If you, like me played the original online game reviews from Square Enix Avengers by Marvel Avengers and thought"to yourself "I wish this had just focused on the single-player campaign instead of all this game-as-a-service stuff," then do I have good news for you: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy that is also published through Square Enix, has flown into the fray to make a difference. There aren't any microtransactions in the game, no multiplayer, and a surprisingly substantial storyline, it's evidence that single-player, linear campaigns haven't been slowed down. The easy but fun combat as well as its straightforward level design won't transform the genre or anything, but those solid fundamentals and the metric quantity of characters layered over them is more than enough to make Guardians of the Galaxy some classic fun.
Even though the character's name comes from the team, you will spend the whole roughly 18-hour campaign playing as Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord. It's a strange choice to me, but it's one that is able to work extremely well for the plot that's being told. The story is exactly what you'd want to find: a comic book-like cosmic adventure that follows the Guardians seeking to get out of debt, learning to come together, and possibly helping save the universe as they go along - but it's told through events that are more personal to Peter. The result is an engaging story that balances a constant burst of spectacle and banter with heartfelt scenes, for both Peter and all the others: Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot.
Even though the story is completely linear, the developer Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex roots definitely shine through in the sheer range of dialogue options you're offered during the game. You're always given options to choose what Peter will respond to different conversation, whether during key moments of the story or while walking around chatting among your team members it's hard to find a moment that your Guardians remain silent. talking or talking, which is pleasing when the writing and performances are all as enjoyable as they are. These choices of dialogue are usually simply a bit of fun play in an on-rails adventure, but a few of these mighthave an unexpected impact.
For instance, making most appropriate choice of words to save the character in one instance might result in them coming back to assist you later. Another time I made a decision which led to the next level being a straightforward stealth area which I then discovered upon completion of the story that selecting the other option could have transformed an entire level into huge battle. The majority of this campaign is likely to look the same for all, but these small differences added an individual touch to my experience, and also made me excited to try New Game Plus to see what else could have transpired.
It's not just the story where Peter's perspective is used, either: in combat you're in complete control from him along with his two pistols. Instead, instead of switching to characters of the other Guardians that they can use, they have up to four abilities that you can command them to use on command. That could be Groot dropping roots to make enemies bind, or Gamora dealing a huge range of injuries to one particular target. This system offers you several options at any time, and the speed of when they're rolling out and the logical way they're assigned to your controller make it a extremely manageable and enjoyable job to be able to handle at the middle of a battle.
Peter is a bit of a magician in addition to the usual tricks. You can get four powers of his own, one of which is the power to activate your jet boots to fly at a short time. He also has four kinds of elemental shoots that will burning or freezing baddies in addition to his regular laser blasts. Combat is an enormous amount of excitement due to the array of options, even if it'sn't necessarily the deepest or most complex dance I've been able to participate in. In between giving commands to your allies Guardians You'll be holding the left trigger to secure on to an enemy , and using the trigger on your right to unleash a fire spray of lasers. Simple active-reload systems will be rewarded with more damages and make sure you're paying attentively, but for the majority of time, you'll likely be pressing that right trigger frequently.
In spite of that, combat never became boring throughout long periods of time. That's partially thanks to the character design of the enemies, which is wide enough that you're encouraged to use different elemental attacks to break down weaknesses or to remove shields. You also have larger enemies that can be delayed by certain abilities. Your teammates have different capacities - Gamora's capabilities generally have huge damage. Drax is more focused on staggering, Rocket has the best AOE as well as Groot has the ability to lock target. It's good that their abilities seem to be effective, due to the fact that you'll be doing most of the damage by yourself. Your teammates' auto-attacks deal about as much damage as the force of a massage.
Another aspect that keeps the combat lively throughout the game is the banter. Seriously, there is so much spoken dialogue in the game. The interaction between team members is both entertaining and informative as you watch their relationships evolve throughout the course of the story. There are certain moments when I'd hear a similar line repeated several times However, on the whole it's quite a variety in each and every one of these barks. These fights might be given new appeal by their context or on the conversations that take place during these fights.
Dialog choices are even made directly relevant to combat using a powerful move known as The Huddle. Once activated (which could be done in a way that is a bit too easy when pressing R1 and L1 at the same time), Peter gathers everyone around to talk about the battle, and you're required to select your pep-talk response in response to what they've spoken to gain a buff. It will also play one of Guardians of the Galaxy's many licensed '80s tracks for the duration of the buff, which is either thrilling as well as hilarious depending on outcome. Fighting a giant alien squid boss with "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" by Wang Chung played has got to be one of the most absurdly exuberant moments I've witnessed in any game this year with the song of Bobby McFerrin "Don't Worry, Be Happy" suddenly pop up in the final battle was something else. funny.
Between the cutscenes and battles you'll explore Guardians of the Galaxy's varied locations, which differ from Nova Corp space ships to stunning alien landscapes. Similar to the story itself these chapters are extremely linear paths with an occasional environmental puzzle or collectibles to hunt for as well as fights in open arenas. Like the combat it is entertaining throughout thanks to the banter and visual variety rather than being extremely deep or captivating on their own.
Sometimes, you'll have to be the commanding officer for your coworkers here for instance, perhaps asking Rocket to hack a terminal or Drax for a task of carrying something big and heavy from one point to another. This can lead to some fairly simple and fun puzzle solving as you decide on the best strategy to combine your different abilities. With your group around, it can add a touch of excitement to these paths, with you having them look at the things they see on their own, or just sitting in the corner bored as you go search a side path. Their presence aids in solving that completeist problem of knowing whether a path is the correct way to go as well as one that is the "wrong" way full of goods, since they'll frequently go to the next main route on their own and offer remarks when you go to search for loot.
Some of the collectibles you'll get are the crafting currency you can use to upgrade Peter's capabilities, costume accessories for team teammates to sport (all ones that are more cool than a recolorand full of new outfits and throwbacks that are similar), written logs for additional story flavour, or special items that unlock new conversations when your at the end of your vessel between chapters. It was always a pleasure to gather these items even if the side routes were frequently as easy to find and navigate the main ones. The only complaint is that crafting currencies are now so widely used that it can become a little difficult to gather, but that's probably due to the inadvertent absence of the sprint button.
Continuing the overall trend of the game, the upgrade mechanic can be pleasurable and enjoyable until the very end even though it can be a bit sluggish at times. By completing fights, you earn points to unlock new powers craft currency, which can be used on any of 15 different perks immediately available for unlocking at the beginning. A complete set of options as soon as you start is great because it means you get to prioritize the upgrades you want in the order you want and also means there aren't many surprises when the game continues. And even without that I was pleasantly surprised by how perks feel significant . Only a handful of them are actually stat enhancements that unlock new moves like a dash strike or slowing the time to a point when you are able to dodge in the final second.
As a last note, it's worth mentioning there were some bugs during my time on PlayStation 5. Apart from two hard crashes no major issues were encountered as Square Enix has said that certain issues that I encountered will be corrected in the coming release. The thing is, I did find my progress slow a few occasions due to an event not activating properly, and a button not responding due to bizarre visual issues here and there, such as that of the mature Peter model being horrifically squished to fit into the childhood Peter's model for one scene. All it ever took was the quick reload of the checkpoint to solve the issue and the auto-save feature and checkpointing are so kind that even the most harrowing issues haven't left me feeling disappointed But it's unclear how much of it will be the case in the days leading up to launch.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy nicely has a fun, action packed adventure alongside some truly touching narrative moments. Furthermore, the choices you're given will add several unexpected personal twists your game. The combat and the level design are straightforward and continuously entertaining, but it's the interaction and banter that happens between the characters that make it alive as they evolve. It's unlikely to set the world on flames, but Guardians of the Galaxy is yet another compelling example of just how fun for a straightforward, easy-to-play, single-player game can be.