Most video games based on popular movies end up being bitterly disappointing, with the rare exceptions of 007 Quantum of Solace (2008) and Wanted (2009) – and now Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy.
Following mixed reviews of the last Marvel console game, Guardians offers a slick, story-driven adventure for fans of the series as well as those who are new to the franchise.
While those looking for a non-stop, action-packed shooter will be disappointed, players who enjoy rich narratives and cleverly co-operative combat will be adding this title to their Christmas wishlist.
The graphics available on next-gen console are bright and colourful, and present the player with some very pretty alien worlds, levels and puzzles.
Combat involves all members of the Guardians crew, with each one capable of executing different unique moves to fight the increasingly tough aliens and enemies.
And the film’s trademark humour is not missing in this digital adaptation, with plenty of witty dialogue to add background to the storyline and provide puzzle hints.
The scripting allows the game’s story to progress mid-level, without waiting for clunky cut-scenes to end the last chapter and start the next.
None of the Hollywood line-up appears, which may or may not matter to gaming fans. All in all, this is a well-crafted movie-based video game, with a stellar soundtrack, so a lack of star power isn’t an issue.
Marvel will be relieved at developers Square Enix’s success, given the mixed reaction The Avengers received last year.
Players will easily reach 20 hours of play time, with a lot more needed to find all collectibles and costume enhancements.
Occasionally it is unclear what certain action sequences require of the player, but considering the absence of consequences for deaths in-game this doesn’t become a big problem.
Whether Guardians will compete with other big November releases, such as Forza Horizon 5 and Call Of Duty Vanguard, in the battle for Britain’s Christmas stockings remains to be seen – but the fight is heating up.