You might come into this latest Marvel title from Square Enix with trepidation, given the mixed reception to Marvel’s Avengers in 2020, but, from the word go, the characters in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy grab you and don’t let go.
On top of that are dialogue-driven, call-to-arms moments where the team huddles up and, if you choose the right prompt, is revived with a damage buff. These moments are underscored by a classic 80s beat, giving the player a bit of an energy boost as well.
Finally, there are contextual, button-prompts which can pop up during combat, such as having Drax throw something, or the whole team doing a series of finishing moves.
Since you are generally dealing with a lot of enemies, crowd control is crucial, so you need to use perks and other moves constantly, but getting exactly the right move, on the right enemy, at the right time feels more difficult and frantic than it should.
The story explores both Quill’s history, as well as getting the team out of their latest spot of trouble, and takes you to a variety of exotic planets, fighting everything from your more standard man-with-gun-foes to giant cubes with spikes inside.
Getting exactly the right move, on the right enemy, at the right time feels more difficult and frantic than it should.
The attention to detail on display, particularly with the character and enemy design, is outstanding. For example, as you’re making your way around different platforming areas, you’ll see Groot growing his way up to reach ledges.
You’ll notice the care taken on the dialogue as well. If you decide to wander off looking for crafting parts or secret costumes (which are plentiful and, thankfully, not hidden behind microtransactions), one of the team, usually Rocket, will ridicule you for exploring a dead end.
Of the locations you’ll visit, the one with the most character is the Guardians’ home – their spaceship, the Milano. Whether it’s the personalisation of each crew member’s quarters, or the way the team interacts with one another without you, it all feels really natural.
Filling the locations are Easter eggs to everything from the 1980s to the comics themselves, whether it’s trinkets you’ll pick up, alternate costumes from comics runs like the Age of Apocalypse, or throwaway references in dialogue to characters like Death.
It’s not just NPCs chatting away either, as you chip in on the team’s banter, or they look to you to make the plan, which can have an impact on how encounters go down. Of course, as with all dialogue-driven gameplay, you’re never sure if you’ve picked the wrong option or it was always going the same way.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun, exciting space adventure from start to finish, and there are very few reasons you should be hesitant about jumping in on the adventure. You’ve got this, probably.