Marvel' s Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue - Xbox One Review

What we have here with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue is a solid if unspectacular entry into the latest Telltale Games series. I have really high hopes for Guardians of the Galaxy, and while Tangled Up in Blue does a decent job of setting the stage without any major trip-ups, there is plenty of room for improvement to be had as well.

I will admit that in seeing the trailers leading up to the game, I had my doubts about the visuals. However, after spending some time with the game, the cartoon look grew on me and I found myself genuinely enjoying some of the environments visually. The voice acting is also quite solid, with Nolan North's Rocket as the star of the show for me (as the character was already my favorite of the Guardians).

Things get off to a somewhat slow start due to the need to set things up. Of course those familiar with the content will already have a good idea of what to expect, and as such the exposition in the early stages does drag a little initially. However, if you happen to be a relative or complete newcomer to the Guardians mythos, the opening sequence does a solid enough job of setting these characters up. It is always a tough balancing act when you are working with an established property, and Guardians is further complicated by the fact you have a group of people who are already established in other mediums. The Guardians already have a working relationship with one another, so attempting to convey all of this in the game's opening act is a bit of a tall order that the team manages to mostly get right.

The dialog thankfully gets better later in the episode, as it felt a little clunky to me during this opening stanza. Certainly the characters are well-voiced, but their dialog is somewhat stilted in the early going. Perhaps this is my own bias as a fan of the movie who is used to a different kind of verbal pacing, but for me at least there was just a little something off with the banter initially.

One recent Telltale experience I was a big fan of was the Batman game. Perhaps my favorite aspect of that title was that the development team came up with an all-new world and story involving familiar characters. The end result is that they were not hampered by what we as fans of the property over the year knew - or thought we new. This game so far doesn't appear to be a straight take from either the movies or comics. It is a little more true to the characters in the early going than Batman was at times, but I appreciate that the team is not hamstrung by existing stories and will likely get to flesh out something unique and hopefully filled with surprises.

Speaking of surprises, one of the initial high points of this first episode is a fight scene that again reminds me just a little bit of Batman in that it is a little more action-packed than previous Telltale titles were. Quicktime event after quicktime event leads to a string of necessary inputs that aren't terribly difficult, but kept me paying attention to the action on the screen.

However, the biggest gap in the game's first episode is in the humor. For a series that nails that vibe consistently both in the comics and the movie, here a lot of the jokes kind of fell flat. Thankfully the best ones really hit the mark, but there's too many that just don't connect. Additionally, this episode felt incredibly linear - likely due to its relatively short run time. These are fun characters who have a propensity for making some pretty questionable choices along the way, so to see those two aspects underplayed makes greatness for our introductory episode rather elusive.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue is a good time that shows us a lot of potential, but sacrifices some of its execution in favor of setting things up. I am still holding out hope that Guardians will find a Tales From the Borderlands (my favorite Telltale series to date) vibe with its wacky characters, science fiction setting and the potential for great humor.

Game Information

Xbox One
Telltale Games
Telltale Games
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
PlayStation 4

Provided by Publisher

Article by Nick