Drax’s short flashback sequence will tug at the hearts of Guardians’ fans.
Please note that since each episode of Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series features the same graphics engine and control setup, those elements will not be repeated in our reviews for the final four episodes. To read our thoughts on that, refer to our review of Episode 1: Tangled Up In Blue.
Guardians of the Galaxy‘s penultimate episode Who Needs You highlights the best and worst of TellTale’s instincts, and the result creates a somewhat disjointed experience. On one hand, there is a much greater emphasis on character development rather than plot movement. This makes sense in many ways, as TellTale’s strength tends to come from the characters it presents.
Some of these, such as bickering on the ship in order to see whose junk to toss, creates palpable and interesting moments of conflict. However, sandwiched between those moments are interactive scenes that are the most adventure-driven of the series so far.
Who Needs You has two extended segments of exploration and (relatively easy) puzzle solving. The game taps into the use of a comm system, so dialogue can continue while moving around these areas, but the actual interaction is relatively benign — it’s more or less walk (or jet-boot) from point A to point B, press a button, and repeat.
There isn’t much thinking to do, so the time spent doing this isn’t that rewarding; in fact, even though these segments are more true to the adventure roots of the developer, they’re really just kind of boring.
When things get going, though, each character has a moment to shine — and as expected, Drax gets his own flashback sequence that is both enthralling and heartbreaking.
Usually penultimate episodes provide a ramp-up to the conclusion, but given that most of the episode is focused on character development or walking around large spaces, there’s a lack of tension until the last 10 minutes or so. The result leaves an effective cliffhanger for the finale, even though the journey there wasn’t that effective.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Episode 4 — Who Needs You is a grab-bag of TellTale habits, both positive and negative. While the individual character moments are nice, it fails to create a tension to move the plot forward and winds up being more a placeholder for the finale rather than a memorable episode in its own right.