What do you get when you bring together a wise-cracking Human/Spartoi hybrid, a Kylosian brute, the deadly daughter of a mad Titan, a talking raccoon with an affinity for weapons, and a talking tree? Apparently, you get a Marvel property primed for engaging narrative adventures that unfold with style on both the big and small screens!
First a little background before we get into our review of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The IP entered Marvel’s superhero pantheon in the late 60s. But it was quite a different team than the band of miscreants that headline Eidos-Montreal’s multi-platform action-adventure. This quintet is the more recognized band of unlikely heroes popularized by James Gunn’s 2014 space adventure.
Much like Insomniac did with the Spider-Man property, Eidos-Montreal took inspiration from the well-known source material to create an entirely new adventure for the Guardians. Technically it’s not the first video game iteration of Star-Lord and his companions. That credit goes to Telltale’s episodic adventure. This one, however, is arguably the best one. It blends immersive gameplay, stunning visuals, and a robust story to craft a memorable singleplayer experience.
Yes, singleplayer. But we’ll touch on that oddity later. First some general thoughts:
What we loved:
- Wonderful team dynamic highlights the heart and soul of the Guardians
- Engaging gameplay and combat
- A true singleplayer narrative that further proves multiplayer isn’t the key to good gaming
What needs work:
- Occasional moments of repetition
- Dialogue can get tiresome during combat
- More customization options would help create a more diverse experience
Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy Review
An All-New Guardians Tale
With two movies (and one more coming up), a pair of appearances in Infinity War and Endgame, as well as countless comic books, it would have been easy for Eidos-Montreal to just lift a story. Simply copy and paste character personalities and a story arch, and call it a day. Instead, the development team went all out, creating its own version of the Guardians.
So, don’t expect to feel like you’re controlling Chris Pratt’s iteration of Star-Lord. This one, at times, feels like a whole different character. Even Rocket, Gamora, Drax, and even Groot have undergone personality adjustments. Yes, a tree has a different personality, as he feels quite a bit more ancient and established than in the MCU’s iteration.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy follows the broke and opportunistic team on its latest grand misadventure. That pits them against notable Marvel figures like the Kree, the Chitauri, the Universal Church of Truth, Adam Warlock, Fin Fang Foom, Cosmo the Spacedog, and more.
Each character plays a critical role in advancing the game’s story and helps give the universe life, but like so many other Marvel titles, many just feel plopped into the narrative to lazily push it in a direction.
Guardians of the Galaxy does try new things with the team, which quirks up the plot a bit. Don’t expect to step away remembering or even caring much about what exactly unfolded though. It’s mostly a serviceable plot that spans familiar locations in the Marvel universe, failing to break new ground on its epic journey. No, where Guardians shine is with its gameplay, which takes an interesting approach to manage the four-person team.
Intergalactic Gameplay for One Player
When Square Enix first announced Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, there was a general assumption that it would be a multiplayer experience. However, Eidos-Montreal opted to stick to a singleplayer narrative, putting Star-Lord at the center as the only playable protagonist.
At first, it seems like an odd move. With so much gameplay material, why not open up each character for players to shoot, smash, and bash with? As it turns out, it was a bold move that paid off.
When you have a talking raccoon and a giant tree at your disposal, playing as the generic human character with guns understandably sounds like the poor choice. Yet Quill’s sidearms, assorted tech (who doesn’t love jet boots?), and an unrestricted skill tree lend to varied gameplay that’s flashy and largely entertaining for how linear and straightforward the game is. And just because players don’t control the other Guardians doesn’t mean they don’t factor into the gameplay.
Don’t worry about them
When in the thick of battle, each of the four AI characters does their part in taking down the game’s assorted baddies. Gamora, Groot, and Drax go in for the barrage of melee attacks. Rocket avoids the fray as much as possible with ranged weaponry. When players get tired of doing the bulk of the damage, they can call in any of the other Guardians with special commands and abilities or call them in for a stat-boosting huddle.
Having all Guardians on the battlefield lends to a unique singleplayer experience that helps players forget that Guardians of the Galaxy could have been a great story-based multiplayer. Unfortunately, it also opens up the playing field for repetitive dialogue that can get tiresome, particularly as boss battles and some fights can drone out a little longer than they should.
Thankfully, even in those moments, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy still has something to hinge on that this review should highlight: its visual aesthetics. There is almost always a lot happening on screen.
Regardless of whether you’re immersed in a fight with intergalactic Yetis on an icy world or hanging around the group’s ship, the Benatar. Eidos-Montreal pulled no punches when fleshing out the game’s many worlds and locations. They’re detailed, vibrant, colorful, and rarely bland. And in the rare moments they could use some sprucing up, combat often fills the screen with brilliant colors, explosions, and particle effects.
Heroic but Dysfunctional
Regardless of the medium, the Guardians of the Galaxy have always been a bit dysfunctional. Eidos-Montreal did well to showcase the disconnect between characters, particularly the strained relationship between Drax and Gamora. Some of that does rub onto r to the overall experience.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy does sporadically dish out too much of the team’s disconnect which teeters on the edge of repetitive. The overall experience is pretty spectacular and action-packed though. At its core, just like the titular team, there’s plenty of heart and soul to make Guardians worth playing through, even if there are no other players to enjoy it with.
There you have it! Our review for Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy video game. What did you think of the game? Do let us know in the comments below! And, if you’re ever in need of some gaming gift cards, don’t hesitate to visit our friends at OffGamers!
Image credit: Eidos-Montréal, Square Enix
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