After the release of Marvel’s Avengers in August of last year a lot of fans were left with a bitter taste in their mouths towards Square Enix. Although the concept was good, the game lacked the potential it was promised with only the story being its saving grace, but even then a mix of game stopping bugs, repetitive battle missions that all blended into one generic battle after another and the introduction of ‘pay-to-win’ features certainly put an end to the Avengers superhero entrance into Marvel Games.
Fast forward a year and we were given a trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, although beautiful fans were rightfully wary on the project. The reveal of developers Eidos-Montréal taking the helm was a little comfort however, the minds behind Deus Ex is a drastic change from the Tomb Raider crew. The reveal was well received and with the story and pre-release footage looking strong all that was left was the wait.
Being both a huge fan of the comics and MCU I was very eager to get started and experience The Milano and see what’s what. Straight off the bat the graphics were to be expected from a next generation game. Playing on a Series X definitely showed the game in all its glory. The detail throughout the ship and the character design although taking its own spin shows heavy inspiration from both comics and movies, giving us just what we would expect from our motley crew.
Unlike Avengers this game is extremely linear in story which is exactly what Marvel’s games should be, much like Sony’s exclusive Spider-Man series, giving us a hard hitting stories which is what the universe is all about. After a short flashback taking us to Peter Quill on his 13th birthday we are launched into a world of familiarity with an aggressive Drax looming over. The licensed soundtrack really helps build the setting as we can hear ‘Turn Up the Radio’ by Autograph echoing throughout the ship not to mention the games very own band ‘Star Lord’ with an impressive soundtrack. The ability to change songs on board is a nice touch with certain characters responding to song choices at times.
Although there is not a lot of free roam, you are able to explore extra paths to collect scraps for upgrades and some nice outfits that each have information regarding what comic series they are from. The fighting mechanics albeit repetitive at times can be made quite fun with the companion system with the other guardians helping make big battles easier to handle, the ‘huddle up’ feature which boosts the team is also a nice feature, the team will act either defeated or overly cocky, you will be given dialogue options and if chosen right will boost the entire team whereas choosing wrong will only boost yourself, but having Hot Chocolates ‘Ever 1s a Winner’ playing while killing some alien slime is quite entertaining.
With a rising increase in virtual photography, photo modes have started becoming a staple in games with that said Guardians have gave the community a lot of options in getting those perfect shots.
In whole, This is Marvel Games at its best focusing on story aspects more than complex RPG mechanics like Avengers. The story brings a whole new take on the Guardians while keeping the familiar setting of the MCU and also bringing in characters that are overlooked from the comics given them the light they deserve. Video games are the perfect setting for superhero stories at this very moment in time, being able to deliver longer and in depth stories which we are in control of and giving us visual settings that we rarely see in media.