I'm a huge fan of comic books, especially those created by Marvel. For years, I've been trying to keep up with news about my favorite characters, so feature films, series (both animated and live-action), as well as video games have a double meaning to me. I await each of these shows with great confidence and hope.
Last year was really successful in that regard – especially considering the end of the year, where Insomniac Games' Marvel's Spider-Man 2 made its debut. A great title, and although there were no revolutionary changes compared to the previous two parts, it did everything it was supposed to do perfectly. Spider fans certainly have nothing to complain about, and dozens of hours of fun is a good number.
However, the end of 2023 was also very important for many people, when Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy debuted for free on the Epic Games Store. The title is incredibly different from the hit game Insomniac Games, but at the same time similar in quality and meeting audience expectations. On the occasion of this surprise, I decided to return to this world again and… I have one conclusion!
Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy
But let's start with the positions. The game was released in October 2021, and the Eidos Montreal team was behind its creation (the publishers, of course, are Square Enix). And it must be admitted that there has been a lot of talk about the title itself – especially in the face of the increasingly worse situation surrounding Marvel's Avengers, which is perhaps one of the biggest blunders to hit the industry in the last few years.
However, from the beginning it was clear that Eidos had a specific plan for its project. Despite the voices of dissatisfaction coming from the public space from time to time (related, among other things, to the appearance of the presented characters, limited gameplay and not particularly impressive visuals), they did not give up and instead of changing anything, they continued to refine their idea.
Finally, the production debuted and…it turns out we were dealing with something that was really well crafted. It was not just a coincidence and a title that did not know what it wanted to be. Almost from the beginning of the adventure, one could feel that the creators completely understood the original. In fact, they referenced it perfectly and thoughtfully and turned it into a great video game.
As I mentioned, some time ago I decided to return to production and spend some time again with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy from Eidos Montreal. And since there's a great opportunity to do so, it was worth coming back – especially after these months of hiatus and Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is still fresh in my mind. I knew this could be an experience that would allow me to understand more.
And it was true – dealing with everything new and with hindsight always allows you to focus on very different things than they were the first time. After all, let's face it, once we know the main plot and assumptions, we – just like in movies – stop focusing on the first layer and notice smaller and larger details. Sometimes amazing details, sometimes smaller mistakes.
However, in this case, I can write with a clear conscience that I have one definite conclusion: everything is equally good here in every field. Just as the spirit of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic can be felt in the plot, it is also hidden in elements that might escape us at first glance. Individual dialogue, collectibles, and Easter eggs, as well as outlines for the entire team.
Everything went well in this game and it's really hard to fault anything. Sure, some issues could certainly have been done better, and in the long run, this isn't as polished a production as many of the other issues we've seen in the past three years, but Square Enix's Guardians of the Galaxy has nothing to be ashamed of. They brilliantly dealt with the most important issue – understanding the origin.
I don't know if I'd want a sequel to Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, though I'd probably play like crazy. I'd definitely be willing to trust Eidos Montreal with another Marvel franchise adaptation right now. No matter whether it is a classic collection or a single character. In the case of such activities, the most important thing is to feel original. They are able to do this, and it is not an easy task.
So I'm convinced that such an ability is not just a gatekeeper, but also a recipe for success when it comes to translating comics into video games. It happens that there is still a lot of free space in this area and many titles to be developed. Guardians of the Galaxy did great and definitely boosted the studio's stock. I wish there were more games like this!
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