Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is an upcoming action-adventure by Eidos Montreal. The publisher, Square Enix, is taking a second chance with the Marvel franchise. Their first attempt was a live-service RPG by Crystal Dynamics. Sadly, Marvel’s Avengers wasn’t very successful.
Eidos Montreal is the new developer. The studio has a deep reputation thanks to its Deux Ex saga. Moreover, they created the latest Tomb Raider Game, 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider, after Crystal Dynamics passed the torch.
Days before the newer title release, let’s see how the change of studio and formula can pay off.
Marvels’ Guardians of the Galaxy is debuting on October 24.
The game is debuting for PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. There’s also a Cloud Version premiering for Nintendo Switch on October 26.
Lastly, PC players can find the game on Steam or the Epic Games Store.
The minimum PC requirements will look like this:
- CPU : Intel Core i5 3470 / AMD FX-8350
- RAM : 8GB
- GPU :Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 2GB / AMD Radeon RX 560 2GB
- Storage : TBC
- Operating System : Windows 10 (64-bit)
We don’t have information about the storage yet, so we don’t know how much it can take from your console.
You can already pre-order the game, either a digital or a physical version. You can choose between the Deluxe Edition or the Standard Edition.
The Digital Deluxe Edition includes:
- The base game
- Two Star-Lord outfits
- The soundtrack (digital download)
- The artbook (digital download)
There’s also a Cosmic Deluxe Edition, the physical premium version. It adds a bookcase plus the physical art book.
What is Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy?
Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy mixes the quirky, crazy action of the sci-fi franchise with simplified Deus Ex RPG systems.
You play as Star-Lord, the leader of the misfit squad, which is as far as your role-playing goes. That’s because this game is not about branching stories. Guardians of the Galaxy is not an RPG.
Instead, you’ll experience an original Guardians of the Galaxy story. The plot comes to you in a semi-linear design and an action-adventure formula.
What do I mean by that? Well, two things. First, the story is linear at the beginning, linear at the end but offers some leeway in the middle portion of the game. You can visit various places, choose which missions to complete, and complete stories in a way that may alter your journey.
Secondly, the design and style come straight from James Gunn’s GotG series. These are movies that forever marked the MCU with color, humor, and non-formulaic character-driven stories.
And as a character-driven story, there’re some choices to make. Yet, the consequences won’t alter the ending. However, your journey and character interactions may vary depending on your decisions.
Unlike the movies changing the Marvel formula, this game doesn’t push any boundaries regarding its gameplay. It’s just the sci-fi third-person shooting experience you’d expect: there’re powers, there’s tech, and there’re weapons. Still, it feels leagues better than Marvel’s Avengers.
That said, the meat of the game is combat. You fight alongside the titular Guardians (Drax, Rocket, Gamora, and Groot). You combine your signature attacks with tag-team combos, finishing moves, and elemental damage.
The Story Arc
The game presents a pseudo-origin story for the quirky team. As a newly-formed team, you set off a chain of events that led to a universal catastrophe. The band must now become responsible for their mistake and, as usual, save the universe.
Lore-wise, the plot takes place years after a massive interstellar war. The Guardians of the Galaxy hope to make some quick money by taking advantage of the post-war situations.
However, one of their scams goes wrong. Once again, Peter Quill messes everything up and threatens the fragile universal peace.
Restoring the peace requires visiting a vast number of colorful, gorgeous worlds. You’ll find iconic Marvel characters in many of these places.
That said, these are small, self-contained areas. That means A-to-B-places full of enemies and puzzles. After completing the areas, the game often prompts a cinematic cut that continues the story.
These are some of the best parts of the game, showcasing how cool Arnold Drake’s original characters can be. As always, the five team members are aggressive, sarcastic, and yet endearing with each other. The constant bickering, questioning, humor, and sarcasm come together with an all-80’s rock soundtrack, courtesy of Star-Lord’s mixtapes.
For all else, check the story trailer below. Oh yeah, for some reason, Cosmo the SpaceDog is there.
The original story is very different from what we’ve seen in the comics and films. Much comes in dialogue, where you hear snippets of your companion’s backstories. Also, the subtle choices make a huge difference in the journey, albeit all roads lead to the same ending.
The choices won’t alter the overarching story arc, but they add the human element. It changes how you and your companions feel and think about what they do. Moreover, it alters the flow of each mission.
Choices are natural and may open up completely different experiences during the mid-part of the game. Either way, you’ll see the same story-beats and ending on every playthrough.
Star-Lord is an ex-space pirate, self-proclaimed hero, and leader. You’re familiar with the story if you’ve seen the MCU movie.
Gamora is, as always, the deadliest (and perhaps prettiest) woman in the galaxy. She’s mostly annoyed at you, though.
Then there’s Drax, an outlaw and a war hero not capable of understanding social cues.
I AM GROOT is the last of his kind. He’s a powerful, nearly indestructible being with a keen sense of loyalty.
Lastly, Rocket is the bad-mouthed, tech-enhanced Raccoon. He’s a genius weapon hoarder with a “heart of gold.”
The antagonist faction is the Universal Church of Truth. This is a religious empire made up of various alien species across the stars. On Marvel’s 616 main timeline, they worship Adam Warlock’s evil self, Magus, who’s a servitor of one of the Old Ones (Many-Angled Ones).
By the looks of the trailer, it seems the Guardians of the Galaxy betrayed the cult by stealing something from them.
Outside of the missions, you can walk around the Milano, your starship. You can explore its many rooms, discover secrets, and talk to your companions.
There’s also a workbench on the Milano. As you explore, you’ll gather resources Rocket Racoon can use to upgrade gear and unlock perks at the workbench.
Then, as an action-adventure game, you’ll find many environmental puzzles that require platforming.
As the team leader, you make choices, pick sides, and encourage/discourage your companions. It defines your relationship with the gang.
There’re also light RPG elements. You gain XP on combat, and you gain an Ability Point per level. AS you earn Ability points, you can upgrade your Guardian’s abilities. Each one has three main skills, plus a fourth you unlock during the story.
These abilities have four stats: Target, Stagger, Damage, and Cooldown. These need no explanation except for “Target,” which refers to how many enemies the skill can hit.
Lastly, there’re 40 different outfits. These are either original or taken from the comics and movies.
Here’s a Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy gameplay video. Check out how Peter Quill’s team-member can get angry or happy with their leader:
These elements sound like the Mass Effect saga, where the Milano works like the Tempest of the Normandy. The similarity is light, though, as Guardians of the Galaxy is much, much simpler. As I said, it’s not an RPG.
Also, the game has the special touch their characters bring. For example, there’s a jukebox on the Milano packed with ’80s music. Drax even comments on your choices, and it’s great.
The setup is simple. You’re Peter Quill and have two blasters that deal elemental damage, plus rocket boots. Your blasters are not too strong, at first. Moreover, they deal less damage the further away you are.
You play third-person shooting action by combining auto-aimed shots, skills, and commands to your companions. Also, you use your jet boots for dodging.
There’s also a stagger bar similar to various Final Fantasy games. When an enemy enters the stagger state, it lays low and suffers extra damage.
The downside is how enemies have HP bars. Without proper stagger tactics, combat gameplay is unnecessarily long.
Lucky for you, the companion AI is quite good. Each companion fights differently and even talks during the fights.
You can also trigger the special moves of your squad members, which are vital. For example, Groot can lock down enemies with his roots. Similarly, there’re team-up finishing attacks.
There’s also a “huddle system.” This is like a buff/heal option that depends on player choice. When you “huddle,” each team member responds to their current battle status. Depending on how you respond, you influence the strength of the buff and the heal. The way it works is by blasting ’80s music through Start-Lords’ bombastic headphones.
The environmental puzzles also need some teamwork. For example, you can make Drax toss an explosive barrel or Gamora super-jump onto high ledges.
Lastly, you can revive your team members when they fall.
Overall, combat is chaotic, colorful, and entertaining. Moreover, there can be character moments even during the heat of battle.
What can I say? Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy looks great. Without breaking any molds, it seems like a delightful character-driven action-adventure game with characters many people love.
Forget about the Guardians films also. This game and these characters are different but equally enjoyable. They have unique stories, engaging dialogues, and plenty of moments to shine by showing weaknesses, strengths, doubts, and love.
The combat itself is less entertaining, though. While the mechanics are fun and explosive, the enemy HP bar feels like it’s there to add extra playtime.
But we can take the good with the bad. It’s not a perfect game, but it can be one of the best Marvel games available for PC and console. Can it be Excelsior? We shall see when it debuts.