The middle chapter of Telltale’s Guardians of the Galaxy series feels like a long windup to a single, meaningful punch. Very little of consequence to the plot takes place until the very last sequence, in which you’re asked to make probably the most momentous decision so far. It’s a pivotal point for everything that came before and likely will come after, but of the 90 minutes in this episode, most of it isn’t terribly exciting.
After Peter Quill and Rocket took their turns in episodes 1 and 2, Episode 3: More Than a Feeling puts the sisters Gamora and Nebula in the spotlight for a brief flashback mission from when they were both still in Thanos’ service. It injects some quick time action into the script by having powerful characters briefly bash on generic Kree mooks, but there’s not much in the way of meaningful stakes, so it falls flat. Playing through the events first from Gamora’s perspective and then from Nebula’s reveals some details each character had that the other didn’t, casting their motivations and attitudes toward each other in a different light. But the writing just didn’t connect with the same emotional weight as previous episodes, and there was a clear, seemingly correct answer to resolve it all, rather than presenting a difficult choice.
Otherwise, the great bulk of More Than A Feeling is not much more than a lot of talking. The mystery in Peter’s visions is resolved in a somewhat anticlimactic way, though it does introduce the character of Mantis, a shy empath who rounds out the cast well. Unfortunately, she didn’t help bring any sense of urgency or drama to a script so focused on people discussing what they’re going to do while actually doing very little. Dialogue and character development is all well and good, and most of the writing in this episode is high quality, exploring tensions between the Guardians by creating a conflict over the proper use of power. It just took up more screen time than I would have liked in an adaptation of a comic book and film series known for snappy pacing and lots of action.
Telltale does manage to cap it off with an exciting, comic book punch-up that requires a team that’s never stood more divided to work together for a common cause. In the midst of it all, I made a choice about the Eternity Forge that potentially has massive ramifications for the remaining two episodes. If it really turns out to be as important as it seems, that would make for a really interesting set of branching endings. But there is also the possibility that everything will converge back on roughly the same point regardless of what we choose here. It wouldn’t be the first time Telltale has done this with seemingly important events.