After the reports of how terrible the Avengers game was, and how in this game you only get to play (directly) as Star-Lord, Guardians of the Galaxy went right off my radar. Then I saw some positive reviews, and a lot of people were saying that actually, it was great. And they were right.
But first, some downers. You can only play as Star-Lord, with the rest of the team effectively acting as special attacks. Every level is a linear corridor with obviously sign-posted areas where you’re attacked. The combat isn’t great, especially when it comes to the camera and lock-on. There are plenty of “get stuck in objects” bugs, and sometimes the “activate object” trigger requires far too much character repositioning before it works.
However, it’s really, really good. Mainly because of the banter between the Guardians, partly because of the ridiculous plot, somewhat because of the fantastic mostly 80s soundtrack, and a little because it, in places, looks so damn good. It’s genuinely hilarious, from Mantis calling Rocket “little fuzzy” to the Space Llama eating the ship to the ship’s fridge door constantly needing to be shut, to Drax’s reading glasses. It’s not the GotG you know from the film, or the cartoon, or even the comic, but it’s close enough to some of those things without needing to be the same. There’s recognisable ancillary characters (like Cosmo), enemies (like Fin Fang Foom) and back story, but not so similar that you know exactly where the story is going.
It’s a mid-tier third person shooter, but with so much atmosphere and such fantastic dialogue that you can forgive where it doesn’t quite hit the mark.