Reviews

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Although licensed games aren’t as big because they were in the 2000s, Marvel video games happen to be creating a huge comeback in the last few years. Existing releases like Marvel’s Spider-Man and Marvel’s Avengers have shown fans the highest of highs and lowest of lows with regards to licensed superhero games, with exciting new entries like Marvel’s Wolverine on the horizon, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has some pretty big shoes to fill. Eidos-Montreal’s undertake the band of intergalactic misfits avoids most of the pitfalls that Marvel’s Avengers experienced, however it doesn’t have the ability to reach the highs that the Guardians can handle. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is really a game having a whole lot of heart, nevertheless its variety and ideas are only able to do so much to hold up an average plot and lack of polish.

Marvel’s Guardians from the Galaxy is really a fully single-player, narrative-driven adventure that places players in to the jet boots of Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, leader from the newly-formed Guardians from the Galaxy. In this game, the team continues to be working through their differences and learning to interact. It’s less than an origin story, however the team is still new enough at this time within the story where it basically seems like one. As it happens, a setup like this is effective for any Guardians from the Galaxy game.

Because the story is to establish in such a way, Eidos-Montreal places a huge focus on being the leader from the Guardians from the Galaxy. Star-Lord may be the only playable Guardian, even though many felt like this would be a strange decision when it was initially revealed, it’s actually one of the game’s strongest aspects. In combat, you allow commands to another members of the team and try to come up with creative combos for his or her unique skills. You are able to give Groot the order to bind a group of enemies with his roots after which take advantage of that by yelling at Rocket to throw a grenade, for example. Each Guardian excels in certain areas, and discovering the proper way to utilize them is easily the most engaging part of this game’s combat system.

After filling a meter throughout a fight, you are able to activate the Huddle, which pulls they aside for any quick motivational speech. The Guardians will say different things depending on how the fight is going, and it’s your decision to choose the right aspect to say. Choose the best thing, the entire team gets a buff. Choose the wrong thing, only Quill gets the boost. Regardless of the outcome, Quill loads up an audio lesson on his MP3 player and music starts to play in the game’s extensive 80s soundtrack. The music is amazing, however, you wouldn’t expect anything less from a Guardians from the Galaxy game. It’s little touches like these that report Eidos-Montreal’s passion for the IP.

The leadership theme doesn’t stop once combat ends, however. Even though it doesn’t branch over a Telltale game, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy features frequent dialogue choices with larger story decisions sprinkled among. These choices are mostly inconsequential, but they can result in unique gameplay sections or special bonuses later down the road that other players might miss based on their decisions. These choices primarily affect the way the other Guardians feel about Quill’s leadership, resulting in different dialogue and character dynamics. It may sound small in writing, however it makes the story feel much more personal despite the fact that all players go down exactly the same path.

The main plot itself, however, isn’t quite interesting. It will possess some good moments and some surprises, but the team’s dynamic is exactly what carries the main story. As the main plot is certainly not to write home about, the best moments happen outside the main story beats. A casual talk to Rocket on the Milano, an introspective conversation with Drax on Knowhere, these one-on-one moments between Quill and the other Guardians are the best in the entire game. Returning to the Milano in between chapters and doing the team was always a pleasure.

Just like the movies and comics, farmville realizes that the Guardians are at their best when they’re not shot at. Eidos-Montreal nailed the characterizations. They get these characters. They’re not afraid to let Gamora show her soft side. Drax is much more than only a punchline. It’s obvious that there was a large amount of care and attention put into getting these characters right.

This game also goes further to focus on Guardians of the Galaxy fans. It’s got all the music you would expect, a brand new joke is cracked before you can even process the last one, and the team’s journey somehow takes them to every fan-favorite location from both the movies and comics. If all you want to complete is fight battle some aliens, giving commands to Groot, Gamora, and the rest of the gang while classic 80s tracks blast in the background, then you’ll have a wonderful time with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

Unfortunately, the Guardians’ journey isn’t a totally stable one. The sport is marred with consistent bugs across last-gen and current-gen systems. The experience is certainly better if you’re playing on PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X|S, but PS4 and Xbox One owners are going to have a lesser experience. On last-gen consoles like PS4, the game runs at 30 FPS with drops. The sport can find it difficult to maintain that target in later sections with plentiful enemies and particle effects. There's also occasional audio glitches where sound clips will stutter. The next-gen versions seem to have been the priority during development, but even these aren’t perfectly stable.

On PS5, I didn’t encounter anything game-breaking, but there were plenty of instances where I had to reload an earlier checkpoint since the game wouldn’t allow me to interact with anything. Serious story moments would lose all of their weight since the interaction prompt just wouldn’t appear and I’d need to reload a checkpoint or dialogue would constantly repeat and I’d miss out on what was being said. In other cases, interaction prompts would seem however the buttons would remain on-screen for considerably longer than they must have. Again, the worst bugs could be fixed with a simple reload, however the issues were frequent enough that they became frustrating. This game could have used another month or two within the oven to add one more layer of polish.

Things may also start getting fairly repetitive because the game goes on. Once you get a feel for the combat, it’s easy to settle right into a rhythm and prevent experimenting with your abilities as much. If only it leaned harder into the strategy aspect of combat and implemented something like the Gambit system from Final Fantasy XII. Combat encounters can really begin to feel like just studying the motions, especially in the other half of the game. Exploration isn’t super rewarding either, as you’ll usually just find a small batch of crafting components should you go out of the right path to find secrets. You'll find unlockable costumes, however, however these are dished out so infrequently and the best ones are saved for last, so it’s challenging excited about them.

Overall, Marvel’s Guardians from the Galaxy is a good time. It's its dull moments, sure, but I’m still looking forward to spending some more hours with Star-Lord and also the crew when i clean up trophies and aim for the Platinum. When you break from a Huddle with music blasting and everyone’s abilities going off, it’s hard not to have a blast. Farmville nailed the vibe and nailed the look, even if the middling story, intricacies, and repetition hold it back from being truly great.

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