First Impressions: Guardians of the Galaxy – Rollercoaster

WePC’s full review will be available at a later date.

Following on from The Avengers game last year, The Guardians of the Galaxy game proves how much of a mistake Square Enix, Disney and pretty much everyone else involved made with the decision to make it a live-service game. GotG feels like it’s going to be used as a template for Square’s next Marvel titles, rather than its huge flop MMO. 

Rather than bog the game down with needless multiplayer and loot mechanics, Guardians is a straightforward, rollercoaster game. It consistently never lets up in the first few hours I’ve spent with it, even in the slower portions of the game where you’re simply walking from one end to the other. 

It helps that the cast and script are all on point, with familiarity to the James Gunn movies but still steeped in the waters of the comics and with Eidos Montreal’s panache on top. 

Inspired, but not ripping off

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GotG – thankfully – rarely pulls from the movies for its inspiration outside of the few motifs that saw C-tier characters like Star-Lord, Drax the Destroyer and, Rocket Raccoon become general knowledge answers.  

Peter Quill, Star-Lord, still has his Walkman and tape of 80s music, which comes into play during combat, which I won’t lie, isn’t why I’d recommend this game to anyone. There’s some fun to be had in the varying and weird alien encounters, but it’s the game’s story that begins to pull things along.

I have to say though, this game is maybe one of the best looking games I’ve played this year. Everything from the various creatures you’ll duke it out with to the eye-poppingly vivid planets you explore is absolutely dynamite. It’s not often I stand and gawk at the landscapes in games, but almost every area I’ve encountered in the first few hours has been so dense with just being unique, it masks a lot of the lack of exploration options. 

This smells of MMO…

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When I said this was a rollercoaster, I meant it. You will rarely go off the beaten track – except to collect things – and the game might as well have a giant neon sign that says “BATTLE AHEAD” whenever you’re about to engage the enemy, as everything takes place in a circular or squared off area. 

Even though this is running on a different engine and developed independently of The Avengers, it still feels like a lot was shared between the two teams. Everything from interacting to the general aesthetic, you can see where the live-game elements would have gone. When you command Drax to deal damage to an enemy for the first time, it highlights that he “deals light damage” which looks like a general damage class, while Groot is a crowd controlling Tank. 

Teamwork moments where you have to command the crew to do their job, again, you can see where each player would take their turn to do a thing to feel important. While Eidos did point out that they didn’t add any multiplayer elements in, I am convinced they took them out after the response that Avengers got. 

That’s not a bad thing though, as Guardians of the Galaxy is a well put together game with a lot of charm and proves that not everything needs to be a live service game these days. The Avengers could have been this but instead, it was a poor Destiny clone with the makings of a decent action game. If Square is going to continue with the Marvel license in any capacity, I can totally see them working off the back of the positive response to it.

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