Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a humour-packed action rollercoaster of a video game on the new generation consoles.
It looks gorgeous as you battle your way across space on an often bonkers and firefight filled single-player campaign of epic proportions.
The title feels a bit old fashioned in many ways.
It’s not all huge, sprawling open-world maps, online multiplayer action and randomly generated events like a lot of today’s games.
Instead we get an old-school tightly woven single-player story that funnels you in many ways down a straight path with an overall outcome that you can tweak with the odd decision-making process.
And that in itself sets this title adrift from the pack in a noticeable way.
Where the effort has gone in Guardians is in the brilliant writing.
This game is consistently hilarious and the one-liners come thick and fast.
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Makers Square Enix have done a great job in not only defining their unique version of the comic book superheroes, but have also deftly delivered a fleshing out of each of the five characters in a fun and humourous way.
As a result you’ll walk away from this game with the same sense of satisfaction and joy as you do the very best of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the cinema screen.
You play as Peter Quill, aka Star Lord, the trash space pirate human hero of the ragtag alien bunch.
To make it a team effort you get control of the other four Guardians using the D-pad on your controller, triggering their special moves and combined attacks during sandbox-style hoard fights at the press of a button.
Rocket, Groot, Gamora and Drax all unleash different killer blows on your enemies and as you progress thorugh the game, you earn upgrades not only for your own chap in Peter, but each of them too.
Moves like Eye of the Hurricane, where you lob a load of bombs from on high, and Uproot, where Groot shoots a load of roots up from the ground at enemies, are among the more visually impressive.
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Those attacks are vital as the difficulty ramps up and the boss fights get harder the more you progress.
And the more stylish your brawling the more XP points you get which you can trade for even better abilites.
If the chips are really down, you can even call a ‘huddle’ where you have to keep an eye on what your teammates are saying to then pick the right words of reassurance to get them back on their feet.
Get it wrong and the team are even more down and likely to lose the battle, but nail an epic rousing speech and they’re up for the fight anew.
The gameplay itself is consistently frantic, ebbing and flowing between fun storytelling moments and outright battle for survival against a slew of wild enemies.
It’s a little Destiny in its bullet-sponge shooting and a lot like Square’s other Marvel hit The Avengers in the way firefights pan out.
The soundtrack is an awesome mix of 80s tunes. So expect Gary Numan’s Cars, Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up as you pummel along.
Overall, this is a brilliantly fun, wild and upbeat action ride.
It’s not quite up there with the PS5’s superlative Spider-Man Marvel game, that’s another level of awesome.
But there’s plenty of old-school singleplayer adventure here to get you through those chilly Autumn nights until the next big Marvel movie hits the silver screen.
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