Back in 2014, moviegoers everywhere were genuinely shocked by the overwhelming quality of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy. The once-obscure band of galactic misfits became household names thanks to the combined acting chops of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana (special shout out to Bradley Cooper for his superior voice acting talents as well). Once the Guardians became multimedia darlings, the video game world obviously took notice. But to everyone’s surprise, Telltale Games adopted the IP to create a point-and-click adventure game (which was shockingly good, by the way). Fast forward to 2021 and now we have a big-budget, full-fledged action/adventure epic that’s all about experiencing the madcap adventures of the whole gang. And to this reviewers’ surprise, it’s way better than it has any right to be.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing but a reskinned version of Marvel’s Avengers – it sports a similar art design and comes from the same publishing house that put out the much-maligned games-as-a-service title. But the comparisons stop there – this space-faring journey does things a bit differently in regards to combat, dialogue, audio, and so much more. Guardians’ visuals shine thanks to the wide variety of planets you’ll frequently explore – one minute, you’ll be navigating a lost colony filled with debris from a past war. And the next minute, you’ll be traversing a showy expanse ruled by some vicious wildlife. The graphics also shine whenever you get to navigate the Milano and take in every part of the ship’s architecture. It takes a minute to adjust to the new versions of the human/alien Guardians on screen that don’t look anything like their big-screen counterparts, but you’ll quickly get over that nagging issue once you become more familiar with them and even switch up their attires. Guardians’ looks good and sounds damn good too thanks to the soundtrack that offers sweeping orchestral tunes and 80s jams in equal measure.
From a storyline perspective, Guardians does an excellent job of properly retaining each character’s likable personality traits and featuring them within a lengthy campaign filled with emotional, hilarious, & extra hype moments. The team’s adventure starts out on a simple note as they look to capture and sell a rare creature that will solve all their money woes. But soon enough, they become embroiled in a galaxy-wide crusade that involves an army of religious zealots looking to fulfill some sort of “promise.” Making your way through the game means you’ll get embroiled in tons of segments that allow you to chat with your many allies during some intriguing conversations.
Randomly speaking with everyone and everything is definitely worth doing thanks to the strong voice acting and different dialogue options you can select in order to sway the conversation anywhere you want. You’ll find yourself going out of your way to pick up random items just so you bring them up during a quick chat with one of the other Guardians in an effort to get to know them better. After beating this game, you’ll quickly find yourself ready to experience it all over again just so you can explore all the dialogue options you passed on beforehand and see how they change up certain moments within the story.