Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 2: Under Pressure - PS4 Review


Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 2: Under Pressure continues what the first episode began, putting together an interesting tale about a group of misfits who are as often their own worst enemies as they are best friends to one another. Still, the quirky but lovable collection of characters helps to carry what has been only an average story so far, while demonstrating that there is plenty of potential to be had here in the upcoming chapters.

Of course, I have a particular bit of bias going into this one, as Rocket has always been my favorite Guardians character, and he gets a big chunk of the narrative in this one. I have always enjoyed his crude sense of humor, but at the same time there has always been a bit of vulnerability to the character just beneath the surface. The comics and the movies - especially the most recent one - touch on this a bit, giving us some reason to believe that in his own mind, Rocket has good reason to try and keep people at arm's length.

Once again I think Telltale Games benefits from the opportunity to tell an original story using established characters in a universe we are already at least somewhat familiar with. It allows them to take some chances and offer us up some surprises, and the Infinity Forge - the mystical and still largely unexplained relic the team acquired in the first episode - offers us a fantastic mechanism for giving us flashbacks on characters. It is once again used on Peter, as it was a couple of times in the first chapter, but here it is also leveraged in a way that allows us to get to know Rocket in a way that the character himself would never allow us to in the present time. Frankly, this sub-story worked really well for me, and was the highlight of the chapter.


There are some other moments that work well also, though the decisions offered throughout Under Pressure are actually lacking in real pressure by and large. There was really only one major decision, at least in my mind, and even then it was not a real tough one for me to make. Certainly there would be consequences, and I knew that there would be, but they were consequences I was ready to deal with because I honestly felt like the decision I was making was a no-brainer. This unfortunately detracts a bit from the typical Telltale Games formula, since their titles rely heavily on a sense of consequence.

On a much lesser scale however, Peter often finds himself in a series of no-win situations due to the rest of the Guardians. This works really well within the dynamic of the characters, who often find themselves in tough situations together, but each one usually has their own motivations and methods for wanting to get things done. That and every character is constantly seeking to get Peter's approval. He is the glue that holds this ragtag team of characters together, and he is a great focal point for players because he is the human with a sense of humor - often making him one of the most relatable characters. The problem for Peter is that almost any time he gives someone else on the team a pat on the back, another character feels slighted. There is a perpetual give and take where Peter seldom has the opportunity to make both people feel good about themselves or their relationship, and he finds himself having to take one's side over the other. Except Groot. Groot just smiles at everyone. Because he's Groot.


As I explained in my The Walking Dead review yesterday, Telltale Games has made a very conscious decision to streamline their games now, with less exploration and more direct and continuous storytelling. No developer will ever make everyone happy, and I am sure that some people would prefer to have more exploration time that extends the chapters by another hour or so, but I personally prefer the more streamlined storytelling experience that Telltale Games has adopted. That being said, this is a largely 'on rails' experience with very few moments to sit back and just talk to characters and explore at leisure. One bit of variation to the formula I liked at first was the opportunity to try and shoot down another ship in something of a more lightweight action experience than the typical Telltale Formula that relies on quicktime button presses and directional swipes. That said, I sucked and died because of the rather tight window and sloppy controls and found myself having to relive a nearly 5 minute section of dialog again before getting back to that point, which was a little bit annoying.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 2: Under Pressure continues to take an interesting cast of characters and is telling a story I'm certainly curious about and invested in. There are some similar notes here to the absolutely hilarious (and still my favorite Telltale Games title) Tales From the Borderlands game, though Guardians is a little more hit and miss on its humor and execution. Still, the potential is here for one of the better Telltale Games series when it concludes - I just hope that it lives up to that potential.

Game Information

Platform:
Xbox One
Developer(s):
Telltale Games
Publisher(s):
Telltale Games
Genre(s):
Adventure
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
Mobile
PC
PlayStation 4

Source:
Provided by Publisher




Article by Nick
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