Guardians of the Galaxy alluded to: Aren't there films of it?

Guardians of the Galaxy alluded to: Aren't there films of it?

Guardians of the Galaxy alluded to

When the Guardians of the Galaxy joined Marvel Studios' Cinematic Universe in 2014, very few cinema viewers had any prior knowledge of who Star-Lord, Gamora or Drax the Destroyer were. And even if the Guardians in the comics have existed in various forms for several decades, the film had so many new creative elements that even die-hard fans of the characters probably had the feeling that they were seeing something completely independent. Where the backstories of Gamora, Drax and Rocket are largely identical to their comic models, the origin and family of the main character Star-Lord / Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) have been changed for the film to give it a stronger emotional core and Quill's love to give a leitmotif for the music of the 70s and early 80s.

The video game implementation of Eidos Montreal does not have the original actors from the films or their appearance, but otherwise contains many elements that are due to the theatrical version of Autor and director James Gunn were popularized. Be it Peter Quill's love of music, Drax's lack of understanding of metaphors and language images or the name of Quill's spaceship, which is derived from 80s child star Alyssa Milano (who's the boss here, Phantom Commando): Eidos' Guardians is undeniable based on the Marvel Studios interpretation and makes good use of their tone and style. But are puns, curiosities and classic rock songs enough to land a similar surprise hit?

Is everything the same as before?

At a preview event, we were able to pick up the controller ourselves for the first time and try out the fifth chapter of the game. It starts in the cockpit of the Milano, where the Guardians are having a discussion about whether they should use a recently looted sum of money to pay a penalty imposed by the Nova Corps and thus have one less problem on their hands. While Rocket believes purchasing new parts to repair the ship should be a priority, Star-Lord argues that it should settle the debt first instead. The tensions between the two heroes become more central as the chapter progresses, but for now Peter Quill can convince his friend and mechanic of his point of view.

Then we can explore the Milano on our own. Each main character has its own room in which we can interact with various objects and thus start dialogues with team members. That reminds a little of the conversations in the Mass Effect series, but unlike in the adventures around Commander Shepard, we as Star-Lord don't really have a choice to influence the course of the conversation. We only learn more about the characters, their origins and motivations.

Real decisions only have to be made at certain points in the story and the effects persist - at least in the chapter that we were allowed to play - so far still within limits. But more on that in a moment. Guardians of the Galaxy alluded to: Aren't there films of it? (3) Source: Square Enix

Excursion to the police planet

In the course of the game, in addition to the Guardians, other characters from the crew of the Milano are supposed to join in, with whom we can talk between the missions . In addition, we can use the workbench, where resources can be used to unlock new combat tactics, and activate the jukebox. This contains a selection of rock songs from the late seventies and eighties, including hits by Joan Jett, Kiss, Iron Maiden, Rick Astley and New Kids on the Block.

Have we made our preparations and talked to our comrades, let's start the approach to the Nova Corps base. Once there, the Guardians immediately notice that something cannot be right: The entire base is empty and Peter's contact Ko-Rel is nowhere to be found.

The mission consists of two parts. In the first half we wander through the abandoned base and look for clues as to what could have happened there. With R3 we switch to a view that highlights objects that can be interacted with. If we come across a locked door, we can ask Rocket to open it. But sometimes we also need to redirect energy or find an opening mechanism. While we are exploring the area, the Guardians are also discussing among themselves. At some points we can then join the conversation at the push of a button and comment on what has been said. So far, this has had no direct influence on what happened, but only led to slightly different answers from the team members involved. Anyone who thoroughly searches all rooms will find a prisoner left behind in the station who can be freed if desired and then found again later in the game.

In a command center, the Guardians finally find a helmet that is connected to the communication network of the Nova Corps is connected. Star-Lord can either speak into the device and call a patrol to finally find out why no one else seems to be on the station, or distrust the situation and leave the helmet where it is.

Obviously the right decision saves us a fight and gives us a small advantage in the further course through the element of surprise. However, the decision does not have far-reaching consequences for history. As well as all the other, small decisions that we made in the course of the level. So one way or another we have to throw ourselves into battle. Guardians of the Galaxy alluded to: Aren't there films of it? (2) Source: Square Enix

Controlled Chaos

There we have several options to eliminate our opponents. Let's hold down the right shoulder button. Star-Lord fires his pistols, while R1 fires an elemantar shot, which triggers a status effect, in our case Frost. With L2 we can target a certain enemy, with the circle key / B we can evade and with square / X we can carry out a close combat attack. Since target acquisition is quite essential in order to hit opponents, it is annoying that it can be broken not only by hits from opponents, but also by your own evasive maneuvers. Suddenly not having an enemy in your sights and shooting into the void is a pain in the ass after just a few fights.

With Start-Lords attacks, most opponents can still be eliminated quite easily, for armored enemies must however, we rely on the help of the rest of the Guardians. We control this by pressing L1 on a wheel, with which we first select our team member and then the desired attack. Once this has been carried out, we have to wait a cooldown before the comrade is ready to attack again.

Different attacks have different effects. For example, some stumble opponents, others keep them in place. Such opponents can often be quickly switched off with a button prompt that appears.

The experience gained then flows into the reinforcement of the individual attacks. Since all Guardians feed themselves from the same amount of experience points, you should distribute them fairly fairly in order to be able to carry out strong combos in quick succession.

Every Guardian can carry out the same types of attacks and thus trigger the same effects on opponents . However, a certain type of damage is always stronger than with the other Guardians. The developers tell us that due to multiplier effects it can still be advisable to invest a point in Guardians who are not specialized in the desired type of damage in order to strengthen any combos. Guardians of the Galaxy alluded to: Aren't there films of it? (4) Source: Square Enix

A bar also fills up during the fight. If this is at its maximum, we can form a huddle with L1 and R1. The Guardians stand shoulder to shoulder next to each other and, like in football, discuss their further tactical approach. Here it is important as the Star-Lord to react quickly and appropriately to the concerns of the comrades. The various problems and possible answers are inspired by rock and pop songs and each must be selected in such a way that they fit together. If Star-Lord manages to dispel the doubts of the rest of the Guardians, the entire troop receives a bonus and the cooldown of the attacks expires. On the other hand, if the complaints are not properly addressed, only Star-Lord receives a bonus. Knocked out Guardians are healed by a huddle one way or another. After the huddle, Star-Lord plays a random song from the playlist of his Walkman, which then runs for the duration of the amplification effect.

In the shadow of the great model

This system works on a purely mechanical level pretty good. It's fun to combine the different attacks and even if the controls and UI seem a bit cluttered at first, we did quite well in the battles after a short time. Many areas are, however, quite narrow and additionally blocked with objects that block the view of opponents. Combined with the unreliable lock-on system, this often led to chaotic moments, in a negative sense.

The huddle function is a great idea in its approach, but one of the game's greatest weaknesses also comes to the fore : The dialogues between the Guardians are sometimes very childish and often make the team look like a group of crazy teenagers and not like veterans of space piracy. The fact that the huddle plays a random song means that a song is often inappropriate and sometimes even annoying. As much as I like Bonnie Tyler's power ballad Holding Out For A Hero, if a segment of it suddenly runs at full volume over any fight, it doesn't suddenly motivate me to new top performances, but distracts from the actual action.

Guardians of the Galaxy alluded to: Aren't there films of it? (5) Source: Square Enix

In general, it can be said that the music is built into the game with far less sensitivity than is the case in the films. The selection also looks a lot more arbitrary. Nevertheless, Studio Eidos Montreal has to stick a hardworking star to the chest in at least one thing: For the band Star-Lord, whose name Peter Quill has claimed for himself in this version, a separate album of heavy metal and glam rock songs was composed, the they don't always fit either, but at least provide a bit of variety between the many well-known classic rock and pop songs.

That tonal ingenuity is not achieved with director James Gunn between moving and comical Scenes in his films jumping back and forth was to be assumed in advance, but the bottom line is that it is manageable. At least you can tell that the writing team has at least tried to capture the same balance of honest drama and silliness that makes this interpretation of the characters so charming. The English speakers also do a good job across the board, especially Rocket and Drax benefit from their distinctive voices. Only Star-Lord, with his dull-cheeked manner and often arrogant demeanor, seems like a real unsympathetic person. Perhaps this will change in the course of the plot, but so far the leader of the Guardians seems more like a self-indulgent college bro, who thinks he is the funniest guy in the world, than like the likeable bon vivant and mole hero Chris Pratt in the films embodied. The emotional distance to the main character ensured, at least for us, that many of the Star-Lords snippy or puzzled comments couldn't make us laugh. It should be clear to everyone that this is an extremely subjective assessment. It is possible that the child's head will grow dear to our hearts during a longer game session. In the almost three hours that we were able to spend with the game, however, he was the clear weak point in the ensemble.

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