In an age of superhero movies, it seemed like an inevitability that the genre would make a bigger jump to video games. In previous generations, Marvel’s commitment to the gaming sphere has been a few movie tie-ins and a handful of LEGO games, but with the PlayStation 4 it has been far more attentive. Marvel’s Spider-Man in 2018 was met with overwhelming critical acclaim, which was later balanced out by a somewhat lackluster Avengers title. Yet hopes were reignited somewhat by Eidos-Montreal’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.
The developer’s efforts paid off, as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was a critical darling, and many believed it to be one of the best games of 2021. The game was a return to more linear game design, with players assuming the role of Peter “Star-Lord” Quill as he attempted to keep the misfit band of heroes from killing each other, all while saving the entire galaxy. The experience was largely centered around its story, and as its conclusion leaves open the possibility of a follow-up. With its praise and an ending that invites more in future entries, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is thoroughly deserving of a sequel.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a Stunted Masterpiece
Guardians of the Galaxy underperformed compared to the expectations of publisher Square Enix. In recent years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen hit after hit, so the sales of Eidos-Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy were surely a concern. However, with the title reaching Xbox Game Pass on March 10, there’s a chance more players will see its story unfold. Game Pass was already an enticing deal, but with Guardians on the platform, it could bolster the title’s commercial success and prove that a sequel is in order.
It’s a title that deserves more recognition not only because of its take on the seasoned comic book characters, but also because its linearity is both nostalgic and innovative. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy presented many intriguing narrative threads and engaging gameplay components, but seemingly thanks to an unfortunate association with Crystal Dynamics’ lukewarm Avengersits growth was severely stunted.
A Critically Acclaimed Marvel Video Game Story
Though many could have guessed that the 2021 game would fall short of James Gunn’s films in the MCU, Eidos-Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy does hold its own, even besting the films in a number of areas. The dialogue that litters the main campaign never stops, with each character using not-so-subtle quips and witty lines to flesh out the team. The 15-to-20 hours it takes to see the tale through to completion means this is the most time players have spent with the cast outside the pages of comics.
Taking home the award for Best Narrative at The Game Awards 2021, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy beat the likes of Double Fine’s Psychonauts 2 and Deck Nine’s Life is Strange: True Colors. It speaks wonders that few took issue with the verdict. Across the game’s 16 chapters, the team’s relentless bickering turns into light-hearted jabs, and as the Universal Church of Truth’s overbearing ideology weighs over the galaxy, the team’s problems only get worse. Thankfully, what’s a problem for Star-Lord, Drax, Rocket, Gamora, and Groot is a delight for the player, as many story moments are exciting and heartfelt.
A Rogues’ Gallery of Cosmic Proportions
Each new film, book, or game has to establish a well-developed protagonist, and any allies they have along the way must also be memorable. Menacing villain often takes a back seat as a result, so Eidos-Montreal’s well-executed approach to an antagonist shines bright. Taking on the Universal Church of Truth did wonders to provide an intriguing villain, something that has plagued many MCU films. The Guardians were fighting valiantly against an idea, and one that had its teeth firmly in the majority of the galaxy, so seeing their personalities being tempted by this dark force made for wonderful character moments.
Perhaps the most painful thorn in the side of the team, Thanos, remains elusive throughout the events of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The adopted father of Gamora, Thanos has particularly strong ties with the Guardians of the Galaxy license, so the lack of his presence was noticed; not unlike Venom’s absence from Insomniac’s Spider-Man in 2018. Thanos could be a prime candidate for the villain of any possible sequel, as Drax ‘killing blow to the Mad Titan is the topic of the character’s doubts throughout the game. The showdown with Marvel’s beloved bad guy could be a true battle for the ages.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a satisfying experience from start to finish. Star-Lord and the company’s adventure is one that does not need a sequel, but the possibility of seeing the likable cast in a follow-up is exciting to many. Eidos-Montreal created something special, and it deserves a second chapter; a second chance of success. Wielding a story that rivals anything in Marvel’s cinematic universe, it stands alongside Rocksteady’s Arkham series and Insomniac’s Spider-Man franchise as some of the best superhero games available. Both of the latter had numerous sequels, so depriving the Guardians of another chapter would be a mistake.
Guardians of the Galaxy is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S.
MORE: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Best Abilities To Unlock In The Game
Bethesda should start revealing Starfield gameplay soon, and out of all the game’s facets, character creation seems like the place to start.
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