Star-Lord (Peter Quill), Groot, Drax, Gamora and Rocket just can’t keep themselves out of trouble as the unlikely group aim to be THE Guardians of the Galaxy.
In this new Marvel licensed title, Square Enix and developers Eidos-Monreal have gone back to the roots of Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG) with the comic book take instead of being a sidekick to the films.
The story starts out with a 13 year old Peter at home with his mum. His Dad left to fight in a war.
There’s a lot of 80’s nostalgia and easter eggs not only throughout this entire game, but right at the start as you play as young Peter in his room, rocking out to the glam metal band Star-Lord.
If you’re familiar with the GOTG story ten you’ll know the rest. If you’ve never schooled yourself up on how Peter reinvents himself as the Galactic hero Star-Lord, then I’m not going to ruin it for you, as the game will tell the backstory via flashbacks.
Your adventure in deep space begins, on the hunt for a monster which is going to net you a large bounty.
In tradition of the goings-on for the group it doesn’t all go to plan. Infact they only have a vague description of what this monster even looks like… okay, not even really a description.
Located in the remains of a giant scrapyard held together by interstellar goop Peter accidentally releases another creature, one that none of the team recognise as it begins to devour and destroy everything around it.
But things get worse.
They’re busted and arrested by Nova Corp. The police of the Galaxy.
Peter manages to negotiate their freedom with Nova Corps leader (and ex) by way of accepting a large fine with a small payment window that they can’t afford.
So if you don’t have the funds, why not, ah, liberate it from someone that does… like Lady Hellbender.
Guardians of the Galaxy, the game, is played out in third person. At most times you will have the rest of the crew around you, and you will make use of their skills via a in-game and in-play character select.
You wont play as them, but can command Rocket, Groot, Drax and Gamora to perform certain skills. For the most part, you wont be able to move forward unless you do.
Combat moments (and there’s a lot of those) are graded on how well you did and thus you’re rewarded, eventually, with Ability Points.
You’ll need these to upgrade not only your skills as Peter, but you can also upgrade the other members of the team too.
There’s also dialogue specific intervals where you’ll need to make a choice on what to say. What you select as your response will affect the outcome of what happens next and your path through the story. Much like those pick a path books from the 1980’s.
Then there’s some really tricky QTE moments.
While GOTG game is not open world, it is expansive. Explore and you’ll find snippets of stories related to the environment you’re currently in, or bits of the main narrative.
There’s also a lot of scrap to be discovered, pocketed and hidden away within levels. Find a work bench and get Rocket to upgrade your gear. Peter’s visor and jet boots will become a necessary tool soon in to play.
Backed with a killer 80’s music playlist gameplay varies from action to flight shooter simulation and even in-level mini-games.
You’ll play through in single player and commanding the rest of the GOTG team and work through the mega-story at your own pace.
But the game itself requires you to be online at all times. This is GOTG’s achilles heel on Xbox.
With the current and known Wifi dropping bug in Xbox Series X|S every one to two hours in to gameplay you’ll get kicked out of the game. Then you’ll need to restart the console and pick up from where you left off.
A patch for the game would be ideal to play the single player offline, as this title is so immersive and so good that you’ll really want to keep playing through, ideally uninterrupted.
The humour, the music, the references and innuendo’s, even a Rick-Roll, GOTG is one heel of an excellent game.
Released: October 2021
Platforms reviewed: Xbox Series X
Genre: Action, Adventure
Publisher: Square Enix