Back in 2014, moviegoers everywhere were genuinely shocked by the overwhelming quality of Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy. The once-obscure band of galactic misfits became household names thanks to the combined acting chops of Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and Zoe Saldana (special shout out to Bradley Cooper for his superior voice acting talents as well). Once the Guardians became multimedia darlings, the video game world obviously took notice. But to everyone’s surprise, Telltale Games adopted the IP to create a point-and-click adventure game (which was shockingly good, by the way). Fast forward to 2021 and now we have a big-budget, full-fledged action/adventure epic that’s all about experiencing the madcap adventures of the whole gang. And to this reviewers’ surprise, it’s way better than it has any right to be.
You’d be forgiven for thinking Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is nothing but a reskinned version of Marvel’s Avengers - it sports a similar art design and comes from the same publishing house that put out the much-maligned games-as-a-service title. But the comparisons stop there - this space-faring journey does things a bit differently in regards to combat, dialogue, audio, and so much more. Guardians’ visuals shine thanks to the wide variety of planets you’ll frequently explore - one minute, you’ll be navigating a lost colony filled with debris from a past war. And the next minute, you’ll be traversing a showy expanse ruled by some vicious wildlife. The graphics also shine whenever you get to navigate the Milano and take in every part of the ship’s architecture. It takes a minute to adjust to the new versions of the human/alien Guardians on screen that don’t look anything like their big-screen counterparts, but you’ll quickly get over that nagging issue once you become more familiar with them and even switch up their attires. Guardians’ looks good and sounds damn good too thanks to the soundtrack that offers sweeping orchestral tunes and 80s jams in equal measure.