When I finished Neo: The World Ends With You on the Nintendo Switch last month, marking the end of games I started playing last year, that left me with a new conundrum of what to play next. After much deliberation I decided to play another game that came out of last year—the surprising hit Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy published by Square Enix.
At the time this game was announced I wasn’t all that interested in playing it. Despite being a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was something about the look and feel of the game that didn’t pique my interest. In fact I presumed it would be a lame action-adventure game that’s trying to piggyback off of the popularity of the films.
As the reviews rolled in for this game, later raking in a number of game awards at the end of 2021, I was surprised to learn Guardians was really that good. It still wasn’t enough for me to put down money to buy the game though. But leave it to my older sister for deciding to give me Guardians as my Christmas present last year. I swear she has a nose for buying me games I’m hesitant to buy at first only to make that decision for me by surprising me with it as a gift for Christmases or birthdays. I probably have her to thank for getting me to play these games I would probably skip. And believe me when I say that I’m so glad she bought me this one.
The game starts off with a young Peter Quill on his birthday. His mother Meredith Quill comes down to fetch him for some cake, and there’s a nice exchange between mother and son that sets up the close relationship Peter had with his mom. The game later opens up to allow the player to interact with objects in young Peter’s room, reminiscent of a Telltale video game, getting to know the eventual leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy during that time in his life before he is snatched away from earth.
Later it’s revealed that it’s all a dream or a memory Peter is having, and we cut to the present day with an older Peter Quill, now Star-Lord, aboard his ship the Milano and planning out his next mission with his team comprised of Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Drax.
I’m still in the early stages of this game but what I have experienced so far is amazing. The writing and the phenomenal voice acting hooked me from the beginning. I already spent a huge chunk of my time interacting with the team and even stood still as Peter to listen to the back and forth banter between Peter and the other Guardians. A lot of it is hilarious and it’s not dialogue you want to miss.
Exploring the Milano at the beginning of the game, I was pleasantly surprised to find an impressive catalog of hit 80s songs from Wham! to Joan Jett having made its way into the game that a player can select and listen to in its entirety. Going through the selections almost made me want to stay in the Milano for a long time and not bother with accomplishing the objective at hand.
Guardians is pretty much a whole new adventure that doesn’t reference anything from the Marvel movies too much, and if they did, it’s very minimal. I haven’t read the comics but I think Guardians uses them as a springboard for the game’s story.
All I can say from my first few hours with it is that it’s fun and incredibly hard to put down. At 16 chapters in total, I can see myself probably finishing this one much more quickly than the other games I’ve played recently. It’s wonderfully engaging and a good time all around.