This single player adventure title features one of the best versions of the guardians in a compelling storyline with jaw dropping environments, visuals and 80s soundtrack. Even though it falls short in combat, I'll recommend this for the dialog and quips alone.
- Great story and dialog
- Likable, deeply written characters
- Beautiful visuals
- Amazing soundtrack
What' not so
- Combat is meh
- Repetitive encounters
(Marvel's) Guardians of the Galaxy
After the 2020 sh*t show that was the Avengers game, when Square Enix announced a new title based on the Guardians of the Galaxy, the whole gaming community was skeptical. Having learnt not to shell out money based on hype alone previously on Avengers and Cyberpunk, I waited for the reviews and digital foundry analysis to come in before experiencing for myself. And I have to say, it did not disappoint.
Gone are the multiplayer loot-box grinding of the Avengers' 2020 game in favor of what is an excellent 15 hour story with a bunch of button-mashing thrown in. You play as Peter Quill (or Star Lord (Who?)) with the rest of the guardians as supporting characters, whom you can command to perform certain attacks or help in solving various environmental puzzles.
The story is broken down into chapters and they are quite well segmented into feeling like episodes of a guardians TV show. The production quality is pretty high as well, with everything from the ship, Milano, to various worlds you'll visit during the course of the story, very detailed. Each location has a unique feel to it, and is sure to make your jaw drop when you experience it for the first time.
The characters initially looked like discount versions of the characters in the MCU, but unlike the Avengers game, they're incredibly well written, with stories of each of them explored with depth, something we couldn't have in the movies due to the short amount of time we spent with them.
From Rocket humiliating you on taking an off-main path, to Drax laughing at you for failing to solve a puzzle, it's the little moments that shine in the game. Conversations flow naturally, the characters will start up a conversation about a recent adventure, or about what's to come whenever you're idling in the Milano. They'll drop hints when you're stuck that are in line with their personality, and engage in various optional conversations, giving insight into their back story when you chat up with them, or find lore markers scattered throughout the world.
There are a bunch of decisions you've to make during the game, but they don't change the outcome of the main story. Rather they present some unique dialog options, and change how some encounters play out.
The supporting characters are also explored in depth, with Cosmo, Mantis, Kammy the space-llama, [SPOILER] and [SPOILER] standing out.
You get a zoom call from a dog!
If that's not a convincing argument to alone play this game, perhaps try your hands on the rockin' 80s soundtrack. Disposing enemies while the Final Countdown plays brings back memories of the good old YouTube AMV era.
They created a fictional band for the purpose of this game, and it is amazing!
And it's one of the few times I'm not mad after getting rick-rolled by the damn ship!
The combat then, it's not great for a game of this generation, it gets repetitive at times. A song from Peter's playlist only plays after a "huddle". And the abilities of the other guardians are not greatly realized. Despite all that, it's quite enjoyable, even though it's not the highlight of the game and you'll probably end up button mashing your way out of the encounters.
There's a couple of space sequences too, with you flying the Milano through a bunch of debris and shooting on some enemies, but the sequences are far too few in number for it to feel like flying. Space visuals though, pretty damn nice.
Overall, I think this would've tied in pretty nicely with Guardians of the Galaxy 3 (which was scheduled to drop around this time), and it shares the universal church of truth storyline with the film (probably). But as a standalone multiverse title following a different set of the Guardians (and not making it a loot-boxy cash grab) was a good choice.
Highly recommended then, If you're a fan of the Guardians' MCU adaptions, or of the comics, this game is guaranteed to entertain you with a season (15-20 hours) worth of content.