HHW Gaming Review: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’ Is A Flarkin’ Good Time

HHW Gaming Review: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’ Is A Flarkin’ Good Time

'Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Source: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Like the film of the same name, we hit the start button on Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy with some very reasonable expectations but walked away, mightily impressed.

Embracing The MCU A Little Bit

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Source: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

When trailers for Eidos-Montreal’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy arrived, gamers, including us, were not blown away by what was shown. We immediately began thinking we were in for a second helping of mediocrity we experienced after playing Crystal Dynamic’s Marvel’s Avengers. We couldn’t help but think we are about to get another game based on a popular Marvel property that doesn’t accurately capture the feeling the Marvel Cinematic Universe films give its fans.

Now to be fair, we totally understand that Square Enix wants to build its own Marvel video game world, hence why they distanced themselves from the movies but to completely alienate the games from the movie franchises is what hurt Marvel’s Avengers, well that and the fact the online component is straight a**. But, we are happy to report that is not the case with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. 

Like James Gunn’s brilliant take on the ragtag bunch of “heroes,” Eidos-Montreal’s game leans heavily on what made those movies work, the unique characters and worlds while giving us a visually new spin on them. Thankfully we don’t have to see Chris Pratt’s mug in 4K and 60 FPS on our smart TV’s screen, but what we do get is a fresh and even more lovable take on Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord and his merry band of reformed misfits.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Source: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy takes us on an incredible adventure across the universe, with a captivating original story that will keep you fully engaged. It not only reintroduces us to titular heroes but other characters from Marvel’s rich history like Fing Fang Foom, Lady Dread, Adam Warlock, and more.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Source: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Marvel property without all of the easter eggs found while visiting familiar locations like Knowhere the severed Celestial head turned into a trading outpost.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Source: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Words Speak Louder Than Action

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Source: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Now, don’t get it twisted. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is full of action, but it’s the dialogue between Star-Lord and his crew as well as with other characters you encounter that takes center stage. In the game, you take control of Star-Lord and utilize the unique blasters that his mother gives to him on his birthday, handed down to him by his alien dad, whom we sadly don’t get to meet in the game.

This game focuses on Quill’s leadership skills, which are determined by how you interact with your team throughout the game. In this game, your choices do matter a bit. For example, there is a moment where you have to decide if you want Drax to toss Rocket across a large gap to activate a bridge. If you choose the option for Drax to chuck Rocket like a pebble, the already easily agitated raccoon will not appreciate that decision and will hold it against you.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Source: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

Other moments where Quill’s snap leadership comes into play could affect situations as you progress further in the game. We’re not going to spoil those moments for you, but just keep that in mind. Star-Lord’s leadership also affects how he and the guardians fight. During battles with the many incredibly designed baddies, Star-Lord can issue commands to Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax through an action wheel instructing them to perform moves they will learn as you play the game.

Each character plays a specific role, Gamora is nimble but still strong, Groot is more of a supporting character but can deal damage, Drax is the bruiser, Rocket can inflict damage on multiple enemies, and Star-Lord is well balanced. A moment that really stands out is when you’re able to rally the troops by calling”huddles,” and if you make the correct choice based on the dialogue, it will grant the entire team a boost during battle. The “huddle” also adds one of the game’s many licensed tracks to the battle, so it’s quite hilarious to be kicking alien a** while New Kids on The Block’s “Hanging Tough” is playing as the background music.

Final Verdict

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Source: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

With Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Square Enix and Eidos-Montreal learned from Crystal Dynamics’s mistakes with its overly ambitious game Marvel’s Avengers. The studio realized Marvel fans just want a fantastic single-player campaign with a great story and easily delivered on that front. The game features some of the best character models we have ever seen in a game, and that is not sacrificed even if you opt to play in performance mode over quality mode.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy also features some of the best in-game writing and honestly had us laughing our a**es off at some of the interactions between Star-Lord and his crew as well as other fantastic cut scene moments. The game also has a lot of heart and, like the first movie, has a great story that will have you giving a significant damn about Star-Lord and his crew.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy succeeds where Marvel’s Avengers failed so miserably and belongs in the pantheon of other great games based on our favorite superheroes.

* Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game code was provided by Square Enix and reviewed on PS5*

Photo: Square Enix / Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

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