Warning: Minor spoilers for “Don’t Stop Believin” and prior episodes of “Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series” follow.
The first season for “Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series” has had a number of ups and downs, with a bit more emphasis on the latter. This finale messily brings together all of its various plot points for one of the worst climaxes that Telltale has put out in any of its series. I’m a bit disappointed by this, as the prior two episodes were doing a great job at finally settling these characters into their roles, which was my primary issue throughout the first two episodes.
Where we were left off last episode, the Guardians had just split off in multiple directions, which is solved all by the second act as I anticipated. It did not make much sense to have the Guardians split off in the second to last episode, as it doesn’t quite leave enough time to follow through on a good ending and leave enough time to make that event feel meaningful. The ‘cliffhanger’ from last episode is only cheapened more by this, as it is really only used to build up anticipation for the finale. We were also left with Drax presumed dead, the episode’s post-mortem even going as far as to list him as K.I.A, which turns out is not the case. While I think this is certainly a cop out, I’m wasn’t too distraught by it as he is probably the most entertaining character in the series.
The series has given us one interesting mechanic in seeing flashbacks to each member of the Guardian’s past, and this episode was probably one of my favorites. The perspective is told through Groot, as we get a look at how the Guardians all came together in prison. I appreciated the fact that when presented with detailed dialogue options as Groot, he still only replies ‘I am Groot’ when spoken aloud. This segment is one of the few that makes the ending feel somewhat meaningful when they all come together.
The strongest point this series has going for it is the characters and how well-written they actually are, which is only negated by a boring story-line, which feels as though it only serves to get us to the next joke from the Guardians. Hala as an antagonist is also mundane in nature, with her main motive being your typical power-hungry villain, and constantly staying in a angry state when talking to the Guardians. This in turn gave me almost no motivation to see the story through, with her ending simply being her giving up after having the daylights beat out of her by the Guardians for the umpteenth time. The final fight itself is fun to watch as each Guardian has a unique part to play, though it only serves a disappointing ending at the end of the day.
When “Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series” was first announced, I was intrigued at what Telltale could do with the group, especially after their fantastic work in the genre on “Batman: The Telltale Series.” While the game had its cool moments, its poorly written story and boring antagonist make this one of the worst that Telltale has put out thus far. I can’t help but think that perhaps the drop in quality comes from the company overextending itself, with Telltale putting out three series at once sometimes. Unless you are a big Guardians fan or happen to find the game on sale, I think this is one of the few series from Telltale that can be missed.