Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game came out last week and it’s everything you want in a GOTG game. The second original Marvel game under Eidos Montreal, Guardians of the Galaxy is an original take on the fan favorite heroes, emphasis on original. Just like the 2020s Marvel's Avengers game with their new take on those characters, GOTG has taken the same path to look at these characters in a different way. It seems as if we are seeing the beginnings of a (dare I say it?) MGU (Marvel Gaming Universe).
The game menu immediately starts up playing “Tainted Love” by Soft Cell in the background. Stick around long enough and it cycles through a playlist of hit 80s songs, giving sense of what’s to come. The game opens with a prelude featuring a young Peter Quill in his room on his birthday listening to 80’s rock. After a short segment where you walk around his bedroom, it quickly cuts to Peter on the Milano. The story takes place at a time when the Guardians are still trying to learn how to be a team — and while these are different characters from their movie counterparts, they have similar characteristics. Peter has a huge love for music, Gamora is still the adoptive daughter of Thanos, Drax still takes things extremely literal, Rocket is still a loud mouth raccoon, and Groot is still Groot. That being said, it's interesting to learn about these characters' backgrounds because, while they are so familiar, they are increasingly different from what we already know. The first mission starts with the team on a search for a “monster” for a character named Lady Hellbender, who you’ll meet later on in the game. You enter Nova Corps restricted zone where there is pink goo holding a slew of destroyed ships together. You come across several types of enemies in this mission but it’s a perfect starting point to get you used to things to come in further on. This area in the game is huge! There are hidden pathways everywhere with credits you can pick up for upgrades later. The game really begs you to explore each level and you’ll absolutely want to make sure you do!
The gameplay here is interesting. You only control Peter and the other Guardians act as a sort of power up. This was a weird decision because you would think with a GOTG game they’re would be an opportunity to play as each character. I would have loved to be able to switch between characters in mid battle or team up with other players online, something that would have been easy to do had the decision been made. The movement can feel a bit clunky at times and I would feel like Peter could move a little faster. At times, Peter feels slow and for a game with a lot of action I would have liked smoother movement. That being said, controlling Peter is easy and very mainstream, run, jump, shoot, you even get a bit of a double jump with his rocket boosters. As you play through the introduction mission you unlock the other guardians, which you control by pressing the button that corresponds with that character. Each character’s attack is different and provides necessary help when you need it — and you will need it. Rocket's attack is long ranged, Groot is more defensive by holding the enemies down, Gamora’s attack deals a deadly blow, and Drax is kind of a berserker. Peter also unlocks a slew of upgrades for his gear and abilities.
One awesome moment in the game is when you get these options to “Huddle” a moment when the team is down and out and needs to “rethink” their strategy. The characters turn to you to see what decision you make and if you make the right one Peter throws on his music and everyone gets a power up! These moments felt right out of the movie for me and make the battles extremely fun. You even are able to unlock different looks for all the characters, including their MCU outfits. Overall the average gamer will be able to pick this up without confusion.
At the end of the day, I’m having a blast playing this game. It’s great learning these characters “new” storylines. It’s also just a fun solo campaign to play through. I’m sure there will be DLC as the months go on as Square has been pretty good about doing DLC for Avengers. As I’ve said, I wish this game had multiplayer capabilities. It’s weird to me that they opted to do a solo player game but that was their choice. I enjoy the 80s nostalgia in the game, there is even an original Chewbacca action figure that shows up at one point. Seeing the different worlds and characters, and enemies is pretty fun and exciting you never know who’s going to pop up. Lastly we get to the soundtrack! The music in this game is awesome, everything from Autographs “Turn Up the Radio” all the way to Bobby McFerrin's “Don’t Worry Be Happy.”
All in all, I’d rate this game a 7.5/10. There is a slew of exploration in this game and will be very easy to come back to it for another play through. Hoping for some DLC in the future to add more to the story but with a runtime of about 16/17 hours you definitely won’t be bored.
Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy hit stores on October 26th and is available on multiple consoles and PC.