Two beloved movies from the hyper-successful Marvel films arrive in game format to the Switch, Xbox and PlayStation in just a few weeks. Re-join the cosmic wrecking crew in a new adventure!
A crossover between Square Enix and Marvel, Eidos-Montreal and D3T (who recently worked on the Alan Wake remaster) is quite the force to be reckoned with, and you can be sure that the outcome of such a collaboration is to be of cosmic proportions. Coming on October 26th to the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox consoles is a third-person, fantasy RPG with a Mass Effect feel – it’s the Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy game.
What context is the game set in?
A colossal galactic war has left huge destruction its wake, and in that destruction lies seemingly infinite potential. Peter Quill (Aka Star Lord) and his gang of cosmic nomads are intent in fully availing themselves of such an exploitable opportunity as they look to secure top spot within the galaxy. It’s an ambitious aim, but will it end up as little more than a pipe dream? Of course, keeping in mind the typically boisterous nature of the Guardians, rowdy confrontations are sure to follow, especially with Lady Hellbender around the corner, and so we could accurately predict that the course of events will deviate somewhat from the original blueprint, and it is precisely that surrealist digression that makes Guardians of the Galaxy stories so enjoyable.
What characters are part of the game?
Only yesterday was the game’s Official Launch Trailer released, and it is the second time Motley Crue’s ‘Kickstart My Heart’ has galvanised a trailer this year – the other being Battlefield 2042 – but I have to say I prefer the sound of kickstarting hearts and butts in Guardians of the Galaxy. The title adopts the movies’ trademark sarcasm, pulling it off surprisingly well in the field of gaming; Guardians is an amusing play full of charm, allowing every character’s persona to shine through even though they aren’t playable. The brutal honesty of Drax, the ever-vexed Rocket and the impulsive Quill, the monosyllabic Groot and ostensibly the only member of the team with their head screwed on, Gamora. The figures we know and love are present, but of course the cinematography and calibre of writing doesn’t quite match the movie – but it wouldn’t, would it? This is a Guardians of the Galaxy game, not a multi-million-dollar blockbuster film. For the die-hard followers of the series’, it is important to adjust our expectations somewhat and not expect a carbon-copy replica of the movie. Variety is after all the spice of life.
What does combat involve?
I was surprised to learn that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game opted to use anime-style combat mechanics, but once you the squad-oriented approach in action it makes total sense. Offensive systems don’t so much look like classic anime titles, like the Tales series, as much as they feel like them. Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax are all controlled by AI with the player solely controlling Star Lord and utilising his delegatory powers. Each member of the crew brings their individual strengths to the table, and it is our job as the nominal sergeant of the group to deliver quasi-motivational speeches, trigger musical interludes and assign our teammates to attack the various alien types we will encounter on our peripatetic planetary sojourns. When we aren’t handing out tasks, we are dodging, weaving, and jet-packing around while firing the Quad Blaster. Tackling enemies requires at minimum a mild touch of strategy in delegating responsibilities to our thrifty team-mates – we cannot take on an army alone, even if we are the Star Lord. Plus, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy rewards team-based combat with an in-battle cutscene feature called ‘The Huddle’ – and this is where the fun really starts. I won’t divulge the details in case you want to maintain the element of surprise, but this feature embodies what the Guardians lore is all about.
What other elements of gameplay are there?
Flying around hand-in-hand with the game’s brilliant soundtrack, consisting of myriad 80’s classics like Iron Maiden, Kiss and the famous metalhead Rick Astley and many more, is a non-linear campaign mode. It is so far unclear just how influential the decisions we make in dialogue and decision trees will be, but they should serve to alter the fate of our motley crew. Star Lord, the character we play as, is not a cookie-cutter Chris Pratt this time around; Eidos-Montreal present to us their own spin on the ET talisman, giving him new looks and vocals to compliment the character’s signature satirical flair. More, it seems that we can expect gameplay to involve some space-flight vehicular combat too, but the specifics on that are so far a bit hazy. How cool is that? It’ll be like Star Wars if it was drunk.
Marvels’ Guardians of the Galaxy won’t be able to meet every player’s expectations – no game can – and it doing so would depend on your own opinions and preferences, which in the MCU fan-base are never in short supply. Either way, the game ticks many boxes, adhering to character profiles and the quintessential vibrancy of the Guardian’s visuals – it’s certainly got big boots to fill, and we can’t wait to get stuck into come the 26th of October. Eidos-Montreal have made it crystal-clear that DLC packages and microtransactions will not feature in the game because, as Mary Demarle of Eidos-Montreal puts it, ‘it’s very important that on day one, when players get this game, they can have access to everything there is about this game…it’s all there. Many fans have expressed their eager anticipation of playing the game on the Nintendo Switch consoles from day one, and I for one am excited to see a new interpretation of the Guardians, and better still, it is interactive.