Bytesize Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (PS5)
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is a 3rd person action adventure game set in the world of the franchise of the same name.
Set several years after an interstellar war, the titular heroes, during a run of the mill mission to capture a wild beast inadvertently set in motion a series of catastrophic events that threaten the peace of the fragile universe.
The game has a solid shooter/melee focused gameplay where the player takes the role of Star-Lord (Peter Quill). While some will be disappointed that they are unable to directly control the fellow Guardians, you are able to instruct your team mates to unleash a series of special moves, that are unlocked as you progress through the games. Furthermore, the game employs a team 'huddle' mechanic that can be triggered once a meter is filled where the entire team receives a damage and health boost as well as reviving any downed members.
In addition to the above, there are several levels that require you to pilot the Milano in a series of fun space battles. There should have been a greater focus on these 'Star Fox' inspired levels as they did a great job of adding some variety to the gameplay.
From a graphical perspective the game looks great. When it comes to the audio side of things, similar to the movies, the game has an awesome soundtrack. However, unlike James Gunn's cinematic creation this interpretation has a greater focus on 80's rock and metal. Whether it be dog fighting in the Milano to Iron Maiden's 'Where Eagles Dare' or battling the final boss to Europe's 'The Final Countdown' - the soundtrack is excellent.
Those familiar with the MCU iteration of this franchise will enjoy the great characterizations, humour and the enjoyable story. It has a great script that draws well on the wider Marvel universe that will seem both familiar and fresh to fans of both the MCU and comics.
While the game is on the whole enjoyable, some of the chapters' pure focus on 3rd person combat can feel a tad repetitive and does risk outstaying their welcome at times. Furthermore, the game is littered with annoying bugs - characters caught in environments, audio glitches, climbing/jumping sections not triggering correctly, stuck cut scenes and even an early game camera issue that could only be fixed by starting a fresh.
While a fun and enjoyable game it is plagued with bugs and gameplay that sometimes borders on repetitive. That said game that is a step in the right direction after the poorly received Avengers and shows that there is still a thirst for linear games that have a strong story.