When you think of how disappointing Marvel’s Avengers was, it should come as no surprise that there was alot of skepticism behind Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. While both were published by Square Enix, there was an entirely different developer and the game benefitted from it.
Thankfully, the game exceeds expectations; offering one of the best story-driven experiences of the year in great fashion. While it may have had a few hiccups, it surely ranks up there with the likes of Marvel’s Spider-Man in being one of the best Marvel games to come out recently.
In true Marvel fashion, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy offers an incredible narrative full of humor and heartwarming moments that are sure to bring a smile to your face. Multiple times throughout my 20 hour playthrough, I found myself literally laughing out loud due to each characters humorous dialogue. Bonus points for the non-verbal humor with the alien Llama.
As you can expect, the game revolves around the Guardians of the Galaxy on their adventure to save the galaxy from an impending demise. There aren’t really any unexpected moments and it may seem a little predictable at times but the charm of the characters more than made up for this.
Though the story does follow the team as a whole, this very much feels like Star-Lord’s story as you play as him throughout the entire game. If you go into this expecting to play as each character in a similar fashion to that of Marvel’s Avengers, you’ll be disappointed. My expectations were low with this title if I’m being honest, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The characters were perfectly casted; each voice actor felt genuine and true to their respective character. While the character designs were a little strange at first, I quickly looked past this aspect due to how great the voice acting was.
The character development is pretty phenomenal; each character has their own fear or a trait that holds them back and you can’t help but smile as they begin to realize their full potential. As they do this, they earn new abilities that benefit you greatly in combat.
There are several “big bads” throughout the story, but only one of them comes off as memorable. The others felt a little weak as villains but they served their purpose well enough to keep the story moving forward.
There are many choices you must make that will actually have an impact in some way. While they may be minor changes such as different dialogue or cutscenes, they won’t impact the end of the game as there’s only one true ending.
Overall, the story is great and it’s obvious that it was the focal point in the development of this game which is much appreciated as a fan of the films. It’s undoubtedly one of the best narratives of the year.
The game is visually stunning and quite diverse as each level felt unique and immersive. While Marvel’s Avengers had very repetitive level design, this game doesn’t have that issue. You can tell that each level had a great deal of thought put into it. I appreciated the diversity in the environments as no chapter of the game felt the same.
The game is linear but it does tend to let you deviate from the path to smaller areas to find hidden secrets. These secrets come in the form of new outfits for the characters or components to upgrade your gear. The alternate outfits can only be found by exploring the hidden parts of the game; there are no microtransactions in the game, which is something that plagued Marvel’s Avengers.
The soundtrack, as you can imagine, is amazing. Each song fits the tone of the game and having some killer tracks playing during combat was definitely a great way to pump you up. This was one of the best aspects of the game. Their ship, the Milano, serves as a central hub in between chapters. This is where you can upgrade gear and turn on any of the great songs featured in the game.
Overall, I have no gripes with the world building. The soundtrack is phenomenal and the landscapes are incredibly diverse which only adds to the immersion of the already great story.
Your experience with gameplay may vary depending on what kind of player you are. The upgrades to the combat can be rather simplistic but I didn’t really mind this; almost preferred this as it wasn’t too overwhelming to learn.
You take command of your team of guardians, ordering them to do different moves and combinations with the toggle of a button. Switching between each character to command came with ease, allowing you to focus more on what’s going on on screen as there’s quite a bit happening at all times. Combat is fast paced and felt great. It can be addictive as you learn more moves and get the hang of things.
There’s a large variety of enemy types which made up for the lackluster main villains I mentioned earlier. The enemy types are grotesque and some were incredibly menacing at first glance. This variety to spice things up was a nice change of pace. Boss battles are truly memorable as some set pieces are awe-inspiring.
One pleasant surprise to the gameplay was the space battles in the Milano. You take charge of the ship and fight others in intense fire-fights in space. This added to the variety in combat which was also appreciated. Even if I did blow myself up quite often.
While there were many great things about the game, there are some game-breaking bugs. There were instances where I fell through the map or one of my companions got stuck behind something to where I couldn’t progress forward without their help. This caused me to have to reload the game several times and sometimes replaying certain sections over again.
Overall, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy surpasses expectations. I couldn’t recommend this game more to fans of Marvel. The story is gripping and heartwarming. The world itself is varied and memorable. The gameplay, despite being a little buggy, is quite good. This is easily one of the better games of the year and I’m excited to see what comes next from this developer. Maybe more of the alien Llama?
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