Don’t Stop Believin’ begins right where the previous left off – the Guardians are disbanded, and Hala is out destroying the galaxy. Naturally, Star-Lord realizes he needs to get the gang back together to save the day. Getting your ex-comrades back is cool, particularly in the emotionally-charged dialogue you have with each member, but for a series that was such a slow burn, it all happens pretty quickly. There’s a lot of great stuff in this episode, but they all seem to come with a major caveat. You get some great scenes of reconnecting, but the path to get there is long and tedious. It involves a drawn-out conversation with Mantis and a lot of flashback audio; it’s supposed to be your moment of reflection, but the dull execution makes it fall flat.
Before all of that, however, we get the flashback I was most anticipating: Groot. Unlike everyone else’s spotlight moment, which delves into their backstory and fleshes out their character, here we see the moment the Guardians were formed. It’s a really funny scene, but it doesn’t really shed any new light on Groot. Naturally, there’s some emphasis on how he fails to communicate properly, but it’s only used for jokes rather than meaningful character development. This flashback was short and fun, but when compared to the treatment everyone else got it leaves a lot to be desired.
The final assault on the Kree is equally uneven. It starts off fantastic; you’re making plans, choosing roles for your teammates and giving everyone a rousing speech before it all begins. That’s all super fun and full of options. Once the attack starts, it all falls by the wayside. Nothing you told your team to do is even shown, we just get a few comments over the radio. No matter what Star-Lord is tasked with flying outside the Hala’s ship to take out its weapons, which is probably the most boring quick-time event in the series. It’s a huge let-down, but at least the true final battle is an awesome team-up perfectly set to music. It does end on a relatively well, hitting the right emotional notes and offering lots of variations as well as an intriguing final choice. This episode is simultaneously the best and the worst of the series, with its quality often changing on a dime, but at least when the credits rolled it was on the upswing.
Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 5: Don’t Stop Believin’ was developed and published on Xbox One by Telltale Games. It was released November 7, 2017, for $4.99. A copy was provided for review purposes.
To find reviews for the other episodes (as they become available), check out the Guardians of the Galaxy review hub.