Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was announced earlier today. It’s out on October 26th for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC. We got to see a bunch of gameplay ahead of reveal and talk to some key development members and here’s what we found out about the game.
THIS IS A SINGLE-PLAYER ACTION-ADVENTURE GAME
Make no mistake, this is a single-player action-adventure game. It’s not like Marvel’s Avengers at all. Whilst it is a superhero game, you play as one character in Star-Lord and you cannot play this game co-op. The entire game is single-player with you tackling the entire campaign alone. In terms of the actual gameplay, it looks very similar to the likes of the more recent Tomb Raider games, being fairly linear with a mix of exploring, set-pieces, cutscenes, and combat.
When asked about whether the game was ever a co-op game, Senior Narrative Director, Mary Demarle said: “It was never the plan (to make a co-op game). We settled on that quickly in our development plan and then the challenge became “how can we make this dynamic team of Guardians feel alive, when they’re intendent, but you’re still calling on them to help you get through things in exploration and getting their help in combat. There was never a moment where we looked back and thought we’d made a mistake” .. “we’ve had people question why you can’t play as everyone, but then once they dive into it, they say it’s loads of fun”.
In relation to there being any DLC or microtransactions, Demarle also said: “There’s not going to be any DLC or microtransactions for this game and that’s because it’s very important on day one when players get this game, that they can have access to and experience it, so right off the bat they can get all of the costumes or outfits that are available and all of the abilities in the game”.
THE GAME IS COMING TO NEXT-GEN AND CURRENT-GEN CONSOLES
Whilst the game is releasing this holiday, it’s coming to PS5 and Xbox Series X as well as the previous generation in PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
When asked about the differences between the consoles we were told that it was important to hit a solid 30FPS on the older hardware. On both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the game will have a 4K/30FPS mode on next-gen consoles as well as a 1080P/60FPS mode. The team is also bringing ray-tracing to next-gen consoles, which might either be at launch or very close to if not.
YOU HAVE YOUR TRUSTY GUARDIAN GANG
Whilst you do play as Star-Lord you have your trusty gang of guardians including Groot, Drax, Rocket Racoon, and Gamora. Although you can’t control them, you do get to use their unique abilities. These are assigned to the face buttons of the controller so that you can control Star-Lord, complete with gun-wielding goodness but then also use the abilities of the other characters simultaneously as you battle.
As you progress through the game you’ll unlock moves for both Star-Lord and the entire cast of characters.
THE COMBAT LOOKS FANTASTIC
Coming from Marvel’s Avengers, which I honestly didn’t think was too bad from a combat point of view, Guardians of the Galaxy handles a bit differently. Star-Lord can use his jet boots to dash and hover, has a wealth of melee attacks and a whole bunch of ways to use his blasters quite effectively. He has his own abilities mapped to the d-pad while, as mentioned previously, the other Guardians are mapped to the face buttons. Enemies can debuff or freeze you and your squad, requiring you to help them out from time to time. To keep things fair, you can even stun and debuff enemies to take them down quickly.
The combat looks to be really fast-paced and judging by Star-Lord’s abilities and the rest of the crew’s abilities seems to have a heap of variety. My favourite part of the gameplay is the team huddle, which essentially calls the team together into a stat-boosting huddle while sick 80s music plays as they lay the smackdown on a group of enemies.
THERE’S A LOT OF PLAYER CHOICE
The decisions you make in Guardians of the Galaxy will have repercussions, both small and large. Dialogue decisions you make will affect how the story plays out in the short term. The first example of this was in the team’s ship, the Milano, where Peter had to side with a team member on their approach to tackling their next mission. In this mission, it was Groot’s idea to sell Rocket to a criminal, which obviously he wasn’t too thrilled about. It’s presumed that this affects Rocket and Peter’s relationship in the short term. During the single mission that I saw, there were about four or five pivotal moments that required a decision. It’s not clear how much this would have changed the mission up, as we didn’t get to see the alternative, but it would’ve definitely been different from a dialogue point of view.
On the notion of player choice, Demarle said: “At the heart of this game we’re creating a strong narrative experience. The beginning of the game and the end of the game will be the same for all players because we’re building to a very strong climatic ending that’s very exciting and we want everyone to experience that feeling in the game to have the best adventure they can”.
IT’S A BRAND NEW STORY
This isn’t retreading the events of the film. In the game, the Guardians have been together for roughly a year, so they’re familiar with each other but still have their moments of disagreement. When it comes to villains, it’s said there will be a mix of well-known ones but also ones we haven’t seen before. Whilst there are obvious differences to the well-known actors we’ve come to know from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the personality of the Guardians definitely shines through and the signature humour is still there.
When asked if the game a part of the same world as the recent Marvel’s Avengers game, I was quickly told that “this is a completely standalone adventure”.
THE SOUNDTRACK IS ABSOLUTELY BANGING
One of the best parts of the two Guardians of the Galaxy movies was the soundtrack, and it’s a fully licensed soundtrack here too. The two songs that I got to hear were “Holding Out For A Hero” and “Bad Reputation” which are both great songs.
On the soundtrack, Demarle said: “I don’t think it’s possible to talk about a Guardians of the Galaxy game without thinking about the music that’s going to be a part of it. In true form, we have a licensed soundtrack of the 80s because Peter is a child of the 80s, so he’s going to want to listen to things such as Kiss and Iron Maiden and Blondie and Wham”.
Overall, I’m really excited for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s clear at this point that it’s what Marvel’s Avengers should have been.