By Nick Schifani
Episode 2: Under Pressure
What's up y’all!? All the talk this week is surrounding E3, and rightfully so. And with all the talk focusing on E3, Marvel's Guardian of the Galaxy Telltale game seemed to go unnoticed this week. Yet, fear not for I played the new episode of the series Tuesday night. As with most Telltale games, the first episode sets the plot and delivers a stellar episode. It's always the second episode that can make or break the rest of the series. Luckily, for GotG "Under Pressure" doesn't let us down. It's a bit more laid back compared to the first episode, but that doesn’t stop it from hitting on some important moments and developing our heroes a bit more. Episode Two does a terrific job balancing the narrative and diving deeper into the characters past.
If it wasn't obvious before this GotG series started, it becomes quite clear the message the developers are trying to deliver. Each episode is going to focus on one character as we play through the game. Right from the word go it's obvious who's the star in this episode. Rocket is the heart of this one. We get to see a side of Rocket we haven’t seen before. Rocket used to care about someone (not named Groot), and that someone is a female. We're sent back in time to when Rocket was an evil man's science experiment. There we meet Lylia, another woodland creature. The time we spend in this flashback shows how he became the wisecracking hero we know today. It's truly hysterical spending time with two talking creatures developing feelings for one another while shooting laser beams at their enemies. Even with all this action surrounding the two, Telltale finds a way to sprinkle in some touching moments.
I've played my fair share of these Telltale games. Each game presents unique, tough choices. Never have the choices been as tough as they were in this particular episode. The first episode's choices were hard, but they presented themselves in a manner of Good Idea vs Dumb Idea. In "Under Pressure" the narrative is basically the same, yet with a different twist. Do I go with the choice which will hurt the mission, or do I choose to help a friend who has opened up like never before? Even as I type this I'm still debating if I made the overall right choice. Which, if you're keeping score, is always a good sign of a well-written game.
The main story builds on where everything left off in the first episode. Peter Quill continues to see visions of his mother, and they feel all too real to him. It leads us to spending time with Yondu and coming up with a game plan to dealing with the Eternity Forge. This leads to spending time with Nebula, and boy is she angry. Throw in some colorful banter between all the characters, some fun, Rock n Roll backed Quick Time Events, and we've got another well-paced Telltale episode. Even after the jam-packed first episode, Under Pressure's slower tone leaves me wanting to see what's next for the Guardians of the Galaxy.