Review | Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Review | Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

LifeisXbox’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy review | Square Enix Avenger’s was met with some mixed responses. For me personally I liked the first half of the game but when the live-service elements crawled into the game my mind made a Thanos finger snap. I started to dislike Avenger’s, even though the first hours were fantastic. Now months later that same publisher is now releasing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Undoubtful a team with the most unique and funny Marvel characters. Still, I wasn’t exactly hyped for the game as my bitter aftertaste from the Avenger’s game was still fresh. Readers I must confess, I don’t think I ever been more wrong with a first reveal impression… Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is, well… Peter Quill’s ‘You Said It Yourself, B****. We’re The Guardians Of The Galaxy’ quote from the first movie nails the feeling. Eidos Montreal delivered and created the best Marvel game you can buy. They truly delivered on everything that Guardians of the Galaxy stands for, a fantastic soundtrack, perfect character interactions and a crazy story that shows the best character traits from Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket and Drax. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy completely washed away the sour taste from Marvel’s Avengers and I’m now, more than ever, looking forward to new Marvel adventures on Xbox!

‚ĄĻÔłŹ | We played Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy on Xbox Series X

What we liked!

  • What. A. Soundtrack. Does. This. Game. Have. |¬†I think it is the first time I ever started a review with the soundtrack, I didn’t even do it for Fuser or Aaero. Guardians of the Galaxy and music is almost synonymous, thanks to the excellent soundtrack from the Marvel movies. Not only is it the same for this game but they go even further with a fictional band. Eidos actually created a band, recorded a rock album¬†(Spotify-link)¬†with Steve Szczepkowski and features it epicly in the game. All that extra work while having an outstanding song selection from bands that everyone knows. Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Bonnie Tyler, Twisted Sister, KISS, a-ha, Europe and much much more. This 80s heaven for ears is one hell of an accomplishment, Dance Off, Bro.
  • A single-player game¬†| I really feel the need to mention this clearly. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has no microtransactions or isn’t plagued with live-service limitations. This is a 100% awesome to play, fully committed single-player game.
  • A true Guardians of the Galaxy story |¬†We follow the story through the eyes of Star-Lord, right at the moment when Gamora and Drax join the team. Important to know is that this is inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy comics so this doesn’t follow the two Marvel movies. The basics are still the same though, Groot is still the last of his kind, Rocket is a genetically manipulated raccoon¬†(Please don’t say him that)¬†so every character still has the same comics-inspired backstory. It is incredible to hold the Xbox controller and see the team come together in a way that beats any other Marvel story, even if you don’t know the characters you immediately start to love them. There’s only one game I can compare it with and that’s Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands. Even story choices are present, often you decide what Star-Lord will do with dialogue options. Not only does this make you feel part of the story as a player but it increases replay value for New Game+. You’ll meet interesting new characters and familiar faces that keep the story fresh, especially retriever Cosmo has some shiny moments.
  • Strong creative visuals |¬†Everything about this game screams high-quality visuals, together with superb creative level design. Breathing colourful alien worlds really give the game an unmatched atmosphere, it has some strong The Outer Worlds vibes in alien world design. Each environment looks exactly out of a high-production Sci-Fi series with an incredible eye for details. Stunning vistas invite the player to take a million pictures with the photo mode. By the way, thumbs up for including this photo mode on day one Eidos! While the levels are on a linear path there is still enough room to explore and discover. Right from the start the game manages to impress by showing Star-Lords room as a kid with photorealistic visuals, the contrast with the alien world with pink goo in chapter one couldn’t be more clear. The impressed feeling never ends as every part of the game received the same love and never stops to surprise with new design ideas. That same love is used for the character models of the Guardians and enemies with world-leading facial expressions. For such a narrative-driven game it really benefits from the believable and high detailed facial models.
  • Perfect team dynamic and dialogue |¬†One of the strongest things about Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is the believable team dynamic while playing. There is hardly a moment of long silence and your team members are always commenting on what Star-Lord is doing or Drax his bickering against Gamora is lovely to follow too, especially how the relationship changes the longer you play. It just feels real, like if you are watching a movie. The interaction between your fellow Guardians is truly remarkable and for me, it is the first time a game manages to do it that realistically. The best example of that is when you start to explore the levels and the Guardians have to wait on the path of progression, all of that without repetition! They always have a new dialogue to say, often something hilarious. They also gave more value to the collectables, if you manage to find them you will unlock new conversations, here you will find out more about each Guardian. While Marvel fans will know the backgrounds it still remains emotional to hear Rocket’s past or be proud of Gamora’s life decisions. I’m a sucker for narrative-driven games, so this is like a dream game for me.
  • Many laughing out loud moments |¬†‘So you call creatures that fly, flies? That’s so original.’ Said Rocket somewhere early in the game. Not a quarter of an hour goes by without a smile on your face. Constant funny remarks from the characters make this one of the funniest games I ever played. With a starring role for Drax, if you found him funny in the movies you’ll be rolling on the floor in this game. Memorable funny moments are numerous, going from ludicrous images with Groot hugging a colourful space lama, hilarious arguments between hero’s and out-of-the-blue Drax or Rocket quotes that give you tears from laughing.
  • Engaging team combat |¬†Most of your time you will be shooting with Star-Lords blasters, there are a few mechanics to make it more fun than your typical shooter. Most importantly the distance between Peter and the enemy will decide on how much damage you deal. Secondly, there’s also a Gears of War kinda instant reload that will deal a lot more damage. What really makes the combat fun is using the abilities of other Guardians. Groot’s ability to trap enemies for example if a real lifesaver, and a great combo opportunity for Rocket’s grenade ability. There’s big importance on timing as enemies will stagger so they take double damage, here is where Drax comes in as he can speed up staggering. That’s where the real fun part of combat comes from as things become pretty hectic with multiple enemies. Keeping an eye on the combat is important as a teamleader and if things become too much you can call for a time-out. With a time-out the team comes together, you decide what Star-Lord says depending on what other characters are saying. Depending on how successful your speech is you will buff your entire team and turn the tide of a battle. They made it even more epic by adding a licensed 80s song while you are buffed, trust me… there’s nothing like killing alien monsters while an Iron Maiden song kicks in.
  • There’s just so much good in this game and the biggest reason is variation|¬†I could write or talk forever about this game. It is so rare to play something so well designed! It all comes down to one important part, they always try to make the gameplay varied and fresh. New combat abilities are constantly introduced so you can change your most favourite combat tactic after almost every fight. The pace between combat, exploring and story are perfectly balanced too. You never feel that a part takes too long and they aren’t afraid to change things up a little with fun platforming, easy puzzle solving with Guardian abilities or even taking over the Milano spaceship.

Character design | One thing I loved about Eidos Guardians of the Galaxy game was the character designs, they didn’t exactly copy the designs from the comics or movies but made their own versions (see left image). They didn’t take much risk but the small changes are appreciated. By exploring the world you can also find costumes and change the look, the movies costumes or even more obscure versions like Groot’s Five Horseman of the Apocalypse outfit.

  • Quality mode | They offer you two visual modes (a third coming later with ray tracing) with quality and performance. There is only one I recommend though and that’s performance. This smooth 60 FPS mode is the way to play Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The quality mode looks a little bit better yeah but the difference is really small and the 30 FPS performances regularly drop frames. If it would stay at a stable 30 FPS it would have been a different story‚Ķ Anyway, I’m team 60 FPS. I will always pick this mode over anything else and I highly suggest you do the same.

What we disliked

  • Packed control scheme | Star-Lord his abilities are placed under L3 and each of the Guardians have four abilities that are placed with R2 + A B Y or X. That’s a lot to remember and it just doesn’t feel comfortable that Star-Lord his special moves are activated by L3. That’s my one and only complaint, I know that a controller only has a few buttons but I’m sure that another, more user-friendly option would have been possible. Couldn’t Rocket come up with something tech-savvy?

How long to beat the story | 18 hours
How long to achieve 1000G | 25 hours
Similar with | The single player content from Marvel’s Avengers

95%

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is overwhelmingly good. Eidos Montreal managed to create an authentic and incredible Marvel game that everyone will love. An epic original story, beautiful visuals, fantastic dialogue and an even better soundtrack. I used it in the introduction, but I’m using Star-Lords quote again: ”You Said It Yourself, B****. We’re The Guardians Of The Galaxy”

A must-play adventure. I take a deep bow for the developers as this is truly something special.
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