Much like the film, with a lot more content

Guardians of the Galaxy is hilarious, intriguing and loads of fun to play

April 24, 2017 07:35 pm | Updated 07:35 pm IST

Galactic adventures  Screenshots from the game

Galactic adventures Screenshots from the game

It must be your birthday, Diwali, Christmas and every other celebration all rolled in one, if we are getting a video game to one of Marvel’s biggest properties. What started out as an obscure comic book series became a fantastic film. Rather than going with a cheap cash-in video game, Marvel has handed the reins to the talented folks at Telltale Games. The studio has been responsible for keeping the cinematic adventure game alive, with their takes on Game of Thrones , The Walking Dead , Back to the Future and most recently, Batman . Let’s see if they work their magic on Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians.

What’s it about?

The Guardians of the Galaxy film has set an all-too-familiar ’80s music vibe, which is mirrored in the start of the game itself, with a brilliant guitar riff from ‘Why can’t I touch it’ by the Buzzcocks, when Peter Quill a.k.a Star-Lord is reintroduced. He’s the wisecracking leader of a band of misfits that comprises violent Rocket Raccoon, badass and grumpy Gamora, brutish Drax the Destroyer, and last but not the least, Groot, who only says ‘I… am… Groot’. Much to the surprise of everyone, including themselves, the band are the only ones capable of saving the Galaxy.

The shadowy villain, Thanos, seen in every post-credit scene in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is also the main bad guy in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War films. At the very beginning of the game, the Guardians are called in to take him down. Things get interesting as they come into possession of an artefact called the Eternity Forge, which is coveted by a lot of nasty people. This is just the first episode of this adventure, and it already promises to be a big fat galaxy romp.

Episode 1 is not only an entertaining story, but it also explores a lot more about the Guardians. The voice actors are fantastic, almost near approximations of their big screen counterparts. But Rocket Raccoon takes the cake as the best character, with Peter Quill coming in a close second. Drax in the movies chops up figures of speech with hilarious results. Also, we couldn’t shake the feeling that Gamora’s yellow eyeshadow and green face felt like she walked out of the beauty salon with her facemask on.

For the most part, the writing is top-notch, and holds up the entire game. While most of the humour did come through, there were a few moments where the punchline did not quite have that effect you wanted. One thing they got right though, is the banter and mischief of being a rogue among the company of rogues.

How does it play?

Think of a Telltale game as an interactive film. You mostly go through the game navigating through conversations. Each choice affects the story accordingly. The game comes into its own when you have to explore an area for clues or solve puzzles. Thanks to Peter Quill’s jet boots, you can explore multiple levels, and through his helmet see how events play out to find answers.

There is action in the game, but it’s mostly tapping or clicking on various active time events, which is a lot more exciting than it sounds. As you control the flow of the battle cutscene without ever taking yourself out of the story – if you die, the game quickly loads you back at a point in the cutscene. At the end of every big moment are quiet little interludes, where you’re given free reign of an area, so you can walk around and discuss ‘what the hell just happened’ with your teammates. It’s like an episode of Seinfeld , except in space, and George is a gun-loving raccoon.

If there is one minor quibble, it would be Telltale’s ageing graphics engine. While it does the job, retaining that colourful style of the film perfectly, the character movements are a bit stiff. You could chalk it all up to the signature effect though. Like the Star Wars Rebels art style or Lego’s block look.

An upside to the tried-and-tested graphic engine is that the game runs flawlessly on all systems. The touch controls were ideal on mobile devices, but nothing beats the big screens of the consoles.

Should you get it?

If you are a fan of the film franchise, then this is one adventure you simply cannot miss out on. Much like seasons in a TV show, Telltale Games are episodic and seasonal. This is just the first episode and it seems Guardians of the Galaxy has gotten off to one helluva good start.

Julian Almeida is a tech and gaming enthusiast who hopes to one day finish his science fiction novel

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