Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in review



After the controversial Marvel’s Avengers, Eidos Montreal delivers a narrative adventure only in single player: the review of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

We want to be clear from the start: it was not easy to try with the review of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The new tie-in developed by Eidos Montreal, which tries to reinvent the Guardians of the Galaxy in the context of a dimension video game, in a manner similar to what we did with the Avengers last year, would have needed a few more weeks of work on the refinement and the review build testifies eloquently.

S, che arriverà colpevolmente più avanti); dall’altra ci troviamo di fronte a un’avventura che i fan dei Guardiani e delle produzioni Marvel in generale non potranno ritenere meno che entusiasmante.

The reason is quickly said: the team of galactic heroes led by Star-Lord expresses during a long campaign, characterized by a duration of about 20 hours (but replayable at least once because of the forks and differences that produce), all those dynamics and those gags that have determined the success of the film adaptation directed by James Gunn. The characters, moreover, take abundant inspiration from their counterparts seen on the big screen. With the exception of Gamora, which refers, however, the traits and the character more fracassone of the paper version.

This type of interpretation, almost entirely focused on the narrative, is assisted by a dubbing in Italian of excellent workmanship, with interpreters almost always perfect for the role and often able to imitate the dubbers of the films, resulting indistinguishable at some junctures and helping to stage memorable sequences. If that’s what you were looking for in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, smile: you’ve been satisfied.

History

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Gamora sitting in her seat on Milan

As with the aforementioned Marvel’s Avengers, that of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is not an origin story, because in the game the supergroup led by Star-Lord is already established and infamous, and its formation we know well: in addition to Peter Quill travel aboard the Milan the infallible assassin Gamora, Drax the Destroyer, the cunning Rocket and the mysterious Groot.

As mentioned, Gamora is the only character that takes in many ways away from the film counterpart, both in terms of design and character, and this will not fail to destabilize those who know the adopted daughter of Thanos only through the interpretation of Zoe Saldana. However, in the course of the adventure there will be moments in which the lethal fighter will reveal some important background, gaining depth compared to an initial framing perhaps a bit ‘frivolous.

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The protagonist, however, remains Star-Lord and the playable flashbacks of his life on Earth before becoming a Ravager reiterate this on several occasions, opening the door to a short subplot that the writers of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy have used to explain how precious and special are the Blasters that the protagonist always carries with him, a gift from his father, capable of changing shape, characteristics and functionality depending on the situation.

In the early stages of the campaign we find the Guardians intent on hunting a monster on a remote planet. The fact that Rocket turns some sequences in a race between him and Quill (with a lot of interface that changes accordingly) immediately highlights the tone of the story, and so it all results in a very natural tutorial with respect to both the exploratory mechanics and the combat system, which we will return to shortly.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, full team in a classic situation: all handcuffed

However, the expedition fails and instead of a huge monster, the heroes find themselves having to take care of a funny colored llama, which they decide to take with them to Milan. Intercepted by the Nova Corps, however, they are arrested and subjected to the inevitable scene of individual description, in a sort of official presentation from which Quill comes out as usual wounded in pride. This event leads us to the first decision we will have to make in the game: hide the llama or a crate of illegal components from the controls?

Once on the Nova Corps ship, the Guardians notice the presence of a delegation of the Universal Church of Truth and ask to be welcomed by Ko-Rel, commanding officer and poisoned ex-flame of Quill, but in the team assigned to escort them there is only his young daughter Nikki. Something goes wrong, however, there is an explosion and Peter finds himself having to help the girl to return to her mother, who, to thank him, frees him along with his companions on the condition that they pay a hefty fine.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Lady Hellbender and one of her pups

Where to find all that money? It is at this point that the plot of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy begins to get going, involving the fearsome monster collector Lady Hellbender in a sequence that you may have seen, and in which you have to choose whether to “sell” Groot or Rocket in exchange for enough units to pay the fine. Again, the decision we make will change the course of events, producing different situations.

Without wanting to anticipate more, there is no doubt that the story of the new title weblog Eidos Montreal is well written, apart from a couple of situations that could have been resolved in a different way. The dialogues seemed to us even brilliant, with a lot of funny gags that are based, as mentioned, the dynamics of the film Guardians and that only towards the end begin to abuse a bit ‘of the various “come on, guys”, “we are a team” and especially “rocket!”, and that … rocket.

Modalities and contents

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians interviewed by Cosmo

The campaign of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which, as mentioned, you can complete in about 20 hours, is composed of a total of sixteen chapters and once completed provides access to the traditional new game plus, to exploit perhaps to grant a second round. In fact, replayability is undoubtedly one of the focuses of this production, given the presence of the forks we mentioned.

There are scenarios that would have certainly deserved a second visit, above all Knowhere: the giant head of a Celestial transformed into a space crossroads, safe haven for bounty hunters and Ravagers and domain of Cosmo, the Russian dog with a superior intellect and psychic powers. You can literally get lost among the attractions (such as the exhibition of the Collector) and the alleys of this location, but it would have been nice to point even more strongly in that direction and give life to side activities and minigames in Yakuza style, with the ability to return to Knowhere even when the game is over.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Star-Lord per le strade di Knowhere

That said, the variety of environments is definitely one of the elements that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy does not lack. During the adventure we will explore some planets very unfriendly, the aforementioned ship of Nova Corps and Knowhere, the fortress of Lady Hellbender and other scenarios still, characterized by a level design that often makes use of gimmicks a bit ‘too overused in action adventure, such as the crossing of a bottleneck or slides to remedy the absence of fast loading on Xbox One, PS4 and some PCs.

Similarly, however, the mechanics of assists is exploited in such contexts to create environmental puzzles discreetly multifaceted, especially those involving the activation of electrical circuits and the prolonged use of Star-Lord’s visor, which in perfect Batman style: Arkham Asylum allows you to analyze your surroundings in search of objects with which you can interact in some way, asking Drax to break through a wall, Gamora to cut cables that obstruct a passage, Groot to create bridges and wooden scaffolding, or Rocket to hack panels and squeeze into narrow tunnels.

Gameplay

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, a frantic fight sequence

If the focus of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is undoubtedly the narrative aspect, from the point of view of gameplay we have to accept some limitations, a bit of chaos and a hint of repetitiveness, in a framework that nevertheless we found enjoyable and entertaining. As you know, in the game you can directly control the only Star-Lord, while the other members of the team will move independently, supporting us with specific actions when asked.

We mentioned earlier the mechanics related to environmental puzzles and exploration, to which we add platforming stages in which to take advantage of Peter Quill’s rocket boots to make double jumps and rapid forward sprints. That’s not all, however: the character’s Blasters can equip four elemental attacks (ice, electricity, fire and wind) that will come in handy both in battle and to solve any puzzles.

The diverse lineup of Guardians of the Galaxy

We will not find great depth in the combat system, which is reminiscent of the visuals of God of War and will see us download magazines on magazines against enemies of various kinds and types: from the most unlikely alien monsters to squadrons of soldiers equipped with high-tech weapons, passing of course for a large number of bosses that include names absolutely exciting in the eyes of any fan of Marvel.

We said: Star-Lord moves independently in battle and hits opponents with his Blasters or directly in hand-to-hand, with the ability to dodge attacks, but not to take cover behind a wall or barrier, while the various Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot do the same. Acting on the left dorsal, however, opens a menu that activates a sort of bullet time and allows you to select one of the companions because it launches against the opponent we have hooked.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, chained attacks bring frenetic and spectacular sequences to life

Each Guardian, including Quill, can unlock with experience points four devastating special maneuvers, which charge up over time and require a cooldown period to be used again. In the advanced stages of the campaign this mechanic turns into a real frenzy of chained attacks, producing spectacular finishers but highlighting the limits of the character we control, unable to inflict significant damage alone. The idea of the Gathering is nice: when its indicator is loaded, Star-Lord calls his friends like a coach to motivate them according to the mood they express, and if the choice turns out to be right all the characters receive a boost.

The balance of the solution found by Eidos Montreal is precarious and the upgrades that you can get at the workbenches, spending the resources collected around the levels (which reward the curiosity also explore with many extra costumes for the Guardians), do not change the situation much. However, the system manages to hold up to the end and in the final stages of the campaign, when the enemies become very numerous and tough, you become fully aware of the philosophy behind this strategic combat system.

Milan

The Guardians of the Galaxy travel aboard the Milan, Star-Lord’s spaceship, inside which you can move between missions in order to unlock collectables, talk to your companions (motivating them, if necessary), change the music on the stereo, use the workbench for power-ups, visit the cabins and the hold, take a shower, close for the umpteenth time the door of the mini-fridge left open and finally sit in the driver’s seat to proceed to the next destination. The Milan is also the protagonist of some sequences in shooter style during the campaign, nice, but quite trivial.

Graphics and sound

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, a scenario with lights and colors that highlight the quality of the art direction

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy includes on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X the now traditional two graphics modes that allow you to play at true 4K and 30 fps or at 1440p and 60 fps. Given the current absence of ray tracing that will be added only later, there is no doubt about which mode to prefer: the 60 frames make the experience more enjoyable, especially during the fights, without showing an actual loss of detail.

Unfortunately, at the moment, there are some performance problems in certain levels and situations, an excessive scaler intervention in the most excited phases (but we will have to wait for a technical analysis carried out with special tools to confirm this), some effects that run at half the frequency (see the fire) and a very substantial amount of glitches, which force you to reload the last checkpoint to eliminate them. The patch of the day one, already available at the time you read this article, should have fixed some of these drawbacks, certainly related to a phase of refinement hasty.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, a scenario that looks like artwork

Exhausted the purely technical speech, allow us some consideration of the artistic thickness of the game, which in our opinion manages to give the views really impressive and combine it with a lot ‘of fanservice. For a fan of Marvel comics of the old guard to be faced with such sequences can only be exciting, and we are sure that you will literally jump off the chair when you find yourself in the middle of certain situations, within certain scenarios and in the company of certain fellow travelers.

We loved the design of the protagonists, which like Marvel’s Avengers is halfway between the paper and film aspect of Guardians of the Galaxy. Peter Quill looks a lot like Charlie Hunnam in King Arthur version, Gamora as mentioned is close to the comic book counterpart, but has shorter hair and red shades seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Drax is aesthetically quite neutral, but the key is that of the movies, which Rocket takes in a very faithful way. Groot finally presents himself as a middle ground, as well as other comprimarios that we do not want to reveal. The polygonal models are really detailed and equipped with excellent facial animations, while the movements in combat Star-Lord often bend to the needs of practicality that do not produce splendid results.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, one of the game's striking alien vistas

Photo Mode, added by the developers with the day one patch, allows for spectacular portrayal, with the traditional amount of filters and adjustments to create some truly memorable shots. The PS5 version, which we tested for review, boasts super-fast loading and decent support for DualSense controller functionality, with haptic feedback and adaptive triggers conveying different sensations depending on what’s happening on the screen or the fire mode selected for Star-Lord.

In a game like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy the soundtrack could only be signed, with a total of thirty-one classic songs that you can listen to while relaxing aboard the Milano or during the fights. Artists such as Iron Maiden, Simple Minds, Def Leppard, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, A-Ha, Europe, Kiss and Billy Idol will accompany the in-game action, in an adrenaline-filled mix that also includes a selection of excellent original songs.

Italian dubbing

The Italian dubbing of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy deserves a separate box, made in an excellent way and with a really good cast. Massimo Triggiani in the role of Star-Lord perfectly echoes the characterization of Andrea Mete, so much so that sometimes it is easy to confuse them, while Chiara Francese accepts the challenge of a Gamora different from that of the MCU with easygoing tones but also a lot of depth in the advanced stages of the story. Paolo De Santis’s Rocket is identical to Nanni Baldini, while Paolo Alessandroni’s Drax follows in the footsteps of Nino Prester in the films but in our opinion is more solid. The other actors are also excellent, with one choice that unfortunately pays the price at the end by contrasting two voices that are too similar.

Comment

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is exactly what Guardians of the Galaxy fans would want from a tie-in. Except for the choice to control only Star-Lord, relegating the other characters to the execution of spectacular assists, the adventure developed by Eidos Montreal boasts a brilliant script, which effectively exploits the dynamics that have decreed the success of the films directed by James Gunn and gives us a solid story, with few uncertainties and a series of spectacular sequences. Too bad only for some limitations of the gameplay and the technical defects of the launch, which end up tarnishing the great ambitions of a project that frankly we did not expect could be so interesting.

PRO

  • Brilliant story, dialogue and direction
  • Long-lasting campaign, to be played twice
  • Excellent graphics, sound and dubbing in Italian
  • Pleasant and spectacular gameplay but with some limitations
  • A few too many glitches and performance issues to solve
  • S assente al lancio
  • Have you noticed any errors?
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