Released back in 2021, Marvels’ Guardians of the Galaxy is a lovable action/adventure title from Eidos Montreal. Focusing on the characters we all know and love from the movie franchise but sending them on a standalone fresh adventure that doesn’t tie in with the movies whatsoever. GotG is a confident, creative piece of fun that is far more enjoyable to play than it has any right to be. Let’s dive in!
If you’re lucky enough to own a PS5, then you owe it to yourself to check Guardians out in all it’s glory. Even if you don’t own a PS5, this game looks delicious on last gen consoles also. The world design is absolutely insane and the level of detail will leave your jaw on the floor more times than I can count. The sheer amount of work that went in to making each level not only unique but also gloriously beautiful to look at. Shading, lighting and art design go a huge way in most AA titles but I feel Eidos have etched ahead of all the competition in the visuals department here. The literal alien worlds you visit look like something a magical unicorn on LSD would conjure up in a wild colorful fever dream! They take color and creativity to a vibrant new level and will constantly leave you impressed and the many vistas you’ll discover on your journey across the galaxy.
This is the weakest point for the game which stops this being my game of the year unfortunately. Gameplay isn’t bad but it’s easily the dullest part of this ice cream sandwich! You control Peter Quill mainly but instruct your other squad members to attack using various button prompts. The action that unfolds before you looks impressive but it feels more like a button combo trick than a real fight. You have blasters you can use to fight but they’re very weak and feel like they don’t do any real damage. The layers to the squad based combat are quite detailed and combining character moves with other moves can deal out massive damage. That said, you can get away with just mashing buttons mostly and still keep defeating your foes with ease. As you level up, the combat does open up a little more and there is some variety to keep in fresh but it’s only ever mediocre in comparison to every other gaming mechanic on display in GotG.
Outside of combat, you explore mostly linear paths finding collectibles, platforming and solving some traversal puzzles. Nothing too strenuous and would probably seem boring if it wasn’t for the rather excellent dialogue……which leads me neatly to…..
I have to hand it to the game developers here. Often in games, dialogue repeats itself to the point of becoming annoying and usually the approach of less is more is needed in most games. Not here! The conversations between characters in non-stop and it’s hilarious. Sure lines do get repeated but the quality of writing and the sense of humor is so strong that it will keep you smiling throughout. As the game progresses and the team start to bond more, the dialogue shifts with more upbeat and personal tones which was a very clever touch from the writers. I loved listening to the crew and their banter and I found myself constantly stopping and letting the dialogue play out before progressing further with the game play. An absolute triumph!
I won’t give any specifics away as this deserves to be enjoyed by everyone. As it’s a stand alone and doesn’t connect with the existing movies, they were able to dive deeper into the comic books for some creativity. And wow, they really did get creative with this one! The story really goes places and pushes well beyond playing it safe. I loved how zany it all was and even some of the softer moments. The writers aren’t just good at humor but also great at punching us in the heart when you least expect it. The voice work has to credited here too as each actor convincingly conveys high levels of emotions throughout the story. Drax in particular voiced by Jason Cavalier is capable of having you in stitches in one moment and floods of tears the next. This level of detail and passion for the work just isn’t there for most games. A joyous journey filled with humor and emotions throughout.
James Gunn is famous for bringing 80’s hits to the Guardians movie franchise and thankfully Eidos have followed suit. The soundtrack for the game is stellar featuring hit after hit to make me feel old for loving it! The music also expertly plays a part in the game too. Not only can you chill out on the Milano with Quill’s own space version of Spotify but during game play it factors in too. In combat, when you’ve built up a meter, you can choose ‘Huddle up’. This is where all characters come together for a Peter Quill pep talk and as long as you choose suitable responses, you’ll activate this perk. Peter cranks his walkman up to 11 and a random amazing 80’s song will blare over your gun fight (while also giving all characters a boost). There’s nothing quite like shooting a fire breathing dragon while rocking out to ‘Wake me up before you Go Go’ by Wham!! I would sometimes let the fight go on longer just to listen to the track for longer! Brilliant stuff!
This game is truly a breath of fresh air. You get amazing voice acting with a script that has legs. Humor and pathos is equal measure. You get a fun adventure with a story that is bonkers and so enjoyable to progress through. You get amazing characters and visuals that belong on next generation consoles. You get platforming and puzzle solving, combat and strategy only let down a little by not be as creative as all other departments. GotG is deserving of your time and is a very difficult game to dislike. In the immortal words of one mahogany looking space tree…..’I am Groot’
Available across multiple platforms including PC, XBox Series S/X, PS4 & PS5. Also go check out the soundtrack on Spotify, it’s amazing :