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Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Don't Stop Believin' (PC) artwork

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Don't Stop Believin' (PC) review


"Trial By Fire"


It’s the last time I have to rehash this intro. Bear with me.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Who Needs You was a stupid title. So were each of the others that came before it. Overly long, overly concerned with cringe-worthy branding and always, always going out of their way to namedrop an iconic song they never use. It was also the point the series had been slowly building up to: the dissolving of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The team had endured too much loss, too much division and too much of each other. No matter what you did, the end of the episode saw the team shattered and disbanded.

So, then. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Don’t Stop Believin’ contains zero music from Journey (sorry, Rob) because some streaks ain't worth breaking. It is, however the wrap-up chapter where you spend the majority of the game trying to convince your fractured squad that, actually, those people they swore they never wanted to see ever again only a few hours back are actually kind of okay.

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Don't Stop Believin' (PC) image

To that effect, choices you have made up until that point will have made a difference. At least one of the team will have stayed with you, so you only need to pick out the others. Only, one of them might be dead, and another might have openly threatened to kill you if they ever saw you again. So, there’s that in the way. What it all means is the first hour or so of Episode 5 is spent locating and convincing people that your gathering of murderers and nutjobs are worth keeping together. In doing so, Groot gets kind of gypped.

While each cast member has had their own ‘delve into’ episode, Groot finally gets his moment, remembering how the team came together in the first place. It’s a good memory to replay and backs the game’s best jab at ludicrous facial hair, but it doesn’t afford everyone’s favourite sentient tree the same retrospective depth the rest of the team got. Previously, we saw the lab Rocket was created in and learned the reason he throws up walls to keep people out. We saw who Gamora was while still working under Thanos, and the relationship she had with Nebula before it soured. We saw Drax before he became the destroyer, simply playing the role of a worried father. But, for Groot, we get to watch him just sit quietly in the corner while the more pronounced personalities of his team bicker.

It’s a shame, made somewhat excusable by the series driving towards conclusion, but it still feeling like a huge missed opportunity. This half of the game is strictly linear, giving you conversational control but little else to do as you attempt to round up the posse. Once you’ve managed to re-recruit as many of the old gang as you can, you assign roles and take on the mission that will end the game.

Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Don't Stop Believin' (PC) image

It’s all very tidily done. Your choices in personnel change the overall mission only cosmetically, but given that you can forgo giving Rocket the obvious hacker role and give it instead to Drax or Groot leads to very different instances that still progress along the same path. There’s a big brawl that dusts off the QTEs for a prolonged melee, and the obligatory big emotional choice to wrap things up. It’s a Marvel license, so there’s even an after-credits stinger. And then, about two afters after we started, we’re done.

As a stand alone episode, Don’t Stop Believin’ is rushed, formulaic and misses out on providing the least covered member of the team the spotlight he’s been waiting on. But, as a series, I have to admit, I’ve been impressed by Telltale’s take on the Guardians. It has moments of genuine levity mixed in with well written and excellently timed jokes, a trait that is continued until the very end. So, as a conclusion, it does everything you expect it to do, then leaves you with possibly the hardest, most heart-rending choice of the entire collection. It’s an impressive note to sign off with.


3/5

EmP's avatar
Staff review by Mr. Wise Guy (November 12, 2017)

Gary Hartley arbitrarily arrives, leaves a review for a game no one has heard of, then retreats to his 17th century castle in rural England to feed whatever lives in the moat and complain about you.

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