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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 1 - Tangled Up in Blue

Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 2 - 12 (Crowd Play)
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 1 - Tangled Up in Blue takes the characters made famous in 2014's Marvel Cinematic Universe film and gives them a new story that doesn't take place in the MCU, but still stays pretty true to the Guardians and the relationships established in that film.

The visuals of Guardians of the Galaxy seem to be a step above anything we've seen from a Telltale game thus far. The closest that has come out before was last year's Batman game. I couldn't help but notice that the developers felt good enough about the visual quality of this game that they could push the cameras in a little closer and get more detail when the different characters talk. That being said, not all of what was seen was quite right; there were some aspects that seemed almost too clear. For example, you can clearly see inside of each character's mouth as he/ she/ it spoke. You see gums and tongue flapping as the characters talk. While I applaud the attention to detail, each character seemed to have some light source inside their head making elements that would best be left hidden noticeable and somewhat distracting at times. Nit-picky I know, but I found myself distracted quite frequently by this odd detail. It just seemed like the team was going a little too far to show what kind of detail they were able to work into their models.

It should also be noted that you won't be seeing the digital likenessess of Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista while playing through this game. While the various characters don't look bad, they are definitely not modeled after the actors from the movie, though I feel like both Rocket Raccoon and Groot do look like their silver-screen counterparts. That being said, outside of these differences in the character models, everything else about the world around the Guardians feels like it was lifted from the movie.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy also hits the spot when it comes to sound. Star-Lord is played by Scott Porter of Friday Night Lights and Hart of Dixie note and Gamora is voiced by Emily O'Brien (The Young and the Restless), while Rocket, Groot and Drax are brought to life by voice actors Nolan North, Adam Harrington and Brandon Paul Eells, respectively. While there are some small personality differences in these characters when compared to how they were portrayed in the movie, for the most part, the tones and inflections of the Guardians comes through well with these actors on the roster.

Of course, you can't talk about audio and Guardians of the Galaxy without touching on background music. As the team travels around the various destinations found in Tangled Up in Blue, players will be treated to appropriately sounding 70's and 80's style music that really helps to land the overall Guardians of the Galaxy feel.


Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 1 - Tangled Up in Blue starts off with a fairly big event as the five heroes end up squaring off against Thanos himself. This is a fight that all five members of the team are raring to join, and more than one of them has a personal vendetta against the Mad Titan. The brutish Drax the Destroyer wants revenge for his family's death, while Gamora was raised by the tyrant himself and trained to be his personal assassin. Meanwhile, the likes of Star-Lord, Rocket and Groot recognize Thanos for the evil that he is and want to see him taken down. Of course, Rocket also sees the potential money involved in stopping such a well-known villain.

The resulting fight is probably one of the more fun quick-time sequences that I've come across in a Telltale game, but yes, Telltale is sticking to their quick-time action sequences to pepper the adventure gameplay. Any fans who might have been hoping this game would introduce a new fighting system should know upfront that Telltale isn't changing their practice with this title. Personally, I don't have a problem with this format. Over the years, adventure games have either been too safe or ridiculously easy to die in because you walk through the wrong door or say the wrong thing. Telltale's style seems to find a nice balance between the two worlds.

Without revealing too much, let's just say that the fight with Thanos ultimately results in a rather large and unexpected financial debt that the Guardians need to make good on, and soon. The five heroes will have to make some choices, and one of those involves where to get their much needed funds. That choice appears to have some consequences in later episodes as the game tells you that you have allied yourself with one faction or another, but as always, exactly how that will play out, or how much it could change your experience, won't be clear until it comes to fruition.

To make matters more interesting, the Guardians have stumbled upon a strange ancient artifact and, of course, someone wants to take it from them, and their not against killing for it. This artifact, the Eternity Forge, and what it can do seems to actually be the focus of the series after this initial episode, and that overall plot seems to be kicking off rather nicely by the events in Tangled Up in Blue.


Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 1 - Tangled Up in Blue requires faster fingers during its fight scenes than most Telltale games, but that being said, I don't believe I ever actually missed an event, or if so, it wasn't an instant-death result like seen in The Walking Dead series. Outside of those times when you really need to be at the ready, there wasn't any aspect of Episode 1 that felt difficult. As with other games from Telltale, you will have to make some tough choices, but so far, the most difficult decision really comes down to which of the Guardian's advice you will take in order to earn that money. Rocket suggests one source, Gamora another, and seeing as those recommendations come hot off the heels of a fight between the pair, your choice could easily influence how those shipmates will feel towards you/ Star-Lord during later events. It's hard to tell this early in the series which of these choices will lead to serious consequences, but so far, everything looks fairly open, so even the most difficult choice in this episode didn't feel like something I should have anguished too much over.

Game Mechanics:

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 1 - Tangled Up in Blue adds a couple of new tricks to Telltale's bag, though they feel very Guardians specific, so it will be interesting to see if they are used in other series. For one, Peter Quill/ Star-Lord has his iconic rockets that let him zoom about. While not used frequently in this game, there are times when you will have to employ them to search a large room with multiple floors. Also iconic to Star-Lord are his twin-guns. When you need to use them, you will find yourself firing them off by alternating the left and right mouse clicks. Finally, the few times Peter is separated from the rest of the group, a communications hub appears in the UI where you can ask the other three talking members some questions (Groot is, of course, the one that doesn't have much in the way of dialogue options). It will be interesting to see if and how these new features are employed in the next four episodes.

So far, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series has a lot of potential. While the story doesn't follow the MCU plot, it does feel a lot like that version of those characters, especially when it comes to their motivations and how they behave towards one another. Telltale has always been good at paying the right amount of attention to the source material and it looks like Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy will be another such case.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 7 64Bit Service Pack 1 or higher, Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz Processor, 3 GB RAM, 8 GB Hard Disk Space Free,Nvidia GTS 450+ with 1024MB+ VRAM (excluding GT) Video Card, DirectX Direct X 11, Direct X 11 sound device

Additional: Not recommended for Intel integrated graphics


Test System:

Intel Core i7-3820 CPU @ 3.60GHz, 16 GB dual-channel DDR3,Windows 10 Home 64 bit, Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 (4GB)

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox One Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 1 - Tangled Up in Blue Sony PlayStation4 GNOG

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated