If you’ve been playing along with Telltale’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy series, then you’re in for some shock and awe with its fourth episode, which is titled, “Who Needs You”. Those three words go a long way in this rather somber and plot altering episode, which is a bit of a slog to get through, but also offers some of the most dire choices for a Telltale game since its Game of Thrones run. Let’s just say that there’s a great chance that your party of Guardians will look much different by the time this episode wraps, because your choice selections have far reaching consequences that can’t be undone.
The episode continues where the third left off, so the Guardians are still locked in a cave structure with Hala, who has since absorbed the Forge and has become even more deadly than before. Once the group escapes they’re placed right back into hot water in a scene best described as an homage to the Millennium Falcon’s run in with a space slug in The Empire Strikes Back. It’s from this moment on that you start making choices that will forever affect the Guardians, and these choices can even lead to the deaths of the main cast members. Yeah, Telltale isn’t screwing around in this episode when it comes to the decisions you’re forced to make as Star Lord.
These choices are all rooted in the concept of the Guardians being a family even though they’re all different species and races. Like all diverse groups of people, especially family, the Guardians argue and fight a lot, which is at the center of this episode. Through Mantis you start to understand how screwed up their dynamic is, and it’s hard for her and yourself to actually think these characters care for each other. Well, that is at least until you start making life changing decisions based on prior conversations you’ve had with the team. These discussions usually revolve around the fact that while the Guardians appear to hate each other, they’d still rather sacrifice themselves to keep the rest of the team alive. It’s this dynamic that will force you to make more than a few choices that can result in the permadeath of team members, or them actually walking away from the group.
I must be a bad leader, or maybe too much of a softy, because by the time I completed this episode I had did some major damage to the Guardians’ lives and relationships. I’m not going to divulge what happened due to spoilers, but I’ll say that I didn’t initially think Telltale would take things as far as they did, which is a credit to their formula of allowing players to mostly shape their own experiences. Just make sure you’re paying attention to all dialogue options, which can be tough at times, because this episode is rather slow moving in parts, and you can lose interest with all of the exposition and miss key exchanges.
“Who Needs You” results in some shocking moments that will greatly affect how the final episode plays out, so it is worth playing if you’ve invested in the journey so far. Just be prepared for a few slow moving sections that get kind of boring due to extended conversations, but thanks to the consequences you face with your choices, this episode still packs in a worthwhile experience.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided an Xbox One code by the publisher for the purposes of this review.