Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Review

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - game

All right, Enough with the warm-up time to catch us a real monster. Let's get paid. If you're like me and played Marvel's Avengers only to say, Gee. I wish this was just focused on the single-player campaign instead of all that games as a service stuff, then boy do I have good news for you. There are no microtransactions, no multiplayer, and a relatively meaty story.

Square Enix's next Marvel game, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, is further proof that linear single-player campaigns haven't gone anywhere. It's simple but entertaining combat and levels revolutionize the action genre or anything, but those solid fundamentals and the loads of personalities slathered on top of them still make for some good old-fashioned fun.

We're not seriously looking into that. You say the weather patterns of the secondary are tied to the That's not how women work or whether it looks worse than it is. Despite being named after the team, you spend the entirety of this roughly 18-hour campaign playing as Peter Quill, aka Star-lord. That was a surprising choice to me, but it's one that ends up working very well.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - gameplay

The main plot is a cosmic comic book adventure about the guardians trying to get out of debt, learning to work together, and maybe saving the galaxy along the way, but it's framed by events that are much more personal to Peter. The result is an engaging story that balances its spectacle and banter with some genuinely heartfelt moments for both Peter and the rest of the crew.

Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Dax believe that one must lead a life filled with purpose. While that story is entirely linear, Idiom Montreal's deus ex machina roots certainly show through in the number of conversation choices you're given. There's rarely a moment where the guardians aren't talking, which is welcome when the writing and performances are all as amusing as they are.

We'll be in and out with no one the wiser. What part of quiet don't you understand? Peter Quill did no killing. Peter's dialogue choices are mostly just a fun bit of role-playing, but some can have an unexpected impact. For example, one time I made a choice that resulted in the next level being a simple stealth section, only to find out after finishing the story that the other option would have instead led to a massive fire fight.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - gotg

You'll also control Peter and his dual pistols during combat, only able to tell your teammates to use certain abilities rather than swap into their shoes directly. That could be Gamora, dealing massive damage to a single target or group of enemies with roots. Peter has his own powers too, like unleashing an extra rapid-fire stream of shots.

As well as different elemental shots like ice and electricity, that wide variety of options is consistently fun and rewarding to juggle, even if it doesn't necessarily add up to the deepest combat system I've ever seen. Most of the time you'll be holding the left trigger to lock onto an enemy and the right trigger to unleash a fire hose of lasers, but different enemy types did push me to dodge around, swap between elemental attacks frequently, or combine specific teammate abilities as needed.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - gotg game

Another thing that keeps combat fresh throughout is the banter. The interplay between each guardian is both entertaining and insightful as their relationships evolve. There were moments where I'd hear the same line a few too many times, but similar fights were still frequently made fresh again based on the conversations that took place during them.

Whose idea was to make me sharp on the inside, I am not sure, but I am sure. There's even a super move called the huddle where Peter gathers everyone around and you have to choose the correct pep talk he'll give to earn a buff. Doing so will even start playing one of Guardians of the Galaxy's many licensed 80s songs.

In between the fights and cut scenes, you'll make your way through gorgeous alien worlds, Nova Core spaceships, and more varied locations. These sections are all extremely linear, with the occasional simple environmental puzzle to solve or optional collectible to find. Similar to the combat, they stay entertaining more thanks to the story and personality your team brings to them and their visual variety, rather than being especially interesting to interact with on their own.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - guardians of the galaxy

The collectibles you pick up are either crafting resources used to upgrade Peter's capabilities; it offers a cool selection of cosmetic costumes; written logs for a bit of story flavor; or special items that unlock insightful new conversations when you're hanging out back on your ship between chapters.

It was always rewarding to collect these things, even if the side paths were often just as easy to find and navigate as the main ones and the sprint button was sorely missed. What gives them the right to just take my ship? They're just parking it. You'll get it back. What if I parked your sword, then I parked your arm off?

Crafting currency can be spent on 15 different perks that are all available to unlock right away, while fights earn new ability points to unlock new powers. Don't worry, once the thumpers are placed, we'll meet in the middle and we'll capture the monster together. We're talking about fighting alone.

We're a team. We fight better together because, out on that field, it's all for one and one for all, and that's exactly how we win this time.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy reviewed by Tom Marks on PlayStation 5, also available on PlayStation 4, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch streaming. The latest Marvel game published by Square Enix, developed by Deus Ex Mankind Divided developer Eidos Montreal, is yet another convincing example of how much fun a linear, no-frills, single-player campaign can be.
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