You may have played the Square Enix-published Marvels Avengers, and thought, "I wish this had focused on the single-player campaign." Then I have good news: Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy is also published by Square Enix. It is a further example of linear, single-player campaigns that have not been surpassed by microtransactions and multiplayer. The game's easy-to-use combat system and level design aren't going to revolutionize the genre. However, those solid foundations and the metric tons of personality that is added to them make Guardians of the Galaxy great fun.
You spend 18 hours playing the role of Star-Lord Peter Quill. It was an unexpected choice, but it works very well for the story. While the main plot is straightforward: it's a comic-book adventure about Guardians learning to work together and getting out of debt. However, the story is framed by personal events that Peter finds more interesting. It's a compelling story that balances the constant stream of spectacle and banter with some truly heartfelt moments for Peter and the rest.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Screenshots 10 IMAGES
Although the story is linear, Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex roots are evident in the variety of dialogue choices you get throughout it. You are constantly given options on how Peter will respond during different conversations. This is whether it's during story moments or while chatting with teammates. It's rare that the Guardians don't talk, which is a welcome thing when the writing and performances can be as funny as they are. Although these dialogue choices are a fun way to play a role in a story that isn't on the rails, some can have unexpected consequences.
You might find that a character will help you by making the right choices in dialogue to save them at one time. Another time, I made a decision that led to the next level being a simple stealth area. However, after the story was over, it turned out that the other option would have transformed the entire level into an epic firefight. While the vast majority of this campaign will look similar to others, these small differences added a personal touch and made me want to try New Game Plus to find out what else might have happened.
Each playthrough is personalized with your choices.
Peter is not the only character in the story. In combat, you have limited control over Peter and his dual pistols. Instead of being able to swap into the shoes the Guardians have, they can unlock four abilities that you can command them to use. Gamora can deal a lot of damage to one target, while Groot sends roots out to bind enemies. This system allows you to have many options at once. The speed at which they are being rolled out and how intuitively they are mapped to your controller make it easy to manage mid-fight.
Peter also has some tricks. Hell can get four abilities of his own. One is the ability to activate his Jet Boots and fly for a brief time. There are four types of elemental shots, which can be used to freeze or burn enemies, as well as regular laser blasts. Combat is great fun because there are so many options. Even though it isn't the most difficult or deepest dance I have ever seen, it is still a lot of fun. You will be giving orders to Guardians and holding the left trigger for locking on to enemies, and the right trigger for unleashing a firehose of lasers. You can reward yourself with additional damage and attention by using an active-reload system, but you'll be mainly holding the right trigger most of the time.
Combat was still enjoyable throughout the campaign. This is partly due to the variety of enemy designs. You are pushed to use different elements to exploit weaknesses and remove shields. There are also larger enemies that can be stunned by certain abilities. Gamora's abilities deal high damage; Rocket and Drax are more skilled at staggering, while Rocket and Rocket have the best AOE. Groot is able to bind targets. You should feel that their abilities are impactful because you'll be doing most of the damage. Your teammates' auto-attacks do about the same damage as an aggressive massage.
The banter is another thing that keeps the combat fresh. There is so much dialogue in this game. The interplay between the team members is both fun and informative. You can see how their relationships change throughout the story. While there were moments when I heard the same line repeated a few times, overall, there was a lot of variety in all the barks. Overly similar fights can still have appeal depending on the context and the conversations that occur during them.
The Huddle is a super move that allows dialogue choice to be brought into combat. You can activate it by accidentally pressing R1 and L1 simultaneously. Peter then gathers everyone together to discuss the fight and you must choose a pep talk response to the information they have shared to earn a buff. The buff will play one of Guardians of the Galaxy's licensed 80s songs, which can be either exciting or hilarious depending on the outcome. It was an amazing experience to fight an alien squid boss with Everybody Have Fun Tonight by Wang Chung playing. Bobby McFerrins Dont worry, Be Happy unexpectedly came on during a crucial endgame encounter was another kind of funny.
Although combat is not the most difficult, it's still a lot of fun.
You'll navigate Guardians of the Galaxy's many locations between cutscenes and fights. These include beautiful alien worlds to Nova Corp spaceships, as well as stunning alien worlds. These sections, like the story, are very linear with only occasional environmental puzzles to solve or collectibles to find. They are broken up by fights at more open arenas. They are also entertaining, similar to combat, because of the banter and visual variety.
Sometimes, you will need to command your team members here. Rocket could be asked to hack a terminal, or Drax to transport something heavy and large from one place to the next. This can lead to some very simple, but still quite amusing puzzle solving. Your team can add a bit of life to these paths by being there. Instead of them wandering off to see things or sitting around bored while you search for a side route, their presence helps you solve the completionist problem of knowing which path has the most goodies. They'll often move towards the next main path and make comments as you head off to find loot.
You will find crafting currency to improve Peter's abilities, cosmetic costumes for different members of the team (all of these are cooler than a throwback reference), written logs to add some story flavor or special items to unlock new conversations while you're onboard your ship between chapters. Even though the side paths were not as easy to find or navigate, it was still a rewarding experience to collect these items. There is one problem with crafting currency. It is too common and can become tedious to pick up. However, this is probably due to the absence of a sprint button.
Comics vs. Movie Inspirations Loading Although Guardians of the Galaxy is much older than the MCU, it's likely that 2014's movie brought them back into the public eye in a way that they weren’t before. This game is clearly inspired by James Gunn's superb adaptation and retro music, but as a comic book fan I was delighted to see how comic booky it is. Without giving away too much, I was delighted to see the comic book references and Easter eggs sprinkled throughout. There are also a few characters who appear in surprising ways. Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy may be trading on the movie's popularity (the first costume that you will find for each member of the team is based on their 2014 movie costumes), but it was also created with love for the source material. It is likely that game comic book lovers will find something special in the final result. However, those who don't know the movies can quickly grasp the concept and feel it important. Cosmo, the psychic Russian space dog, is finally getting the screen time that he deserves. He is truly the best.
The upgrade system is a continuation of the trend. It's satisfying and fun until the end, even though it can sometimes feel a bit flat. You can earn ability points by completing fights. Crafting currency can be used to purchase any of the 15 perks that you have access to right away. It's nice to have everything at your disposal right away. This allows you to prioritize upgrades in the order that you want, and it also ensures there won't be any surprises as the campaign progresses. Even without that, I found that the perks felt meaningful. Only a few of them are stat increases. Most unlock new moves, such as a dash punch, or time slowing to allow you to dodge at the last moment.
Last but not least, I encountered a few bugs during my time on PlayStation 5. Square Enix assured me that most of the bugs I encountered would be resolved by the release, with the exception of two very hard crashes. My progress was impeded at times by an event not triggering properly or a button prompt breaking. There were also some strange visual issues like the adult Peter model being horribly squished into the childhood Peters frame for one scene. It took only a quick checkpoint refresh to get things sorted. The auto-save/checkpointing were so accommodating that even the most difficult issues didn't leave me bitter. However, it is not clear how much will be available on launch day.