Reviews July 24, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 2: Under Pressure

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Reviewed By: Kenneth Seward Jr.
System: PC (Also on Xbox One, PS4, iOS, Android)
Genre: Adventure
Rated: T
Players: 1
Cost: $24.99 (Full Season)
Release Date: 06/06/2017
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games

There’s a saying that goes “with friends like these, who needs enemies?”. It’s supposed to imply that those close to us may in fact, treat us worse than some of our foes. What’s interesting about this notion is how people use it to describe the worst-case scenarios; like a comrade stabbing you in the back for a quick gain. Most fail to realize how nuanced this expression is, giving strength to the word “enemy”…

Take the second episode of Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy, “Under Pressure”. Peter, having been recently resurrected, seeks answers about the Eternity Forge. Everyone and their galactic mothers seem to be after it. If not to sell it for a ton of credits then to use it as a means of amassing an army – Hala the Accuser hopes to restore the Kree to their former glory. Whatever the case, the Forge has proven to be something one shouldn’t trifle with. Unless of course you have a good reason to be trifling.

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While some of the Guardians contemplate the Forge’s ultimate use (beyond it restorative capabilities) Rocket Raccoon isn’t interested in a greater good. For years he’s been dealing with the pain cause by the Collector. I won’t spoil exactly what it is that keeps him up at night, only that he believes the Forge might give his conscience a reprieve. The other Guardians are more concerned with learning all they can about this artifact before trying to use it. So much so, that Gamora is willing to aid an old enemy in hopes of getting some vital information. This conflict of interests causes a stir as Rocket wants to take a detour that Gamora finds unnecessary; Rocket’s closed nature makes it difficult for him to share why this quick stop is so important. The good news: they both look to Peter (you) to decide what to do. Good times!

The Guardians of the Galaxy always had this family theme – that this team of heroes is much more than just a team. They care for each another, which makes it that much easier to hurt one another. This sentiment is something that Telltale uses to create an engaging second episode. Having to pick between two friends, knowing that you could possibly ruin your relationship with one or both of them, is a difficult pill to swallow. Both Gamora and Rocket have valid reasons for being so…adamant when expressing their desire for Peter to take their sides. The resulting kerfuffle seems warranted, regardless of who you go with. Even if Telltale’s handling of a character’s emotional response was a little campy at times.

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This episode proves that there’s a gray area. That friends can feel like enemies even when they aren’t purposely trying to hurt you. The plot benefits from these types of conflicts. Other interesting beats align with the overarching dilemma concerning the Eternity Forge. There’s also the issue of Peter’s odd flashbacks with his mother. I can’t wait to find out what her deal is and why she seems to be able to talk to Peter via his memories. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger, so here’s hoping the next episode doesn’t disappoint. So far, I’ve enjoyed the ride!

Gameplay: 10
The plot is moving along, with only minor stops due to over-the-top reactions from some of the characters.

Grpahics: 10
GotG is one of the best looking Telltale games. Period!

Sound: 10
The cast did an excellent job. The soundtrack is still great.

Replay Value: 6
There are a few reasons to go back through this episode. Most will wait to see how their choices pan out as the season progresses through.

Final Score:

9   

Editor’s Note: Click here to see how the other episodes fared!