I’ve kept it no secret that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series has floundered. Unable to really figure out what it wants to be, the series has only really managed to tie together some average fight scenes, ho-hum story beats, and a repetitive soundtrack into one generally mediocre package. Who Needs You is the fourth episode of this season, and it’s yet another chance for Telltale to pick up the ball and get it moving. Do they finally manage to find their footing, or is this just another misstep in the chain?
The episode starts off right where episode 3 left off: Star-Lord was given the option to either power up or destroy the Eternity Forge. No matter his choice, it falls into the hands of Hala the Accuser, either allowing her to revive her army and her dead son or fusing with her and empowering her into some sort of supernatural being. Neither result bodes well for the Guardians, and they quickly find themselves bested by Hala and thrown off a cliff. While they survive the fall, they’re left arguing if they’re even able, or responsible, to take on Hala. Plus, you know, they need to get off the alien world.
The continued internal arguments amongst the Guardians is still the story’s strongest part, and Who Needs You really makes good use of it. The addition of Mantis and (depending on your choices) Nebula to the team only expands that, both offering new perspectives that can just as easily contribute to the arguments. Thankfully, the external conflict is mostly kept out of this episode after the beginning, and this allows the best to come out. It feels like the season finally hits its stride, especially with a pair of genuinely emotional scenes. It just took way too long to get here.
Much like how the last two episodes picked one member of the Guardians and let you play out scenes from their past to flesh them out, Who Needs You gives the same treatment to Drax. The problem here is that Drax’s history section is by far the shortest. Rocket and Gamora saw solid lengthy segments that looked into their history in interesting ways, but Drax gets a five-minute throwaway scene that could have just as easily not been in the episode. It’s a shame that the story doesn’t really seem to care much about Drax, and he really deserves more fleshing out than he got here.
At least the trend of surprisingly excellent fight scenes continues here. An early fight scene sees the Guardians holding off a swarm of rock worms, forming a circle while the camera spins around them, letting each Guardian get a chance to show their stuff. Another finally sees Drax letting loose as the great warrior he’s always claimed to be, grabbing a rock worm and swinging it around like it’s a flail to smash others. While the fights are fun, there’s an absolutely terrible stealth segment in the episode as well, having you slowly move Star-Lord through a cave while trying not to wake up more worms. Woe be the day that a Telltale game has a mandatory stealth segment. Sure it’s not hard, but it sure is annoying and takes far too long.
One of the most consistent complaints I’ve had against Guardians of the Galaxy‘s entire season is the extremely repetitive soundtrack. Thankfully, this is the first episode where I haven’t felt this issue at all. Electric Light Orchestra’s Livin’ Thing and Buzzcock’s Why Can’t I Touch It are finally put to rest. Instead, we got a fantastic opening set to Jackie DeShannon’s Put a Little Love in Your Heart, and one of the season’s best fight scenes accompanied by Queen’s Stone Cold Crazy. It’s nice to finally see the series figure out how to use music in a non-annoying way, and the only thing that really bothered me is why it took so long to do so.
Who Needs You is probably the best episode of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series yet. Sadly, that isn’t saying much. Up until this point, the series has been noticeably unable to keep up the quality it’s needed to make the season worth it. This may be the best episode, but this is also the penultimate episode and the season needed quality well before this. Telltale has one more chance to salvage something from the season, but it seems unlikely to happen.
Our Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series – Episode 4: Who Needs You review was conducted on PlayStation 4 using a copy purchased by the reviewer. The game is also available on PC via Steam and GOG (Affiliate link), Xbox One, iOS, and Android devices.More About This Game
The best episode of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series yet, Who Needs You has a few good moments but still can't pull the season out of its general under performance.
- Internal Conflict Still Shines
- One of the Best Fight Scenes in the Season
- Great Soundtrack
- Drax's History is too Skimpy
- External Conflict is Dull
- Annoying Stealth Segment