It’s been a good few months since I touched a brand new triple-A title, so you can bet your units that I needed to get onto something! Now, not being the biggest Marvel fan, I was cautiously optimistic for Guardians to be the game that broke my metaphorical dry spell. Most early hands on were pretty positive and out of all their properties, the Guardians are my favourite group in the MCU, so things were looking up! Couldn’t be worse than Avengers, right? Cut to release weekend and I managed to pick up a copy and get started, right of the bat I knew I was in for a good time with the title screen treating me to some casual looking Guardians of the Galaxy listening to Take on Me by A-ha! Things went up, down and plateaued a little from there in one of the most up and down experiences I’ve had in gaming for a little while.

Guns? Knuckledusters? GunDusters?

I’m aiming to make this a spoiler free review so all I’ll say for the storyline is that I was hooked from early on and stayed that way until the finish, there are twists and turns throughout and plenty of opportunities for you to affect the way things play out with your interactions. Taking control of Star-Lord you lead the team from place to place and are in charge of every conversation you come into. While the story plays out in a single way regardless, there is plenty for you to try when given the chance. My Quill for example seemed to be terrible at convincing anyone to help him but had a knack for a spiffy one liner, which is similar Chris “the internet hates me now” Pratt’s interpretation of the hero. The rest of the team have unique personalities that are in line with what you would expect of them with even my kind of shallow knowledge of the source material. It’s worth noting that the game closely follows the comic characters rather than the more recent MCU ones, so if like me that’s all you know, then be prepared for a lesson here and there on their actual origins!

Of course, while our heroes may be based on the comic versions, that’s not to say a film fan won’t see a few familiar things, with Star-Lord, Rocket and Groot looking very similar to their movie counterparts and, of course, Peter Quill’s love of music playing a major part in both the gameplay and story of the game. The soundtrack is incredible with a staggering mix of classic tunes and some fresh new music created solely for this title. I’ve actually had the playlist on loop recently and can’t seem to get enough, much to the chagrin of my co-workers…

Okay handcuffed Groot probably shouldn’t get me THIS excited…

So, all this seems positive right! That’s because it is, almost everything in this game is fantastic from start to finish, but that’s a very big and noisy almost. About halfway through I noticed that I was getting very bored of the combat. During battle you bounce around with Star-Lord’s jet boots using a dodge button more often than a hyperactive Dark Souls player. You can also mix up battles with the aid of your team which you’d think would keep things fresh, but unfortunately after a few battles I began to notice that I would use the same routines in every fight. Even when presented with new teammate abilities I just defaulted to the standard ones I’d had since the beginning. While Quill himself has some skills, none of them are very stand out and I’d often find myself dodging for a few seconds before standing still, all while keeping my finger tight down on the trigger. Nothing there to write home about and by the mid-game it definitely shows. There is a fun huddle feature where you can stop the action to give your team a rousing speech that will give them all a damage boost and lay down a sick 80’s power ballad to fight to, but this power is so hard to build up and used so sparingly that it can’t quite save things…

Star-Lord needs a hug after what his MCU counterpart did.

Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy is a grand adventure full of heart, gorgeous environments and enough wit to out play any comedy line up, but all this couldn’t quite mask the flaws and tedium of the combat which, if there was just a bit more to it, would probably make this a solid 10/10 for me. As it stands though I’ve got to be fair and say; Guardians of the Galaxy

7 / 10

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