Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Episode Two: Under Pressure (PC) Review

By Olivia Falk 28.06.2017

Review for Marvel

The titular Guardians aren't the only thing under pressure in the second episode of the ongoing point-and-click adventure series. Following a painfully average first outing, Under Pressure is tasked not only with continuing the established story, but also with giving players a reason to care. Featuring new characters and locales alongside some far more dramatic emotional beats, is there enough here to help the series claw its way out from mediocrity?

Thankfully, the short answer is "yes". While many of the same issues that plagued the first instalment remain present here (occasionally stilted dialogue that abruptly cuts off, choices that feel about as morally ambiguous as attacking adorable puppies, and comedy that lands about 60% of the time), the key component (the story) is vastly improved. Exchanges between characters often have a great deal of emotional weight behind them, whether it's the bitter rivalry between Gamora and Nebula or the distraught outbursts of Rocket Raccoon. In particular, the latter stems from a surprisingly grim plot thread that gives insight to Rocket's tragic past in tear-jerking fashion.

Episode two also marks a point in which some of the setup from episode one has a semblance of payoff. Specifically, a key decision over alliances in act one completely changes the setting of an important confrontation. To avoid spoilers, let's just say that if you miss out on a fight in a certain museum, it's worth going back and making new decisions to get there. Meanwhile, bits and pieces of past conversations float to the surface from time to time, with Drax in particular becoming progressively more troubled depending on the player's responses to him.

Screenshot for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Episode Two: Under Pressure on PC

Speaking of confrontations, while the quicktime events do still have some of the same problems as the first episode (i.e. failing prompts often just leads to slightly clumsier methods of doing things), there at least seems to be more feedback in certain cases. For instance, failing to catch a computer chip as Rocket causes him to get smacked in the face with it, followed by a grumbled discussion as he scrambles to pick it up. It's a nice way of incorporating failures into the narrative in a way that doesn't see "Game Over" screens thrown up for the slightest misstep.

Lastly, the licensed music remains the highlight of the score, with new tracks that cleverly juxtapose the action on-screen. Be it King Harvest's Dancing in the Moonlight playing over a frantic spaceship chase or This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both Of Us complimenting a zero-gravity battle over control of the Milano, the music keeps the smirks coming and the head-bobs going. Just a shame that it occasionally drowns out some of the dialogue; keeping subtitles on isn't a bad idea.

Screenshot for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Episode Two: Under Pressure on PC

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Under Pressure does a good job of showing the cracks that are beginning to form in the Guardians' relationships, while ironically filling some of the cracks that were present in the first chapter's presentation. It still needs some work to make it something truly special, and it remains to be seen whether the consequences will be worth the yawn-inducing build-up. Luckily, things are looking up, and as the main theme suggests, Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy is still very much a Livin' Thing.

Developer

Telltale

Publisher

Telltale

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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