoyance that detracts from the overall emotion of the game. Investing time into these characters and this story is good and well, but these animation glitches can disrupt the flow of the game.

Screenshot for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Episode One: Tangled Up in Blue on Xbox One

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Tangled Up in Blue is an excellent pilot that does a superb job in introducing each of the Guardians to new players, while remaining very faithful to their source material. The story poses a few interesting discussion points, which can easily see this story heading into a few different directions, while touching on themes such as friendship and trust, with a hint of something larger looming in the distance. However, this episode suffers from technical problems that are an annoyance. Coupled with the dry humour that falls flat, causing a few eye-rolls more often than not, it shows that there is definitely room for improvement in subsequent episodes.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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