Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy got looked at by a couple of outlets past week. Many of them provided gameplay footage so the rest of us can get a bearing of what the game is about. And so far it looks pretty promising in my humble opinion.
It is an action-adventure game with some RPG elements. You run, gun, and fly in third-person as Star-Lord. All while commanding your 4-person team. Each with their own unique abilities. While ranged combat seems to be your bread and butter, you can still get close and personal with melee and finishers. You also get access to various abilities, including ones with elemental damage. With this in mind, you will also manage cooldowns, your energy, and you will have to strategize against different enemy types. Not all your enemies were built equal. Some are vulnerable to melee, others to stagger damage, others yet suffer from weakness to certain elements.
During your missions, you can collect upgrade materials to equip Star-Lord with new passives. You also have access to a skill tree, where EXP will be exchanged for abilities. This EXP is naturally gathered during combat. What’s more, you will quickly notice a Devil May Cry style of “combo meter”. You will be given grades based on the variety of used moves and how little damage you took. This directly translates to more or fewer EXP earned at the end of each encounter.
But it is not all sunshine and rainbows for Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy
One of the most worrying things is your ultimate ability called “Team Huddle”. This idea is awesome on paper. If you are getting your stuff pushed in, you can call in the ult. It stops all combat, and you get something akin to a cutscene. During it, all the other guardians share their feelings about the current situation. Choose to encourage them according to their needs and the whole team gets a boost. This also starts one of the many badass tunes from the game’s soundtrack.
But here’s the catch. How many times will this make you giggle or smile before it gets old? And when the magic of guardian banter gets stale, then you are left with a huge problem. Your best ability is locked behind a 30-second cutscene, which is unskippable, and completely pauses combat. This is not something you want in a game as dynamic as Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Speaking of dynamic. The gameplay flow really seems like it. You slide and glide around. Weaving between your teammates and their abilities. Commanding them to focus on the biggest fish. This is all awesome. It looks very stylish, and the gameplay keeps the player engaged. But the foes of Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy do not seem to fit the gameplay. Very often will you find them just standing there doing nothing, shooting at you from time to time. They do not move almost at all. They do not strategize. And by extension, they do not pose a threat. And that makes for some pretty dull encounters from time to time.
More “Star-Lords Solo Adventure” than a “Guardians” game
Other game enthusiasts also seem disappointed that you only get to play as Star-Lord. Well, the title is Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. Not “Star-Lord’s Solo Adventures”. And the guardians are there, the team aspect is the centerpiece of the gameplay. But it’s still somewhat disappointing you do not get to play the rest of the team. Some quick-swap action during fights would elevate the experience further. But what is there doesn’t disappoint. And all the necessary animations and abilities are ready. So maybe if we ever get a sequel we will get that sweet mayhem gameplay, courtesy of a trash panda equipped with a high-power rocket launcher.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is coming to PC, PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One and Series X|S, and the Nintendo Switch on October 26, 2021. If you want more news about action-adventure games in the making I suggest my Elden Ring article. You can see it right here.