While I thought Telltale's first episode in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series wasn't the best note to start on, it still held some promise of ideas that could be explored. While Tangled Up in Blue ultimately failed at bringing me exactly what I wanted, I went into Under Pressure really expecting an improvement. Does Telltale bring me the Guardians that I want, or is this series going Knowhere fast?
Under Pressure picks up right where Tangled Up in Blue leaves off: Star-Lord is killed by Hala the Accuser only to be immediately revived by the Eternity Forge. The rest of the Guardians begin to realize that they have an extremely powerful artifact and that they may need to hang onto it. Hala is still hunting them, now Nebula is getting involved too, and Rocket wants the Eternity Forge for his own reasons. It's quickly becoming quite the mess.
This episode mostly focuses on two specific things: Rocket Raccoon's history and Gamora's relationship with her sister Nebula. You'll spend a good chunk of this episode on Halfworld, getting to learn about Rocket's former love interest Lylla and how both of them were uplifted from normal animals into their current form. Rocket's arc is surprisingly well done, and by the end of the episode, I found it quite easy to care about my favorite psychotic raccoon weapons expert. This portion of the game does feel like the focus, even giving you a chance to step into the role of Rocket himself for a little while. It's no different than playing as Star-Lord of course, but it's still a fun change.
As for Gamora and Nebula, they do get a few good scenes here but ultimately it felt like an afterthought. Some bonding is clearly needed between the two, but this felt more like the set up for the next episode rather than being fully fleshed out here. I can hope future episodes really do something with Nebula, but for now, she's mostly there for a bit of flavor and plot advancement, plus one or two neat fight scenes. If anyone is getting the shaft, however, it's Drax and Groot. Drax doesn't have much to do in this episode other than provide mild comic relief and binge eat, while Groot spends the entire episode wandering around in the background. It's a shame seeing these two wasted like this.
Much like the first episode, we do get another scene of Star-Lord getting to put some mild detective skills to use. You can still use your rocket boots to check out several floors, and a scanner to see past events in an area. It's a distraction, but still not on the level of Batman: The Telltale Series' excellent investigation scenes. There's also still the usual quick time even fight scenes. A sword fight between Gamora and Nebula serves as a highlight here, but all of them are still interesting to watch.
Under Pressure makes use of licensed songs as well. A late game fight scene set to Spark's This Town Ain't Big Enough for the Two of Us ends up as a rather fantastic use of the song. That said, not much has been added to the soundtrack and the same songs from the first episode are used here. I'm honestly quite sick of The Buzzcocks' Why Can't I Touch It and if the series never uses that song again this would be a massive improvement. The episode does feature some great voice acting, and in particular Nolan North does a fantastic job with Rocket.
I'm not quite sure Under Pressure is showing the improvement that Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series really needs to take off. Much like the first episode it's still solid, everything done here works in some way and there are even a few moments I really enjoyed, but it's not really matching Telltale's other series. If the next episode doesn't show significant improvement then I'm not sure if it's going to be worth picking up this series.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series - Episode 2: Under Pressure was reviewed on PlayStation 4 using a copy purchased by the reviewer. The game is also available on Xbox One, PC, iOS, and Android devices.
Under Pressure continues most of the problems with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series. It's interesting, but not interesting enough. It's funny, but not funny enough. It has everything to make a good Telltale series, but not enough of it. I'm honestly starting to worry at this point.
- Rocket's Arc is Really Interesting
- Genuienly Funny
- Fight Scenes are Entertaining
- Drax and Groot are Forgotten
- Soundtrack Still Repetitive