Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Review

There are two types of games that appeal to me. The first is a game that makes me think and feel things in ways that only games can do that push the medium to new, innovative heights. The other type is a dumb fun popcorn adventure that is fun to play, good story optional. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is the latter and what an adventure.

If you have watched the MCU Guardians of the Galaxy movies then you have a good idea of what you should be in for. The game is unrelated and it has the characters supposedly more like their comic counterparts but the tone is similar. This either means the movies nailed the tone from the comics, or the game has borrowed from both. Either way the tone is absolutely perfect.

Going in, with the jokes from the trailer there was a real concern it would be cheesy and get old fast. I mean how long can they keep the silly humour up without it getting old? Well it turns out they can do it a lot. The game has plenty of cut scenes and slow walk scenes filled with well written dialogue, but also a lot of dialogue as you walk around the world.  

This is what surprised me the most. Normally with these kinds of games I put on the headphones for the cutscenes and take them off for the general action and read subtitles. The contact dialogue was well worth listening to as I changed depending on the stage of the story you are in and was entertaining. When you are exploring dead ends looking for collectables your team sounds annoyed at you faffing around, and you even get mocked for picking up scraps. When I would fire my gun when there was nothing to shoot resulted in some light ribbing.  At another moment Mantis saying Star-Lord needs to learn the hard way when headed in the wrong direction helped lighten the mood. 

The jokes aren’t limited to what is said, and the game has some clever moments that are funny as hell. The way an early boss fight ended rather abruptly had me kinda caught off guard, and then waiting for a next stage that never came had me chuckling. I don’t want to get specific because you deserve to enjoy the moment as it transpires. It is cleverly done is all I will say.

The story itself starts off feeling like a slice of life for the Guardians as they go on an adventure to capture a beast for a reward. They come across the Nova Corps as well as one of Peter’s ex’s and before they know it they are fighting a massive space cult that is taking over the universe. Many times I thought the game must have been getting ready to wrap up and it instead opens the scope more. Normally I like my games extra short so this would be annoying but Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy continued to delight. Every time we got a new character or more insight into one we already know the game was enhanced.

Gameplay is kind of a generic third person action game. You control Star-Lord throughout the game. There are puzzles where you instruct the Guardians to do actions and in battles you can instruct them to use special attacks, but for the most part they do their own thing. This is actually pretty good because it allows the solid, albeit not revolutionary, gameplay systems to not get overly convoluted and get in the way of the narrative.

The game takes you to a lot of different beautifully crafted and colourful worlds which are stars in the game. The use of different terrains, and different styles of life in each one makes the locations feel diverse. Even going through the inside of ships and cities offer a surprising amount of variety. This is of course laid on a soundtrack that is filled with 80s jams to make sure it ticks all of the boxes that made the movies so great.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is probably the surprise hit for me of the year. I figured it would be fun enough but would get a bit old by the end. Instead, by some miracle it held my attention and I spent the whole time enjoying the laughs, the above average story plus the well crafted worlds and characters.  

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