A Guardians of the Galaxy game being developed by Deus Ex studio Eidos Montreal has been in the rumour mill for some time now- years, actually. And at their recent E3 showcase, Square Enix finally officially unveiled Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and also showed quite a bit of gameplay. The showcase itself was quite disappointing, by and large, and there was a lot about it that hasn’t sat well with many, but Guardians of the Galaxy, at least, looked promising. Here, we’re going to talk about the biggest details that have been revealed about the game.
By the time Guardians of the Galaxy’s story kicks off, the Guardians – Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot – have been with each other for less than a year, and, as Square Enix puts it, have been “trying to leave behind the memories of a galactic war that took place 12 years ago.” While exploring a restricted space full of floating debris on one mission, they unwittingly end up setting off a catastrophic chain of events that may have more dire consequences than they could have expected. Now, it falls to them to set things right. In the footage that we saw of the game, we also saw characters like Mantis and Lady Hellbender making appearances, so we can probably expect a pretty large and diverse cast pulling from the property’s history.
A FRESH TAKE
In today’s day and age, it’s pretty much impossible to make a game based on a beloved Marvel property in such a way that it doesn’t lie in the shadow of its Marvel Cinematic Universe counterpart. Guardians of the Galaxy is certainly trying to do just that. Dan Abnett, who has worked on a number of instrumental Guardians comics at Marvel in the past, is working with Eidos Montreal for this game, and the development team’s primary goal here is to put their own unique spin on this property and its characters, whether that’s in terms of their visual designs or the stories they tell around them. How successfully they do that remains to be seen.
If you were burned by the massive disappointment that was Marvel’s Avengers (and you probably were, for good reasons), you might be skeptical about another Marvel-licensed game being made by Square Enix. While it’s still too early to say how Guardians of the Galaxy turns out, we can at least take comfort in the fact that it’s avoiding one crucial mistake that Avengers made. Eidos Montreal and Square Enix have confirmed that this is going to be purely a single player, narrative driven, third person action-adventure game- so, you know, exactly what Avengers should have been.
With an entire band of Guardians taking centerstage in this game, the biggest question, of course, it- who exactly are we going to be playing as? Well, Peter Quill a.k.a. Star Lord is the primary protagonist, and he’s the one players will be playing as in the game. In combat, you can shoot his dual Element Guns, you can unleash melee attacks, and you can also use his jetpacks, not just for combat purposes, but also for traversal. Combat, it seems, is also taking elements from character action games, where the screen shows rating prompts based on how you’re doing. Exactly how that will tie into gameplay remains to be seen, but the one thing that we can say right now is that the combat definitely looks interesting.
One thing that Eidos Montreal stressed during the showing of the game is that even though you’re only playing as Star Lord, you’re never going to be alone in the game. Your fellow Guardians are always going to be at your side- but how exactly is that going to work in gameplay? For the most party, they will be controlled by the AI, and will do things and take actions on their own, which you might even often have to adapt to in the middle of combat. Crucially, however, you can pause (or drastically slow down, at least) the action at any given time and command any of your companions to unleash one of their many special skills and abilities. It seems synergizing with your felloe Guardians and comboing moves is going to be crucial to the combat.
One very interesting aspect of Guardians of the Galaxy that Eidos Montreal talked about was player choice, and how it will shape narrative. During the gameplay demonstration, we saw instances where the player, as Star Lord, could choose between dialogue options, and even make choices. According to the developers, these choices will often have amusing or disastrous consequences, while it seems that your relationship with characters will also be affected by these decisions. Exactly how vital to the experience these choices will be and how much the story will be impacted by them remains to be seen, but their inclusion has us intrigued nonetheless.
Classic 80s music was a big part of the identity of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies (and in recent years, the comics as well), and that’s one area where Eidos Montreal’s game is sticking to the script. “When the Guardians have their backs to the wall, there’s nothing more likely to make them come out swinging than a sweet mixtape of Star-Lord’s ’80s favorites. Rock out to stone cold classics from his teenage years,” reads the game’s website. Songs from Iron Maiden, KISS, New Kids On The Block, Rick Astley, and more are going to be licensed and included in the game’s soundtrack.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is already available for pre-order for those who’re ready and willing to hop onboard already, and as you’d expect from a major AAA game, there are pre-order bonuses involved. What exactly are those? Anybody who pre-orders the game will be able to unlock the Throwback Guardians Outfit Pack early. This pack, as you may have guessed, includes special skins for each of the Guardians.
PRICE AND DELUXE EDITION
Guardians of the Galaxy is launching as a cross-gen game, but unlike some other major upcoming releases, it’s not going to be costlier on the newer consoles. No matter which platform you buy it on, it will cost the regular $59.99. Meanwhile, there’s also the Deluxe Edition, includes the base game itself, early unlocks for Star Lord’s Sun Lord and City Lord costumes, a digital download of the game’s soundtrack, a mini artbook (hardcover in the physical edition, and a digital version in the digital version), and, if you buy the physical Deluxe Edition, a steelbook case. Across all platforms, the Digital Edition (both physical and digital) will cost $69.99.
So when exactly can we get our hands on Guardians of the Galaxy? Well, it’s closer than you’d think. The game is out in just a few short months, with a release date set for October 26. It will be available for PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Meanwhile, free next-gen upgrades are supported across both PlayStation and Xbox, so if you get the game on PS4 or Xbox One, you can upgrade to PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions (respectively) at no additional cost.