Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 4: Who Needs You - Xbox One Review

Too often the episodic tiles released by Telltale Games trips up near, but not at the finish line. That means that the second to last chapter usually takes a couple of hits because it is working so hard to set up a fantastic final chapter. I would guess this has been the case for about ninety percent of their releases. So imagine my pleasant surprise when Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 4: Who Needs You manages to be just as good, if not better than the last episode as we see the Guardians rushing headlong into what promises to be an exciting final act.

We already saw other members of the team share in Star-Lord's reflection of the past in prior chapters, and here Drax gets a bit more of the attention. Each of the characters on the team has their own motivations, and this has served as the primary source of conflict throughout the episodes. Star-Lord simply can't win, or at least please everyone. Saying that one person did something well can be seen as a slight by one of the others who was hoping for his praise. Two conflicting ideas presented by members of the team means that one person's idea is accepted and the other discarded.

It helps that for whatever reason, this fourth episode felt a lot meatier than the last one or two. Ringing in at just under two hours, it allowed a bit more time for the characters to breathe. This series is at its best when we are looking into the histories of these characters, because it often helps to illustrate the decisions that they make. It allows a character who might be making a poor decision or frustrating decision to at least be understood by their friends.

There were some pretty emotional moments to be had here, and while the Telltale titles are not generally known for being technical marvels visually, kudos to the team for doing an effective job with character expressions. This along with some pretty fantastic voice acting allowed for a lot more emotion than I would have expected from this title.

To its credit, there is the very tangible feeling that some choices might finally carry some weight in the final chapter - at least I hope so. Guardians of the Galaxy has a rather unique issue in being a known IP with characters who have to interact with one another. The fact of the matter is, some of the decisions made up to and through this chapter almost felt like they were the kind that should have torn the group apart. Yet for the most part, aside from a handful of snarky remarks from whichever team member you chose not to verbally pat on the back, everyone is hanging in there together without any real consequence materializing.

The action is a bit better in this episode, even if it is generally just a series of quicktime events that are mostly structured around escaping some immediate threat. I also was not a huge fan of the jet boots used to help do some resource gathering, as the collision detection was a bit spotty in places. These are some relatively minor quibbles however, given that this was a really enjoyable overall chapter to play.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 4: Who Needs You gives us more content, more emotion and still manages to set us up for the final chapter. I'm certainly looking forward to it.

Game Information

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

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