Warning: Minor spoilers for “Who Needs You” and prior episodes of “Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series” follow.
After a rocky start, “Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series” has finally settled into a solid groove. The episode picks up right where we were left on the last one, with Hala securing the Eternity Forge and resurrecting her fallen allies along with her own son. The Guardians find themselves a bit disjointed after this, with a heated argument going on between Gamora and Rocket. The episode excels in how its choices play a large part in how Peter Quill is perceived as the leader, and how those choices affect the rest of the crew late in the episode.
Just as we have gotten flashbacks focused on certain Guardians in prior episodes, this one spends a large amount of time on the warrior Drax. What we know of his past is that his wife and daughter were killed, and this flashback gives insight on what he was like as a father and how much he cared for his only child. This greatly expands on what has always been a comical character who delivers one-liners revolving around his simple logic used in most situations. Around the climax of the episode, the Guardians are flying away from a giant monster, who Drax decides to slow down through a heroic sacrifice so that they can escape. You have the option to help him accomplish this or stop him, which was a tough decision based on how Drax clearly feels the need to do this so that he can join his family once more, and help his new family live on.
This choice can leave your ending quite grim, as Gamora, Mantis and even Groot left the guardians in my save, leaving only Peter and Rocket. With such a rough start, the game has done a surprisingly good job at making me care for this interpretation of the Guardians, especially with the lengths it is willing to go to in the fates of these characters. The climax of the episode felt so in tune with how the characters were interacting with each other, likely the biggest key to telling a good story with these heroes. My only complaint is Nebula’s death felt like a rushed ending to her arc put right in the middle of the episode, with the characters showing barely any reaction shortly after.
While they are succeeding on most fronts, this has been one of the most disappointing episodes as far as its art and technical side. It seems every episode is spent in a cave or underground temple a majority of the time, which means you constantly see the same purple or blue cave background. I also experienced the characters voices becoming out of sync with their mouths on a number instances, which is a bit jarring to say the least.
The Guardians seemed to have finally settled into the gaming space, with some cool story beats going along with great action sequences to top off an intriguing cast of characters. It will be interesting to see where Star-Lord and Rocket go in the finale, and how quick they will be to recruit back what is left of the Guardians. While I’m not sure their recent success has redeemed this series entirely for me, I am looking forward to how Telltale Games will cap this all off.