The penultimate episode of Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a bitter pill to swallow. Both good and bad, it’s certainly one of the most emotional instalments yet.
There are more choices to make this time around that could affect the path of the final episode. At least, it felt that way, but it didn’t make it any easier to make them.
Compared to the first three episodes, Who Needs You takes a much darker turn.
Goodbye, Moon men
Kicking off from where the last episode ended, the eternity forge has either been destroyed or it’s been enhanced. Whatever you chose previously leads you down the same path, throwing you into the belly of the planet after a quick opening scene.
Ignoring Hala and the Kree, you’ve got to find a way out of the caves and eventually escape from a huge, rocky worm monster. You can make a new friend along the way, and you can lose some existing ones based on your decisions.
Compared to the previous segments the pacing is much better, though not a lot happens in the 90-minute play-through. To be honest, I didn’t really notice or care.
Who Needs You is so relationship-heavy it’s hard to think about anything else. Drax finally got his time in the spotlight and it gave his character the extra dimension it needed to pull him from slapstick one-liner to something deeper and more powerful.
With Quill it feels like regardless of how you handle different situations someone ends up mad at you in the end, despite the efforts and decisions you’ve made throughout the game so far.
It’s nice to see Telltale implementing more quick time event-like combat, with button combinations as well as the usual ‘E’, ‘Q’, and arrows. This made the experience less stagnant.
The controls were still a tad janky at times, namely in the stomach scene where you had to tap a few times to get Quill moving in his jet boots, fighting to get him in the right direction.
There are also some performance issues where framerates dropped later in the episode, and it crashed at a couple of points as well.
I both loved and hated this episode. It had some genuine emotive sequences that made me teary-eyed as we got to know more about certain characters, reminding me a touch of the original Walking Dead series.
Then you’re brought back to a harsh reality and overwhelmed with fights you can’t win and a conclusion you have no real power to avoid, and that’s where things get a bit sour.
It’s hard to know exactly where the finale will start or end up, but I hope it’s got room to answer the mountain of questions from this season without copping-out on the last big fight scene.