Telltale busted out the solid dance moves when releasing a strong effort with Guardians of the Galaxy, Episode 1: Tangled Up in Blue (read our review). Luckily, they’re back with another strong effort that takes a much more emotional focus with its storylines. So, Groot, put your seatbelt on! Let’s talk about Episode 2: Under Pressure.
What Is It?
Under Pressure picks up immediately where Tangled Up in Blue left off with a solid Guardians take: Peter is immediately attacked by his teammates when they can’t believe what he’s gone through. It leads to some solid humor that is heightened should you choose to dance – and trust me, do it. It’s what Star-Lord would do.
With Thanos dealt with and the Guardians in possession of the Eternity Forge, the team is on the run from a fanatical Hala and her Kree army while trying to determine what sort of personal connection Peter has with the artifact. Determining clues takes a bit of a backseat to introducing personal stories for Rocket and Gamora. The former certainly has a deeper take but the latter touches nicely upon the impact Thanos’ handling has on Gamora and her sister Nebula.
Why Should I Care?
This episode did a wonderful job with exploring their characters further with Rocket having the opportunity to particularly shine. It’s an emotional insight into Rocket’s backstory that helps give you the opportunity to double down on keeping him as part of the group, should you have pushed on that in the first episode. It’s not without its discord elsewhere within the group, which is kind of typical within a Telltale series, but I was happy with the results should you choose to prioritize this part of the storyline.
Thanos’ impact is still felt within this episode and it drives some conflicting feelings within Gamora, especially how it relates to her relationship with Nebula. It’s not quite as deep as the Rocket element but it’s a nice driver to ensure the story can keep moving along. Ultimately, along with the Rocket storyline, the game’s story offers some nice parallels to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, though it’s hard to know how intentional that may have been.
All that said, Under Pressure isn’t without its fair share of action. The episode gives you some battle control of the Milano in an actual space setting. For me, it didn’t come across quite as awkward as firing Peter’s pistols could be Tangled. The control flows fairly well even if you don’t get to control the ship quite as much as I would have liked. I would have also liked to control the other Guardians more, as again you get just a small glimpse into the others.
Luckily, the episode was primarily devoid of technical issues. I didn’t experience very many hiccups or framerate issues. The biggest exception was attempting to use the Milano’s tape deck. I was able to play a tape but it only produced silence. It, unfortunately, wasn’t a joke about the ship falling apart, as backing away from the deck resulted in Peter dancing.
What Makes It Worth My Time and Money?
Under Pressure gives you a better chance to grow your relationship with these characters without stalling much of the story. Emotional ties were the biggest takeaway from this episode from me, more so than most Telltale series episodes (except for the finale of The Walking Dead season one. Dammit, Lee). It still ends up balancing out that emotion with humor and action, creating a nice package.
The episode runs you a little less than 2 hours; I think it was closer to 90 minutes. Most decisions are also fairly quick to make, so it won’t create too many dilemmas. At the end, it leaves you on arguably a bigger cliffhanger than Tangled Up in Blue. Episode 3 now, please (I need to know who it is!).