Every once in a while a video game will come along that surpasses your initial expectations. Games where you aren’t particularly interested in playing at first, but then wins you over when the opportunity to try it presents itself. That game is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
After finishing Neo: The World Ends With You, I decided to continue with games that were released last year. It just so happened that I received Guardians as a Christmas gift, making it the perfect chance to play a game that wasn’t really on my list of games to play. Man, am I ever so glad I did.
The biggest reason to play Guardians is for the tightly written story and the voice acting. It’s an entirely brand new adventure that doesn’t really reference any of the MCU films but borrows from the comic books, which makes it accessible for those who aren’t too familiar with these Marvel heroes. The voice actors in the game really nail the distinct personalities of Peter Quill, Gamora, Rocket, Groot, and Drax and the relationship dynamics they have with each other. Between the squabbling amongst the team to the distrust some members of the Guardians have toward former assassin and adopted daughter of Thanos Gamora, the back and forth banter are the real gems of playing the game.
I have spent plenty of time going around the Milano to listen in on the conversations between the other characters as Peter, or stopping mid-walk onto the next objective on a different planet just so I wouldn’t interrupt the constant flow of jabs, jokes, or comments from the whole team. Unlike some games where there is a bit of dead silence before you hear the characters talking to each other again, the Guardians are constantly engaging with each other, filling the empty air with so much entertaining dialogue you don’t want to miss. I can only imagine what the total count must be for every piece of dialogue written for the game. Couple it with an overarching story of saving the galaxy from a new and bigger threat, and you have yourselves a fun and surprisingly emotional game that’s impossible to put down once you start it.
As I mentioned in my first impressions post of the game, the voice acting and story are what make it really stand out. But the combat? Don’t expect a whole lot. I personally found the controls for the battle sections awkward, frustrating, and maybe a bit glitchy? I’m not sure if it’s because I played this game on an Xbox One and not on the newer consoles, but I have encountered instances where the commands weren’t responding in a way I needed them to.
Some of those issues included trouble opening up the menu when I first started the game, delays when I pressed a button on my controller to do something, or making Peter sprint near the end of the game because the buttons were barely responsive or maybe the controls themselves weren’t all that clear as to which buttons to press to run faster. And don’t even get me started on the flying portions of the game, but that’s more of a me thing than the actual game’s fault. I eventually figured everything out but not without plenty of cursing on my end.
Fighting as Peter didn’t feel as satisfying or as fun as I had hoped. Using his Quad Blaster Element guns barely felt like I was doing much damage to the enemies. I largely relied on directing the other Guardians to deliver the pain with more efficiency than Star Lord himself, focusing on dodging attacks and keeping him alive. It was disappointing mainly because Peter’s guns seemed like they would be cool to use in a fight but mainly served as decorative accessories that weren’t useful in a battle. I think I spent about 95% of all battles issuing commands to Gamora, Drax, Groot, and Rocket than I did on doing any fighting as Peter. Not that it bothered me too much but I have to say the battle system in Guardians was probably the most forgettable part about the game. They wound up being sections to quickly get through in order to get on with the rest of the story.
There were also opportunities to hunt for interesting collectibles, such as new outfits for each Guardian or items that will unlock conversation starter pieces with certain characters when you go back on board the Milano to learn more about them. I was more interested in trying to find as many of the Guardian outfits as I could. Unfortunately, I didn’t find everyone’s outfits except for Drax. Somehow I was really good at finding all of his outfits scattered throughout the game but didn’t have much luck with the rest of the team.
Overlooking mediocre fight sequences, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun romp with a group of ragtag misfits of unlikely heroes who learn to work together to be everyone’s best hope at saving the galaxy once more. There’s a lot of potential for a sequel to this game, and if it’s anything like this one, I would gladly hop on the Milano for another crazy adventure with this crew. Just maybe let’s have less flying involved, yeah?
Reviewer Rating: 9.0/10