Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Xbox Series X Review

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is an out-of-this-world experience you don't want to miss out on.

By Grayshadow, Posted 31 Dec 2021

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy faced an uphill battle after the upsetting and poor release of Marvel's Avengers. Despite the shortcomings of that title Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy surpasses expectations and goes above and beyond, even rivaling that of Marvel's Spider-Man or the Batman Arkham series in terms of quality. A brilliant adventure through the stars that combines loss, comedy, and brilliant action for an extraordinary space experience. Technical qualities do hamper the experience from time to time but Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is an exceptional superhero adventure that you don't want to miss out on.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, NoobFeed, Cover

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy starts off with the team attempting to secure a contract due to them being on the brink of financial ruin. They head into the quarantine zone but this turns out to be the first catalyst that will lead to a long chain of events resulting in the galaxy being at risk. It's hard to get into without spoilers but the game cleverly crafts a narrative that starts off with small personal dilemmas that only affect the Guardians until becoming a galactic issue.

This isn't an origin story, the Guardians have been traveling for a while but despite having a strong relationship it's still very fragile. Their bond is constantly tested with protagonist Peter Quill attempting to keep everyone together with motivating speeches and luck. Many know the Guardians of the Galaxy from the movies and the developers decided to keep some of those personalities and stories here but remain loyal to the source material. For example, Thanos is more in line with her original design in this game than in the movies. Despite Gamora being a romantic interest in the films for Peter Quill, she's instead a good friend to Peter and the relationship remains plutonic throughout that works to the benefit of the story.

Despite having a linear story the game peppers in optional dialogue and actions that allow the story to take slight detours. For example, Peter can build a better relationship with his allies leading to differences in attitude and even profound interactions. This sense of comradery is constant throughout the game as the Guardians constantly communicate with one another, whether exploring, on Peter's ship Milano or when in battle. This dialogue is amazing but often the game cuts this off if you hit a certain point which can be vexing. The writers clearly took a lot of time to create such incredible dynamic conversations and having Peter chine in or remain silent was a great idea but having it go to waste because you hint a progression barrier is such a shame.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, NoobFeed

You always feel like part of a team and this is amplified in the game's combat system. Unfortunately, you can only control Peter but the game ensures that you always feel like you're part of a team. This is a third-person shooter with platforming elements, with Peter using twin guns that gain elemental properties over the course of the game. Peter alone isn't much but with his team, they all come together for some devastating combos.

The gameplay has been designed so Peter doesn't deal a lot of damage but instead must rely on his team to combine attacks. Each member has specific talents and they fight alongside Peter in fights, and like Peter don't deal a lot of damage. Instead, you use specialized abilities linked to a timer to deal heavy damage and expose weak points in combo-focused attacks. Rocket has high explosives and guns, Gamora is fast and deadly with her blade, Drax is all about force, and Groot focuses on crowd control. None of the Guardians are immortal and if enough damage is dealt Peter will need to revive them, if Peter dies it's game over.

All of this combines with intense combat experiences when if you face a lot of the same enemies. Many of them require teamwork between the Guardians to reduce the defenses or offensive attacks of the more powerful items with situations called Call to Action. A specific member can trigger a devastating attack with Peter and thanks to accessibility options you can turn QTEs off. You can call in your team to boost the charge for these specialized attacks in a hurdle as Peter provides a morale boost to his allies. If you fail the boost is reduced but if successful the boost is increased, unfortunately, the should buttons trigger this action and since those same buttons are used to access a bulk of your combat actions you can accidentally trigger this. You can choose to not have the dialogue option appear and instead have the game choose the right choice automatically.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, NoobFeed, Female Character

The game does encourage exploration by providing optional paths that provide additional cosmetics and 1 of 2 consumables for upgrades. The exploration is limited but provides enough incentive for players to go off the specific path. The upgrades are basic such as improved shield, health, elemental recharge, and all the basic improvements to Peter's skill set. You feel more powerful but nothing significant happens in the way of upgrades but hearing Rocket talk during the process is entertainment.

Your allies and Peter can get new attacks by earning points through battle. The ranking system is simple, just attack and avoid being hit to maximize points then use them to unlock new skills. 1 skill is only available through progression but each one of them provides different combat advantages. There's New Game Plus so you can replay the game with the optional costumes you've collected which are awesome considering they appear in the game's many in-game cutscenes.

The presentation is stellar with amazingly decorated worlds that carry a lot of personalities so they feel like alien worlds with new life. Your allies will interact with the environments and won't just stand around. They'll talk to NPCs, lean against walls, overlook visas, and make it feel like you're in this world. Adding to the presentation is the outstanding soundtrack complete with both official and original music. There's a streamer mode that disables licensed soundtracks but unlike Like is Strange True Colors here the developers swapped out the music so the game doesn't just go silent. This added effort is welcomed and shows the developer's passion to create an outstanding experience while also understanding many gamers desire to stream and create content.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, Xbox Series X, Review, Gameplay, NoobFeed, Yuga

That being said Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy isn't the most stable game. There's nothing major but the game is prone to drops in the frame rate during specific actions, your crew keeping their weapons constantly out, clipping, and texture issues. Compared to games like Five Nights at Freddy's Security Breach, GTA Definitive Edition, Battlefield 2042, and many other AAA games the problems in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy are minor. Especially when compared to Marvel's Avengers. 

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is a genuine shock. After Marvel's Avengers, any superhero game released under Square Enix would've been met with similar resistance but the developers have created such an outstanding adventure should stand beside the greatest superhero games of all time. The narrative is a beautiful tale full of hilarious jokes and profound emotionally charged moments that can branch into various outcomes. The combat is simple but thanks to the great sense of comradery and beautiful presentation fighting through the hordes of enemies is rarely tedious. The technical issues still need fixing but these are minor problems for an exceptional adventure. Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is an out-of-this-world experience you don't want to miss out on.
 

Adam Siddiqui,
Managing Editor, NoobFeed

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General Information

Platform(s): Xbox One, PS4, PC
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Eidos-Montréal
Genres: Action, Adventure
Themes: Marvel
Release Date: 2021-10-26

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