Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Review – Enthralling Space Madness

From the moment the Guardians of the Galaxy are introduced as a space-faring team that will do anything for a quick buck, it’s abundantly clear how much of a dysfunctional mess they are. Gamora and Rocket are at each other’s throats. Drax and Star-Lord don’t see eye to eye. Groot is not being noticed by anyone. For the next 15-plus hours of gameplay, I listened to these misfits bicker, hurl insults, and chatter nonstop – much to my enjoyment.

When I say “nonstop,” I mean they never stop talking. The Guardians rarely stop talking for more than a second. I’m not exaggerating this frequency. I was always concerned about the game’s performance when there were a few moments of silence. The amount of dialogue that Eidos-Montreal crafted is off the charts, and most of it is nicely penned, offering the witty humor, heartfelt intimacy, and sheer chaos you’d expect from the Guardians.

Drax’s inability to comprehend common colloquialisms and phrases brings big laughs and is just as good as James Gunn’s take on the character in the Guardians’ movies. I’ve never said this in a review before, but the dialogue is the best part of the game. Eidos Montreal did an amazing job. The rest of the game delivers plenty of fun but with varying levels of quality and polish – the latter subtly hurting critical areas of the experience.

I took me several hours to get used to Star-Lord’s combat system and Star-Lord. Peter Quill can be a little irritating at first, but he becomes more comfortable once the team dynamics starts to gel. The story begins to soften from its bombastic tone and allows him to express his emotions. I ended up adoring him over time, especially when he’s talking to himself.

It is a well-written story. Eidos Montreal has done a wonderful job of putting his leadership abilities into action and making decisions. Star-Lord is completely under the control of players and can decide which path your team follows. These choices aren’t on the same seismic scale as a Mass Effect game and don’t change the story much, but do offer fun alternate sequences and even more dialogue.

I can’t speak to all of the outcomes that stem from these choices, but the dozen-plus I experienced in a second playthrough were just as good and flowed as naturally as those in my first run through the game. While it was to fun to take in the different humor or unique gameplay sequences I missed before, they weren’t enough for me to want to keep going to see how the second journey would be different. These things don’t change.

It is an enjoyable game in which the story consumes as much as gameplay. Given how enjoyable the story is, I didn’t have a problem sitting back and watching for a big chunk of my time, especially when I had control over the most significant decisions. It is the lure of discovery that anchors the story, and it touches every Guardian in ways which flesh them out fully. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but the Guardians are chasing something evil that they unleash. The hook is strong throughout the entire experience. It moves at a good clip, strikes a delicate balance between absurdity and seriousness.

Eidos-Montreal fully embraces “science-fiction” themes in the worlds, characters, and that evil entity of note. It is hard not to be drawn in by the unique and colorful worlds. They are also bizarre (sometimes just for comic relief), and the evil beast moves in some of the most surprising and unusual ways.


Every world forces the Guardians into their own unique capabilities to traverse treacherous terrain. Similar to the Uncharted game, the paths are straight forward and full of platforming and combat scenes. While the player only controls Star-Lord – a decision that works well for all gameplay aspects – each Guardian can be summoned with a button press to perform a specific task. Eidos Montreal even allows you to warp your character to the location of your choice to keep you moving at a good pace. To give yourself a lift up to a platform, you can summon Gamora or Drax. All the Guardians’ moves are used for environmental puzzle solving, which starts fun but loses its luster through repeated solutions.

Guardians are also a powerful and important part of combat, as they can be as strong as one would wish. Groot can destroy foes using a large number of roots. Rocket is capable of destroying foes with ridiculously many guns. Gamora, Drax, and Rocket use blades to slice, dice, and Rocket has the ability to upend enemy with a huge number of roots. For Star-Lord, however, this is not a game I’d bill as a power fantasy. He must use his blasters to defeat even the most pathetic foes. To be successful, all Guardians must be utilized in strategic ways. Star-Lord can dash around quickly and tick away at the enemy’s health, but his most significant contribution is as a play-maker. If he wishes to summon a Guardian, the time will slow down and he can instruct them to do a particular ability. It’s not a power fantasy, but a teamwork fantasy that ends up being immensely satisfying when everything is clicking as it should.

Combat can be handled very well through the controls. This allows the player to quickly move around the arena and highlight targets. They also have the ability to tell the Guardians exactly what they need to do. Given how many characters are onscreen at any given time, the fray looks chaotic, but there’s a violent beauty to it, and you oversee all of it, barking out commands to rain death in various ways. You can chain most moves together to show your team’s strength. These battles can be very entertaining by the end and provide an interesting challenge. Oddly, the game’s most powerful ability is a pep talk by Star-Lord, which always carries a little humor, but pauses combat for far too long and ends up being quite annoying.

Bad news! The first hours of combat can be a difficult and frustrating ride. Prior to any real threats, Guardians are faced with gelatinous cubes (or spheres) that create conflict which is as monotonous as it sounds. Over half of Guardians abilities are locked up, which makes it difficult to unlock their true potential. The experience is also compromised. This game is at its best when it’s over the top, and it eventually gets there, but not quickly enough. For half the game, you’ll be on your own. The entire game lacks polish. Some animations are a bit jumpy, specific gameplay mechanics like sliding don’t offer much precision, and combat’s framerate can be rough at times.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

The control of the environment is another area that can go wrong. MilanoIn space-combat scenes. It’s cool in concept, but awkward controls and lack of a threat make these moments little more than a visual showcase. The game’s other distractions fare much better. You can find different suits and collectibles by tracking down Guardians. MilanoYou can have new conversations with your friends and learn from their backstory.

As a fan of the Guardians’ comic books and movies, I thoroughly enjoyed Eidos-Montreal’s unique take on this supergroup. The nonstop character banter and nicely designed choices make this a journey worth taking, even if the gameplay takes a little too long to highlight the team’s true potential.

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