The Guardians of the Galaxy are a band of messy, dysfunctional, often self-centred, always bickering individuals who spend about as much time travelling the cosmos cleaning up their own mistakes as they do other people’s. They’re irritable and they’re pig-headed, but when push comes to shove, they get the job done, and it’s exactly this dynamic that makes them completely unique and sometimes more relatable than the comparatively virtuous Avengers. But how do you translate that key element of who the Guardians are into a video game? We recently had the chance to get a hands-on with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – the latest single player cosmic comic book-inspired adventure from Eidos Montreal – and we have to say, it doesn’t look easy.
Our hands on was about an hour long and took place in Chapter 5 of the game. The Guardians are locked in something of a legal dispute with the Nova Corps, to whom they owe a pretty big fine, so they’re headed to the spirit of Xandar AKA The Rock – a Nova outpost – to smooth things over. Prior to this point in the story, they’ve been in contact with Ko-Rel, a Nova centurion, and her daughter Nikki, who asks for the team’s help at the Rock as something strange seems to be going on there. (Side note for comic fans: while there are two distinct comic book characters with Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova Corp affiliations with these names, they seem to be reimagined for this lore.)
Anyway, before the team head out for the Rock, you’re able to spend some time with them in their ship, the Milano. Here you can wander around, play songs on the jukebox, have Rocket craft perks from components you’ve picked up on adventures or explore your teammate’s rooms and interact with their belongings to find out a little more about them. It’s clear that this is a very different take on some of characters than in the Marvel Cinematic Universe; several backstories are more akin to their classic comic book arcs. For example, this version of Thanos, who Gamora mentions briefly, is in love with Lady Death – literally the physical embodiment of death – which is historically what drives him to do the things that he does. Peter Quill, meanwhile, is the heir to the Spartax empire, which he also mentions casually in conversation on the Milano, as you do. Some things the game does give its own original spin on, however. It reimagines Quill’s moniker Star-Lord as an 80s band he idolises, and the team at Eidos Montreal actually created an entire extremely 80s-metal Star-Lord album from scratch, which is played throughout the game. Tracks include Space Riders (With No Names), No Guts No Glory, and The Darkness Inside. Think Metallica, Iron Maiden and Megadeth – all big hair and searing guitar solos.