Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 1: Tangled Up In Blue (Steam Store)
Thanos is on the rise and it’s up to the Guardians of the Galaxy to bring him down. Can they save the galaxy and still make a profit doing it?
Many people might play this game thinking that it’s set in the movie timeline and they couldn’t be more wrong. Others might suggest that the game is set in the comic book universe and I’ll admit to having a very limited knowledge of the comics. Therefore, I wouldn’t be able to confirm that. However, I have heard that, while the game draws inspiration from the comics and the movies, it actually takes place in its own universe. For one thing, and this is a huge spoiler, Thanos dies in the first episode of the game. There are also other hints, such as Starlord admitting that he never met the collector, Starlord’s tape being called the rad mix rather than the awesome mix and the flashbacks to Starlord’s past being different than what they were in the movie.
As I said earlier, this game takes place in its own universe. For starters, I doubt setting the game in the movie universe would allow them to kill Thanos so easily. Just in case you’ve been living on Mars for the past decade, Thanos is not only the Big Bad of the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but also features in the Avengers movies behind the scenes. Rumors claim that Thanos will be the Big Bad in the Avengers: Infinity Wars movies, resulting in the Avengers and the Guardians teaming up to defeat him. In the video game, the Guardians kill Thanos in the very first episode and the rest of the story is about life for the Guardians after the one enemy who brought them together is defeated.
Despite not being set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the characters are still true to form to their movie counterparts. Starlord is still the smartass leader, Drax the literal-minded vengeful warrior, Rocket the greedy tech genius with an attitude, Gamora the former assassin turned voice of reason and Groot is just… Groot. Each of them even go through their own little subplots. Starlord has to deal with his team falling apart, Rocket considers leaving and living off his fame, Drax is wondering what to do now that his quest is complete and Gamora has to make things up with her sister, Nebula.
As I mentioned earlier, there are flashbacks to Starlord’s past in the game, but what I didn’t tell you is that it’s the case of a new artifact known as the Eternity Forge. This device is capable of bringing life back but at a strong price, you have to murder someone. Therefore, you can bet that this device is trying to tempt Starlord to bring his mother back and he’s not the only person who wants it. Hala the Accuser wants to use it to bring back the Kree race and is willing to kill billions in order to do so.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with the smurfette principle, which is one token woman among men. The Guardians are no exception with Gamora being the single woman among a whole group of men. I’ll admit, I actually love Gamora’s character. She’s a tough as nails former assassin gone good, she doesn’t take any crap and she actually lives up to her reputation. Unlike most arrangements where you see the man with a sword and the woman with a gun, Starlord usually handles the guns and Gamora fights with her sword. Since Starlord is a former space pirate and Gamora a trained assassin, it makes sense that the former would specialize in ranged weaponry while the latter is more proficient in close range combat. Gamora also has her own past and problem and, despite being what tvtropes calls a Green-Skinned Space Babe, there’s more to her than being an exotic beauty. If the Star Trek writers plan to bring Orion women back, they need to watch Guardians of the Galaxy and take notes.
However, there are still some problems with Gamora’s character. More often than not, she is the voice of reason and morality. When the Guardians discuss what to do with Thanos’s body, it’s Gamora who suggests bringing it to Nova Corps while Rocket wants to sell it to the Collector. There is another situation where you have to choose whether to bring Drax or Gamora on a mission. Drax is the one that wants to kill every Kree they come across while Gamora feels that it would be best to sneak in and not draw attention to themselves. Maybe this wasn’t intentional but, to me, it feels like they purposely made the only woman on the team the mature and responsible one. Which, as a woman myself, I am neither one. Not to mention that, once again, a franchise makes a hot alien woman for men to gawk at but women don’t get exotic fan service. Yes, I am well aware that Starlord is hot but keep in mind that he is also human.
The game play is your typical Telltale style. You take control of Starlord and pick his dialogue.
There are some scenes where you make important choices and you have to be fast to respond to quick time events. Let me tell you, they will sneak up on you when you least expect it. However, there are some differences. One is the ability to use a communicator to contact people who aren’t with you. You also get to explore the ship and can check the terminal for codex info and your email.
I’ll admit, I have a soft spot for games that let you do the latter. Don’t know why.
The game is intriguing and addictive. I give it 7 out of 10, a good take on the Guardians of the Galaxy.