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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - Don't Stop Believin'
Score: 97%
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1; 2 - 12 (Crowd Play)
Genre: Adventure

Previously On Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy:

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - Don't Stop Believin' has to take the team of misfit heroes from their lowest point to stopping Hala as she tears a path of destruction across the galaxy.

By the time Don't Stop Believin' starts, the Guardians are in shambles. Your choices up to this point will determine who has decided to stay with Peter, who has walked away from the team, and even who has died along the way. One series of choices could have left Drax sacrificing himself to save the Guardians, while the opposite choice would have led to Groot becoming horribly burned. Another choice along the way could have resulted in Nebula fighting against the Guardians, while other possibilities would involve her fighting by their side, but ultimately paying a high cost. How you treated your fellow Guardians could mean that Peter finds himself alone with just one or maybe two companions, but who that is and how they feel about Peter can be very different based on those same choices. Regardless of what you chose though, by the time Episode 4 - Who Needs You ended, the Guardians were a far cry from where they need to be, and this final episode presents two goals to the player. The first is to get all of the living Guardians back together, and the other is to take the fight to Hala and stop her from causing more destruction.

Gathering the Guardians:

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - Don't Stop Believin' kicks off when Peter and his one or two friends decide that they must stop looking for answers at the bottom of a bottle and stop Hala once and for all. They seek out Mantis who left the group, unable to bear the emotional turmoil that surrounded the Guardians when they returned to Knowhere. With the help of a shared memory provided by Groot, you convince the empathic alien that she needs to help Peter find the remaining Guardians (whomever they may be) and convince them to rejoin the team.

With Mantis on-board, she brings Peter into a strange mental plane where he has to express his feelings about the other Guardians in order to better understand his connection to them. As he explores these feelings, Mantis is able to feel where each Guardian is in the galaxy and eventually Peter will be able to travel to the required destinations and convince them to return to the Milano and stop Hala.

As for the shared memory with Groot, where past episodes have delved into a secret history of one of the Guardians, this time we see how the Guardians first formed by being thrown in the same jail cell together. Amusingly enough, since this is from Groot's perspective, whenever the large tree is given dialogue choices, normal text and options are presented, but all that comes out is the character's iconic "I am Groot." There are a few amusing gags that result in this entire interaction, and while this flashback is even shorter than Drax's (as hard as that might be to believe), I felt like it had more of an impact than the previous episode's memories.

Halting Hala:

Once the first part of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - Don't Stop Believin' is complete and the team is all together again, Rocket will formulate a plan to take down Hala's massive ship, and it will require each member of the Guardians to play a pivotal role.

While Peter's role as the one to place explosives on the ship's exterior weapons is set, he has to assign other jobs to the rest of the Guardians. One will be responsible for hacking into the ship's computer, while another protects the hacker. One Guardian will have to cause a distraction in the main corridor of the ship, while another needs to steal the helmet Hala uses to control the weapon. The basic series of events that happen during the operation happens in the same way regardless of who you choose to do what, but the radio chatter that occurs as the events play out differs depending on who you assigned those roles to, and you might find some amusement in replaying this part several different ways just to see how the different options play out.

Choices That Matter:

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series: Episode 5 - Don't Stop Believin' results in the most diverse ending I've seen in a Telltale game so far. Where many other games have choices that will alter how characters feel about the protagonist and this will result in small changes in behavior or differences in conversations, these choices rarely cause major differences in the core story of the game. That isn't quite the case with Guardians of the Galaxy and the result is a larger replay value across all five episodes in order to see the different endings instead of a few choices here or there.

The biggest of these choices is if you decided to destroy or empower the Eternity Forge. With one path, Hala gains the power to bring back the Kree army, and does, along with her dead son. That path leads to a standoff that can result in several different endings that include everything from destroying the Kree army with a revived Celestial to brokering a peace treaty of sorts and then choosing one of the Guardian's loved ones to bring back to life.

If, on the other hand, you chose to destroy the Eternity Forge, then Hala will be on her own while she terrorizes the galaxy, and any of the endings that require the Eternity Forge being intact or Hala's son being alive can't play out. Instead, you will have to deal with a grief-stricken Hala that is crazed by the power of the Eternity Forge fragments that infected her.

My overall impression of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is a game that any fan of Telltale's titles will enjoy, and while there are some low points to the story progression, a lot of which happen in Episode 4, this final piece of the season makes up for any of those failings rather nicely.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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