Square Enix’s first crack at a Marvel property didn’t exactly go to plan, with Crystal Dynamics’ Avengers game failing to live up to expectations, but with the promise of a single player narrative-driven action adventure title, Eidos Montreal’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy game is looking much more promising. It hasn’t been that long since the game was unveiled, but its launch is almost upon us, and as we count down the days to when it’s out and in our hands, here, we’re going to talk about a few key details that you should know about the game.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is set in Eidos Montreal’s own new original universe, and as the game kicks off, the universe at large is in a fragile state. Still recovering from the impact of a massive intergalactic war several years ago, tensions everywhere are running high, and a scrappy group of crooks led by Peter Quill a.k.a Star-Lord, who’ve been together for some time at this point, figure they can make a quick buck by exploiting the situation. One of their missions, however, goes horribly wrong, and they end up setting into motion disastrous events that threaten to shatter the universe’s fragile peace- and it now falls to the Guardians of the Galaxy to take responsibility and set things right.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s choice for its antagonist is an interesting one. We don’t know if she’ll be one of several big bads in the game or the biggest bad of them all, but as a more recent and relatively lesser known addition to Marvel lore, Lady Hellbender is quite an intriguing villain to bring in for the game. She has quite a fondness for cosmic beasts and monsters of all kind and as the queen of the Hellraisers on the planet Seknarf Nine, her ultimate goal is to build the ultimate sanctuary for monsters of all kind, where they don’t have to live in fear of being hunted all the time. How exactly she will fit into the story and how central she will be to it remains to be seen, but from little we’ve seen of her so far (especially her interactions with Drax), it looks like she’s going to make for an interesting addition to the game’s cast.
Before the game had been announced, most people would have assumed that any game based on Guardians of the Galaxy would see you taking control of all of the characters in the group, especially given how unique they each are in their own way. Eidos Montreal, however, have taken a different approach. You will only play as Star-Lord, but the focus here is very much on being the leader’s group, which will manifest in the actual gameplay as well. Though you will directly control only Quill, you’ll also be responsible for guiding your ragtag group of not-so-heroic crooks in everything from combat to narrative decisions. Speaking of which…
Combat in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is shaping up to be an interesting mix of action and strategy. As Star-Lord, you will be doing a lot of running and sliding and shooting and using his jet boots, but making use of your teammates’ abilities will also be a crucial component of the core loop. Each Guardian will have their own unique strengths, from Rocket’s love of firearms and explosives to Gamora’s quick and lethal melee strikes to Groot’s ability to heal his teammates, and it will be up to the player to use these abilities by doling out commands during combat. Mixing and matching different abilities to pull of chains and combos is going to be key, and elemental damage and exploiting enemy weaknesses will also need to be central to your strategy if you want to do well in firefights.
It looks like working together as a team is something that is going to be a central theme in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and that’s as true for gameplay as it is for story. In combat encounters, for instance, once a certain gauge has been filled up, you’ll be able to initiate something called the huddle, which will see all Guardians coming together in a, well, huddle in the middle of combat. The Guardians will talk about how the fight is going, and depending on how they’re feeling, you’ll be tasked with making a dialogue choice- make the right one, and everyone gets back up to full health and resets all ability cooldowns. Make the wrong choice, however, and Star-Lord will be the only one who gets that boost.
Given the space faring nature of Guardians of the Galaxy (they’re not Guardians of the Village, are they?), it’s no surprise that space combat, too, is going to be part of the experience in Eidos Montreal’s upcoming game. Of course, we don’t really know exactly how much of a role it’ll play in it. We have seen bits and pieces of space combat in the game’s trailers so far, but beyond that, there’s not much else we know right now. We are, of course, hoping for things such as ship upgrades and customization, and hopefully, if those systems are in the game, they’ll have enough depth to them to keep players properly engaged throughout the story.
Eidos Montreal as a developer has a knack for delivering choice-based gameplay and stories in its games. Now, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy and Deus Ex are obviously two very different beasts, and the choices in the former aren’t going to be even remotely similar to the latter- but there will be choices. As Star-Lord, you’ll be making dialogue and story choices throughout the story that will alter the course of certain moments, influence his relationships with his teammates, and more. The developers have been vague in their answers to questions about exactly how much these choices will impact the story, so here’s hoping there’s actual weight to the decisions you make. They have said that Guardians of the Galaxy has twice as much dialogue as a Deus Ex game, so there’s that.
As games become more ambitious, they grow larger in actual size as well, but Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t going to be awfully large. Its size on the PS5 without any day one patches is 41.243 GB, and you’d have to imagine that all other platforms, especially the Xbox Series X/S and PC, will see a similar size for the game. Of course, the PS5’s compression tech has been responsible for games actually being lighter on the console than other platforms, especially the PS4, but either way, it’s probably not going to end up being too much of a difference.
DLSS AND RTX
Of course, many are going to be playing Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy not on a console, but on a PC, and if you’re planning on doing that as well, there’s good news for you. Right at launch, the game will support both RTX (ray-traced reflections, to be more specific) and DLSS on PC, which should mean better resolutions, crisper image quality, and smoother frame rates, if everything is used the way it should be.
NO DLC OR MICROTRANSACTIONS
Being a single player only game is one of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy’s biggest hooks, and since the moment it was announced, the developers at Eidos Montreal have emphasized several times that this is not going to be a live service title, a la Avengers. There are no plans for DLC or expansions, and the game’s confirmed to not have any microtransactions- which means that any and all skins or cosmetics in the game will be unlockable through gameplay. Of course, plans can always change with games following release (and often do), especially if they turn out to be really successful, but at least right now, Eidos Montreal’s sticking to the “no DLC and microtransactions” statement pretty firmly.