NOTE: This review is spoiler free of plot details.
Gamora has really been the character I’ve disliked the most so far in Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series as in the previous two episodes, she’s come off as a little, naggy, for lack of a better term. It was with these feelings that I wasn’t too excited to jump into what would more than likely be a Gamora heavy episode in “More Than a Feeling”. While this third chapter of Telltale’s series doesn’t quite meet the emotional highs of the previous one, it changed how I felt about a character that I didn’t really like interacting with that much. Like a lot of Telltale middle episodes, this feels like it’s in a holding pattern for the larger finale, but there’s still a lot to like in “More Than a Feeling” despite the overall plot of the series not advancing that much.
Whatever your feelings on Gamora are, at the very least her family situation and her upbringing are something that’s incredibly interesting and a flashback sequence in this episode does a lot to develop her character. Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series wears its MCU heart on its sleeve despite Telltale saying otherwise, not helping this is a reveal of a new character here that’s fairly anti-climatic, but I like how the character of Nebula is handled here. Coming from the two movies, you expect her to act in a similar way but having her being upset over Gamora for what happened in episode one is a good way to turn what you expect on its head. In “More Than a Feeling” you get to see Gamora, Nebula and their “father” interact with one another at a time before Nebula was augmented, and it’s both tense and sad knowing what’s eventually going to happen to this “family”.
Even if you don’t really care for Gamora as a character, at the very least you can appreciate her specific set of skills and Telltale does not disappoint in this chapter. Ever since The Walking Dead: Michonne, Telltale has really been putting a lot of work into staging action scenes and what’s so great about this series in particular is the opportunity to switch between multiple characters during them and they’ve done so now in all of these episodes with great effect. You’re still only ever dong simple button presses and combinations, but watching spectacular displays play out on-screen does a lot to make the player feel like they’re participating more than what they actually are, especially when you’re bouncing between multiple characters in a fray.
A big problem with “More than a Feeling” though is outside of some great action and character developing flashbacks, not a lot really happens. A huge part of the middle episode is a lot of exposition about what the Eternity Forge is followed by Star-Lord being required to talk to each of the Guardians. Telltale has done a good job of emulating the style that James Gunn crafted for the team in the movies, but this episode tries a bit too hardy to be snappy and funny to the point where it’s obnoxious. Every dialogue option I seemed to select for Star-Lord was met by some type of witty retort and most feel completely flat. There are times when Peter Quill shows some semblance of providing an honest answer to a question, but most of the time there’s a groan worthy line or am embarrassing childish outburst. To make this character work, you have to carefully balance the laughs with some deeper character moments and in the case at least of Star-Lord, Telltale really needs to consider that going into the fourth and final episodes.
Despite the questionable dialogue though, what this chapter of Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series proves is that this IP is destined to have a long life in video games. With all of these episodes that have been released you never want them to end because it’s simply so much fun to live in the colorful, out there world that these characters inhabit and when it works, you just love watching these five misfits play off of one another. There’s a montage scene played against a song where Star-Lord is running around the Milano trying to put out fires between the team members and it’s pure joy to watch and bound to put a smile on your face.
As great as it it watching the team play off of one another though, the same can’t be said for the villain of the series, Hala. Marvel films have not done a great job developing their villains and neither has this Telltale series. I forgot until the very end that this series even had an antagonist and at one point, I thought this episode was going to wrap up and move on to a bigger threat. There’s some explanation given to things that happened in episode one and you get a clear understanding of why Hala so desperately wants what the Guardians have, but a scene with the character that should have a strong emotional impact doesn’t pack any punch because we haven’t really spent that much time her to be invested. What’s most interesting going forward is how the final choice of the episode effects the next two, and I’d love to strike up a converstation with someone who made a different final choice than the one I did.
One thing I should bring up is an unfortunate issue that happened with the PlayStation 4 version of this episode. I purchased the season pass for Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series, but when it came to downloading episode three, it wanted to charge me for the episode. This was the case when I went to activate the download from the PlayStation Network website as well as via the game itself on my PS4. Telltale was silent in providing answers when I queried them on social media, however when I opened a ticket via their website, they were very fast and courteous in getting back in touch with me. They informed me that this was something that was happening to everyone, not just me, and e-mailed me when the episode was free to season pass holders.
“More Than a Feeling” doesn’t reach the same emotional high points of “Under Pressure”, but it does a lot to develop Telltale’s take on Gamora and once again proves why this team and corner of the Marvel Universe deserve to be more prominent. There’s a sense once again that this third chapter is cooling things down before the finale and a lot of the forced jokes are groan worthy, but it’s easy to look past this when you’re just having so much fun spending time with the Guardians, whether they’re in the middle of a battle or just hanging out in Knowhere. The conclusion of “More Than a Feeling” looks to put the Guardians in a tight spot that should make the next two parts of the series very, very interesting.
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