One of the great perks of the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the ability for new films with old characters to dive further into their backstories, and taking a look at how their important events and actions of their youth continues to have a hold on them at the present time. And yet, despite having two films in the franchise, neither Guardians of the Galaxy film spends all that much time going into detail on any of the gang’s various exploits prior to their formation beyond the slightly-elaborated basics, with the exception of Star-Lord. These few details are still enough to inspire some rather emotional moments throughout the movies, but there’s also still plenty of potential to be explored, a realization that the team over at Telltale will apparently be taking advantage of, as shown off in the second episode of their game adaptation of the comics series. Under Pressure shows off a glimpse of the character development capabilities that the studio can employ with this beloved quintet, despite stumbling over the usual writing and technical hiccups along the way.
While the remainder of the review will not directly address any spoilers for “Under Pressure”, important plot points of “Tangled Up in Blue” will be discussed below. For more on the first episode, check out our review here.
Under Pressure picks up immediately after the surprising conclusion of the previous episode, as the team comes to terms with the incredible power of the ancient artifact they had retrieved from Thanos. The pacing of the remainder of the episode is well-structured, with sections of exploration, combat or heavy plot being separated by periods of optional conversations with the residents aboard the Milano. While the dialogue still often struggles to capture that same fast-paced wit of the films, it does do a superb job of shining light onto one of the Guardians’ troubled past, providing a new layer of depth for that hero’s journey and character. Most importantly, the episode give a pretty clear sense of how the rest of the season will play out, with a stronger sense of direction at this early point in the story when compared to some of Telltale’s other undertakings.
Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy continues to embrace its appreciation of all things rock and roll, with several new songs being wisely implemented into this latest chapter. The voice actors continue to do an admirable job, even if they have the difficult task of being unfairly compared to some of Hollywood’s top talent. And yet, it should come to the surprise of very few that this episode has its share of technical issues, as one particular scene proceeded to crash multiple times during our playthrough. Some odd lighting issues do little to help the overall experience, but at this point Telltale fans have become well aware of the overall experience they will receive at launch, warts and all.
Under Pressure keeps the story flowing and the jams pumping as Telltale provides a rare look at one of the Guardians’ upbringings. The hit-or-miss humor and standard technical malfunctions are still on full display, but the strong storytelling helps keep the season moving forward as the dysfunctional space crew keep searching for answers.