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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy | Critical Consensus

Critics suggest that much like the space-faring super heroes involved, Eidos-Montréal's is basically good but a little rough around the edges

Today sees Eidos-Montréal's action adventure release of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy is a new interpretation of the space-faring comic book super hero team made famous by the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. While the entire crew of the original movie shows up, players only directly control Peter Quill aka Star Lord as the team undertakes dangerous heists to pay off a debt.

The critical response has been solid with varying degrees of favorability depending on the platform, currently the game has a Metacritic average of 83 on Xbox Series X, a median score of 81 for PlayStation 5, and 77 for the PC version of the title.

"Yes, the gameplay is excellent, but for this game, it's all about the characters. It's about small moments, big moments, and everything in between. With stellar humor and even more heart, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is easily one of the best games of the year," said But Why Tho's Kate Sánchez in her 9/10 review.

Kim Snaith of GameSpew was in agreement with her 8/10 review: "From an absolutely killer soundtrack to brilliantly written characters that you can't help but adore, it's a rip-roaring adventure through space that left me wanting more. Ultimately, it's one of Marvel's best video game outings yet."

Critics found the game's combat to be fun and at times somewhat frustrating.

Specifically, VG247's Alex Donaldson complained in his 4/5 review about how controlling Star Lord during battle doesn't feel as polished as he expected.

"The core issue is that movement feels relatively sloppy and loose. This leads to a chaotic feel which does sort of match up with how you'd expect a scrappy upstart like Peter Quill to fight, uneasy on his rocket boots, but too often it just doesn't feel good - perhaps best demonstrated in the stilted way his jet boots work for vital world-traversing double jumps. They just feel jerky and off, even though they accomplish the task well enough," he said.

Sánchez was more positive on the combat, saying it takes a certain amount of engagement.

"With many fights consisting of multiple waves of mobs, learning how to use your team's powers together in the most effective ways becomes a challenge that is well worth undertaking," said Sánchez.

Critics largely felt that Guardians of the Galaxy's narrative stuck the landing albeit with some exceptions.

"The game built around [the] narrative framework isn't earth shattering - but it is enough scaffolding to allow the story to shine," Donaldson said.

"You have to understand what Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is going into [it] - but if you do, one of the finest narrative games of the year awaits. Switch your brain off, give yourself over to its story, and you'll find much to enjoy."

Snaith agreed, saying, "Eidos has done a fantastic job of bringing each character to life thanks to excellently-written dialogue that's genuinely funny. The overarching narrative is about as grand as you'd expect for an adventure set in space, but it's engaging and it'll keep you playing 'til the grand finale."

Imran Khan of Fanbyte said the game tries to follow its movie counterparts in tone but it has mixed results in the publication's official review.

"It absolutely nails a lot of what it's going for as the characters banter back and forth, make jokes, argue, and often require player intervention to settle differences or even just be understanding to their frustrations. The player, solely in the role of team leader Peter Quill, is occasionally called on to give a rousing speech, which you can still monumentally fuck up and leave your team looking at you like an idiot."

He adds that the Guardians of the Galaxy experience has pacing expectations from players that may not necessarily be for everyone.

"I very often found myself stopping at the end of cliffs or slow walking to my goal because dialogue was still going on that the game will just skip if a new trigger has been hit. I ended up either missing a lot of dialogue or halting my gameplay to let Gamora and Drax argue once again over nothing, neither of which felt particularly good."

Offering a different opinion, Vikki Blake of Eurogamer said "I'm not sure what Guardians of the Galaxy wants to be.

"On one hand, it's a wonderfully accessible adventure wrapped up in family-friendly packaging, with an action-packed storyline that takes you on a delightful voyage through some of the galaxy's most colourful climes.

"On the other, it boasts an aggressively complex combat system that requires a high degree of digit-dexterity and rarely forgives your mistakes."

Annette Polis' 7/10 review for Siliconera offered a summation of the game that many critics would likely agree on.

"At the end of the day, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is everything I wanted it to be. There's classic Guardians snark, bickering, and epic fight scenes scored with tunes from my youth. It just needs a little more polish to make it really sing," Polis explained.

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