Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Review: One of the best story-centric games of the year-with some gains

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy It’s a weird thing-it’s also one of my favorite games this year, but it’s undeniably flawed. However, the super smooth presentation makes it a must-play game for those who put the story first.

Please let me open this comment with a question and an answer. Can you talk about one video game without talking about other video games? Most of the time, I think the answer is yes-but from time to time there will be a game that cannot be separated from its influence and context. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is such a game.

In the case of GotG, the “other games” are mainly Marvel’s Avengers. Last year’s prestige action and the intersection of game-as-a-service, which are obviously extravagant in terms of cost and vision, but lack the heart and execution. The Avengers didn’t really fail, but it’s not exactly the huge success that people hope to get from the world’s hottest movie asset-and this obvious failure cast a long shadow over the Guardians, Although it is an indie game-and a follow-up in function-Square Enix’s second Marvel game.

Considering this situation, the good news is: Guardians of the Galaxy will not fall into the same trap as the Avengers. On the contrary, it has fallen into other traps. In general, it feels much better than its sibling experience on earth-I recommend it more heartily.

Of course, the main criminal of the Avengers is its role. These are not movie versions, but original works. They are effective on their own, but for whatever reason, they are ridiculed compared to the knockoff toys you find in the dollar store. The adventures of The Astonishing Bulk and Metal Fella; things like that. My assumption has always been that the problem has never been the design of the costume, nor the lack of access to the face of Donnie Jr.—it’s an execution problem. The Guardians successfully established a new version of the crew, which proves this. Through a smart story that is not afraid to breathe in the action, Eidos Montreal provides a new version of Guardians staff, which complements or even compares with the movie version, walks out of the shadow cast by James Gunn’s Guardians, and stands beside him to explain.

These quiet moments are where Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy won with a powerful world construction and powerful role-Deus Ex DNA has the strongest expression. Milan, the Guardian’s ship, changes between chapters like Mass Effect’s Normandy-you can learn more about your crew by exploring between missions, and the collections collected on site will trigger your partner Optional dialogue. Perhaps the best example of a fast-filling role occurred in the early days, where a flashback depicts some of the life of Peter Quill as a long-haired, metal-loving teenager on Earth. This area is full of joyful character creation details-some interactive, some not. The posters on the wall depict real and fictional 80s movies. Peter owns a copy of the death trap dungeon, which is a meta-nod, of course it was written by former Eidos boss Ian Livingstone…

In fact, the game is almost full of such authorized things. In a way, this is one of the areas it feels most cinematic. Among those recurring childhood memories, this is Peter’s birthday—he has a suitable 80s game-themed cake. It would be easy for Eidos Montreal to use Space Invaders-Square Enix owns it-but they went out and got Pac-Man from Namco because it was a legal, “real” game of that era. As in many of these additions, this is important; they are not just winking at fans, but effective world building. Of course, all of this has been done in the previous game-this is Nathan Drake eating dinner and playing Crash Bandicoot, written very big-but it is particularly effective among Guardians, this is a popular culture rooted in Peter Obsessed with franchise rights.

One of the most important elements of selling these characters is portraying emotions-and Guardians have some of the most impressive facial animations I have seen in games of this type. There is a caveat here that the scene is divided into two different camps-hand-made animation, movie director stuff, and the “in-game” dialogue shot from the reverse lens have rigid lip-synching-but the main story beat is wonderfully presented. No matter what type of scene you are watching, these characters are very attractive. For every strange or slightly unnatural expression, about ten characters look very good. Great, Guardians can get rid of things that are rarely interrupted by the game-switch to silent reaction shots, where Quill winces at what Drax says or Rocket boils with anger and is definitely sold through animation.

Other elements also shine. The jokes between teammates are really great. I like the dialogue selection system, which is usually timer-based, which means you can choose what to say or the option to say nothing. Answering quickly as early as possible may interrupt the person talking to you in the middle of the sentence. Although the choice of ways to influence the story is more superficial, it feels natural. Early choices may cancel and skip later challenging battles, but there is no other way. However, this is not important, because the direct rewards of alternating dialogue and character beats are strong enough.

It’s difficult to discuss this story in depth without spoilers, so I won’t. I will keep it simple and just say-I like it. It is one of the most emotionally effective video games for some time, and it is very different from the movie “Guardian”. It has some particularly powerful “playable” story moments that really make you stop-I think this is one of the most exciting and memorable story-driven games in a long time.

Fighting and real-time games are another not-so-flattering story. It’s a good brain fun, but it doesn’t match the rest of the game in the end. The core problem is that the movement feels sloppy and loose. This can lead to a feeling of confusion, which is the same as how you expect a motivated upstart like Peter Quill to fight, being upset with his rocket boots, but often doesn’t feel good-perhaps best on stilts Shows the way his jet boots play a role in the important double jump around the world. They just feel jerky and uncomfortable, even if they complete the task well.

This sloppy feeling is incorporated into all battles, which are often explosively excessive and disorderly. Like I said-chaos. It is suitable for dysfunctional Guardians crew-but it also lacks weight. As a Star-Lord, you can launch a blaster with Gears-style active reloading and elemental power, which will unlock over time. There is also a basic melee. At the same time, you can summon guardians controlled by artificial intelligence to perform special actions to help you. The problem is that it is often difficult to focus on the timing of advanced reloads or your ability to cause teammates to trigger, because there is always a lot to happen. The battle is very busy and it feels like Eidos Montreal has dialed back the difficulty-so it is comprehensive, but not very challenging, even in hard mode.

Outside of combat, you constantly use your team’s abilities to move forward in the environment. Kamora must break through everything. Rockets can squeeze through small gaps and crack panels, etc. Groot can expand his roots and branches to build a bridge across the chasm. Drax can pick up heavy objects and move them around, allowing you to create paths in high places, and so on. During most of the game, you must order the staff to perform these operations, and you will read the environmental clues and tell you where you can use your abilities. This is used for the core process, but also for hiding optional secrets, such as clothing unlocking. However, in a lovely turning point in the story, as the teams merged, some characters began to use their traversal abilities on their own, at least for obvious story progress actions. I really like this aspect of the game.

All these add up to provide a result that feels good but also a bit tedious. An acquaintance who was also playing this game in the early days described it as a copy of PlatinumGames and the like, which is harsh, I disagree-but I also saw where they came from. In any case, it doesn’t matter in the end. Fighting is indeed a tool for conveying narrative, whether through continuous dialogue in combat or through observation from one scene to another. The story is where the money is-the impression given to people is like the game knows this.

By avoiding the eager game-as-a-service gimmick, Guardians of the Galaxy can focus on becoming something more attractive-even if you won’t play that long. In more than ten hours of running time, you will enjoy a thrilling, exciting, interesting and surprising from the heart adventure. The game built around this narrative framework is not earth-shattering-but it is enough to make the story shine. You have to understand what Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will tell—but if you do, then one of the best narrative games of the year is waiting for you. Turn off your brain and immerse yourself in its story, you will find a lot of fun.

Disclaimer: Play on Xbox Series X, code provided by publisher.