Guardians of the Galaxy‘s first episode left a sort of bad taste in my mouth. While not the worst game I had played by any stretch of the imagination, it didn’t leave me with very much reason to keep going. But then I remembered this season pass was £20 and I dived right into the second episode as soon as it was released. What I can safely say is that the game gets better, well, in my opinion it does anyways. Under Pressure, the second instalment to the Guardians of the Galaxy game series.
The thing about Guardians of the Galaxy for me is that the game needs to balance both humour and action at the same time. I found that the first episode of this game just didn’t manage to do that, so I had a few higher hopes for this game. For instance, the music within the first episode wasn’t up to scratch for me. Thankfully, the musical score for the second episode is a lot better. Dancin’ in the Moonlight as the opening theme for the game may have been one of the best parts about this episode. Of course, that doesn’t make this episode the best thing ever now does it? I’ve played terrible games with great soundtracks, look no further than Halo 5: Guardians.
As a quick bonus, I thought I’d mention the voice acting for some characters again. For the first episode I found the voice acting off putting at best due to the contrast between film and game actors. Rocket does sound like Rocket, and to be fair Peter Quill’s new voice is sort of growing on me a little bit. I still can’t shift my enjoyment on Drax’s casting, it just doesn’t sound like the film version of Drax and that’s off putting.
Of course, because this is a Telltale game, you can be expected to receive some harsh reactions and realities for your former choices. If you chose to sell Thanos’ body to The Collector then you’ll have a hostile Gamorra this time round. If you picked the opposite, you’ll have a hostile Rocket. It’s the sort of changes that, in the long run, wont make you feel any different or change the game very much. There’s a definite illusion of choice present in the first episode, and more frequently in the second game.
One of my minor complaints about the first game is that there was a surprising lack of minor characters. Yondu does appear very briefly in this game at least and that was really fun to see. Again, not a fan of his voice actor, but of course they did the character’s arc rather well. Especially him and Rocket, the relationship in the game definitely plays alongside their relationship in the film series. Oh yeah, Howard the Duck appears too, sort of. If you check your emails you’ll find a pretty nice email thread from him and it’s rather hilarious. Little nods like that made this episode so much better.
Just as a quick note, you’ll get the choice between chasing Nebula and going to Halfworld. If you want to enjoy this episode a lot more then trust me, go to Halfworld. You’ll thank me later. I should point out that I haven’t played through the episode with the other decisions made, mainly because I did that for the first review and I’ve cocked up my game saves. Now I would play it through all over again but, to be honest, I’ve got bigger and better things to be doing.
As was expected, the game is graphically appealing. To be fair when is a Telltale game not nice to look at? There are some very nice looking visuals within this game, the characters themselves look polished at least. Hell, there were some very impressive visuals. I can’t talk about them without spoiling anything within the game, just take my word for it.
My main concern really for the first episode was the lack of humour. It just didn’t seem on par with the films in that regard and I’m really glad that isn’t a problem now. This episode has a lot more humour than the previous episode. Maybe this is because the humour isn’t direct. There are short segments of laughter, along with the variety of subtle Easter eggs to find. Keep checking your emails, Howard the Duck is a riot.
Of course, the episode is far from perfect. While it doesn’t have as many problems as the first episode, there are still problems that remain. The majority of problems that I had with the first episode are still there, and on further reflection, this episode wasn’t too good either. Obviously these problems are shifted to the side when you focus on the positives. They’re still there though, bigger and worse than ever, especially considering they’ve been here for two episodes now.
While I didn’t have any issues, there have been reports of some achievement glitches. Some achievements have been reported to not unlock whatsoever. If that does happen to you, all you need to do is play the game a second time. Not the best thing to do really, but that’s what you’re going to have to do.
I struggle to defend the obsession with choice in Telltale games. Mainly because your choices, in the long run, do not matter one bit. Remember when Luke died in The Walking Dead: Season Two, who cares, right? There’s a certain lack of choice given to us in the Guardians of the Galaxy game. At this point Telltale should just sod off and start making movies instead the amount of interaction this game uses. Siding with Rocket over Gamorra this game doesn’t really have much of an effect. Other than a different piece of dialogue we don’t have the change needed for impact.
On top of that, the quick time events return. They aren’t as bad or annoying as they were in the first episode. Luckily they aren’t in one, five minute chunk like last time. This doesn’t make them any less annoying though, when are quick time events ever fun to be fair?
While Guardians of the Galaxy episode two provides more laughs and gameplay than the first instalment, there’s a definite want for more. This episode provides the same problems of the first episode to a bit of a lesser extent. Instead, opting to go for some new problems and not really adding anything new. It’s just the same, dry, Telltale format that everyone is used to by now.