“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” in the test: Heroic! – game tests

With “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy”, Eidos Montreal and Square Enix achieve something heroic: Great gameplay with a cinematic story and lots of humor!

“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” is probably what the rather mixed “Marvel’s Avengers” should have been at the start. While the latter title has improved tremendously with updates to this day, “Guardians of the Galaxy” is about to launch on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X | S, Xbox One, PC, GeForce NOW and as “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy : Cloud version “for Nintendo Switch an absolutely well-rounded affair that is really worthy of superheroes.

In contrast to the “Avengers”, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” do not inspire as an almost exclusively multiplayer adventure with single-player mini-campaigns for the various heroes, but as an action adventure for individual players lasting up to 25 hours where we slip into the role of Peter “Star-Lord” Quill and get support from all our beloved Guardians like Groot, Rocket, Drax or Gamora. On top of that, there is an absolutely comic story.

Perfectly captured group dynamics

Fans and connoisseurs of comics and films will be immediately reminded of their superheroes: plot, characters, graphics, joke, even the pithy sayings and the black humor, everything immediately reminds of the guardians of the galaxy, who are different from many other Marvel heroes Do not mince your words and can be won over to one or the other criminal temptation. But above all: the dynamics of the troop have been perfectly captured by the new game.

Of course, one can now complain that only Star-Lord can be controlled, but in our opinion it would have taken the game out of intensity to be able to take over each Guardian individually, but then maybe only in episodes lasting a few hours. As it is, we are getting more and more used to the skin of Peter Quill, while our team members abuse each other, sometimes attack each other or make fun of each other, but are there for each other when it matters.

A fresh “Guardians” story

The story of the game begins only a short time after the “Guardians” have even teamed up, so the game delivers a completely fresh new story around the superheroes. The tensions within the troupe are correspondingly high, remember: Gamora’s father is responsible for the death of Drax’s family. At the same time, individual members want to question the leadership role of Star-Lord or even leave the group.

While the first game missions serve to clarify the characters and the relationships to each other, a new danger quickly arises: Star-Lord’s ex-girlfriend, who now leads the All-Police Nova Corps, gives the Guardians a horrific punishment and her way Getting the necessary funds leads the heroes straight to the Church of Truth. The church leader Raker, in turn, wants to convert the entire universe with the most brutal means.

Some small innovations introduced

Once again it is said: In a hopelessly outnumbered number, the Guardians must face the thousands of cult supporters who have been corrupted by Raker’s promises. This is because he can seemingly make the most ardent wishes of his followers come true, outsmart death and help to unbelievable wealth. But not only the plot is brand new, this game version differs from the MCU and the Guardians comics in other things as well.

There are no major breaks with the templates, but there are even more small things: Drax has already killed the crazy space giant Thanos and avenged his family and is now looking for a new meaning in life, Star-Lord in turn reveals an unusually large number of details of his own family and makes it clear that he named himself after a metal band. Don’t worry, newbies can follow the story without any problems, but fans will find hundreds of Easter eggs and detailed delicacies.

Slow start, then the fireworks

“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” is a bit slow to pick up, but then there is an action-fireworks display that lasts for hours and that plays a lot with death, abuse and similar dark incidents, even for its comic roots, which is unusual for its comic roots. The plot is without question a high point in the history of the “Guardians” and will be loved and admired by all players, regardless of whether you know the previous content or not.

Specifically, it is particularly strong for a very specific reason: It is not only narrated in the form of video sequences in which missions based on the pattern “Fight against X and collect Y” are interspersed. During each mission, not only can you find new scraps of action, the story also changes while you pursue the goals and advance further and further in the linear levels. It feels like the mission just embarked on really makes sense.

Linear plot with choice options

In the game, gamers can rarely decide for themselves what to tackle next or how to react to other characters. For example, you can meet NPCs in a friendly or hostile manner and, depending on the items, intervene or win new partners and enemies. The nice thing about it: You don’t have to think about tactical decisions about how to choose, because there is nothing to be missed. Most of the time, it is about access cards and keys for level areas, which can also be reached without the access items via a detour.

One of the few shortcomings of the game shows up at the checkpoints. They are set a bit curiously, for example not directly after long cut scenes, but sometimes in the middle of fights. This means that you have to watch the video sequences that cannot be skipped again or find yourself in very intense conflicts immediately after restarting. It’s not tragic, but it is noticeable, and we assume that the makers will intervene with an update.

Technically everything is great

No trace of invisible or popping enemies and objects like in “Avengers” early days, the frame rate always remains stable and the battles deliver incredibly good lighting and explosion effects. Here, too, the number and appearance of the enemies is not too massive, but almost every region presents us not only with a new environment, but also with new enemies, which is varied despite the small number.

The scoring, even in German, is of the highest quality, plus there is rock music and one or two orchestral tracks. The atmosphere is terrific, it is one of the best technically implemented superhero games. The gameplay is classic: It mixes exploration and small, rather simple puzzles with spectacularly staged battles. You know this from many action games, but it’s still a lot of fun.

Funny dialogues and secrets

Anyone who wanders around a little off the beaten track in the mission areas will find all kinds of secret paths that at one time or another harbor secrets such as weapon components or new outfits for our heroes. Also admirable: Instead of annoying us that we have to go to the next mission point, our Guardians companions have funny and sometimes very interesting dialogues with us at such moments.

Back to the weapon parts: They can be built into our equipment on workbenches at various points in the game and strengthen health or weapon strength, but also provide special effects such as a car reload. Star-Lord is automatically given elemental shots later, which can freeze or shock enemies for a short time. This is urgently needed, because you never feel overwhelming as a Star-Lord with the two pistols.

Smart but chaotic combat system

In combat, “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” goes its own way: The pistols have to be aimed at the opponents manually, hits are then automated. This is especially smart when there are large numbers of opponents, but it can also quickly become chaotic because you have to keep an eye on the entire battle and also have to make tactical decisions about which opponents you want to eliminate first. However, once you get the hang of it, the action game never gets really difficult.

The fights are absolutely fantastic because of our team members, which are controlled by the AI. As Star-Lord we can and must give them orders for special attacks that save our skin hundreds of times during the course of the game. The rocket armed with rocket launcher covers whole groups with area damage, Groot ties up several enemies and keeps them away from us for a short time, Drax and Gamora can in turn attack individual particularly strong enemies. Brilliant!

Team meeting as a double-edged sword

The skills of the individual members can not only be linked to form combo chains, but can also be further developed. In addition, skill points can be invested in a skill tree, which you collect automatically in the battles. And there is also a team attack: If you hold out combos for a particularly long time and without errors, the “huddle” bar can be unloaded. The fight stops briefly and you can listen to the team’s worries.

Once we have grasped the situation, we also select various options for addressing the team. If this reaches our group, all members will distribute more damage in the future. The “huddle” is a double-edged sword in the long run: on the one hand the mechanics are fresh and interesting, on the other hand it stops the fights in an unnatural way, which feels a bit annoying later on. Classically, on the other hand, resuscitation: defeated team members are cared for and straightened up by their comrades, as long as some are still on their feet.

A fantastic superhero adventure

“Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” is a fantastic superhero adventure that focuses on quality over quantity. The story is fresh and not copied, the events could be implemented immediately as an MCU film and the individual Guardians are perfectly made with their characters and their decisions, so that every fan will recognize them immediately. There are also minute-long, high-class video sequences and an hour-long single player campaign.

Technically everything runs smoothly, graphics or performance errors are the absolute exception. The gameplay is rather classic, but since the all around is so spectacular, you don’t miss playful innovations. Technical class, narrative tension, atmospheric density and fun gameplay, “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” has everything a real superhero game needs and what fans love. The conclusion: Heroic!

Nav-Account rfi Time 27.10.2021, 14:52| Akt: 27.10.2021, 15:49
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