Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: In 2014, director James Gunn did what seemed impossible by taking some of Marvel’s darkest characters and releasing one of the best MCU movies featuring Guardians of the Galaxy. With this, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot and company began to inhabit the popular imagination of the masses and enjoy the status of great heroes.
So when Square Enix announced the game Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy during E3 2021, it was no longer dealing with a bunch of high-end supporting casts, but rather with one of the top brands in modern pop culture. This caused the project by developer Eidos Montreal to be surrounded by expectations, especially after the less-than-expected reception of the Avengers game.
At the producer’s invitation, we had the opportunity to play just over 1 hour of the game in 1 of its complete chapters via the cloud via Parsec, so it’s already possible to better assess what are the chances of this game to stand out and who exactly is the audience target of this endeavor. Check out our impressions below.
Mix of cinema and comics
One of the best surprises of the test, and which became evident very quickly during the first few minutes aboard the Milano ship, is the way in which the game, despite drinking heavily from the cinema fountain, is so inspired by the Marvel comics! The narrative makes many references to the phase of Dan Abnett, something the writers had already confirmed in an exclusive interview.
The first gameplay segment I had access to was in Milano’s tiny hub, where Star-Lord, the only controllable character throughout the entire campaign, could freely explore the ship’s various rooms and accommodations. Always with the camera in third person, it is possible to interact with various objects, which usually activates dialog sequences.
Picking up an item pertaining to another Guardian, he enters the room and starts chatting with Peter Quill, which is a golden opportunity to learn a little more about his lore and personality. Overall, the text is very well written, although there are some embarrassing silences between speeches at times, not seeming to be a natural exchange of dialogues.
If the player spends time getting to know his crew better, he’ll soon notice that their past is much more inspired by comic book characters than movie events, so it’s a good idea to do your “homework” or open wide. the mind if you are not familiar with comics. Here’s a friendly tip: if possible, read the comics, because they are really good!
To be able to continue with the narrative, when the gamer gets tired of exploring Milano, just interact with the pilot seat to embark with your friends until the next mission in a very linear structure. Apparently, it’s only in the middle of the missions that we’ll have access to the action, so the developers were quite honest in saying that this was a mostly narrative-focused experience.
Interweaving action and story
In the chapter I had access to, the Guardians explored the headquarters of Tropa Nova, a very suspicious place since it is unusually close to the ground, with no sign of a living soul there. As the player walks around and tries to figure out what’s going on, the Guardians chat a lot among themselves, both exchanging jokes and more seriously discussing their theories about what’s going on at the base.
There are even a few simple environmental puzzles to deal with here and there, like interacting with wires scattered around the scene in order to open doors or order the Rocket to go through a pipe and clear a path. After exploring a bit, the gamer soon finds his first enemies and notices that the combat is functional enough that it doesn’t disappoint anyone, but it doesn’t get too excited either.
Although there are many enemies and possibilities to combine moves, the player is not motivated to build fancy combos as in Devil May Cry. The grace is purely to overcome the challenge by abusing Star-Lord’s long-range shots, exchanging the occasional close-up punch or two, as well as triggering the powers of the other Guardians, which work on the basis of cooldowns.
As the team progresses, you can access a skill tree and release new special moves for your allies, which is very simple and accessible to do, avoiding a lot of unnecessary bureaucracy in the menus. In the end, simplicity sets the tone for all the systems and battles, putting the action only as a means to the end of getting on with the story and learning more about these cool heroes and their misadventures.
It may not be the brightest release of 2021, but for those who like adventure games in the line of Uncharted, in which the dialogues and dynamics between the characters are the main attraction, it seems like a good option! And, for those who are disappointed with Avengers and are looking for a more “oiled”, unpretentious and polished journey, it also turns out to be a good way to have fun with the Marvel universe at home.