In August 2020, Square Enix launched Marvel’s Avengers, a live service action-adventure Avengers-themed grindfest theoretically overflowing with things to do, stuff to unlock, and content to make your way through alongside your friends. The game did not deliver on these promises, quickly dwindling in players and receiving price cuts. In this article, we’ll talk about if Square’s next Marvel product, the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy game, looks like it’ll be any better than Square’s last foray into the Marvel universe.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is scheduled for release on October 26th, 2021 on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S|X, and Microsoft Windows. You can pre-order the game on your storefront and platform of choice, and on PC, the game is available and Steam and not limited to Uplay or the Epic Games Store.
Like Marvel’s Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy is another third-person action-adventure game set in the Marvel universe, but it’s not an online-focused live service planned to be supported with extra content and stuff to buy years into the future. Guardians of the Galaxy is planned as a story-driven experience you play, enjoy, and move on from.
Ultimately, many of the systems in Marvel’s Avengers weren’t the best, but the major problem with the game for most players was how uninspired it all was. Square took one of the most lucrative licenses in video games, gave a huge team tons of money and time, and what they came up with was a looter shooter live service light on story, personality, and content.
What’s more is that Marvel’s Avengers just didn’t bring anything fresh to the table. There was no real major reason to play it over other better live service looter shooters or better Marvel games like Spiderman. You played Marvel’s Avengers because you thought with some work the game could be really great or because you didn’t have anything better to do, you like Marvel, and you wanted something to turn your mind off to and grind.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is at the very least going to be focusing on delivering the big picture experience that gamers actually want: an action-packed rollercoaster of a campaign built with all the production value and faithful detail a AAA developer and publisher can afford.
Maybe it’s not going to be the most mechanically complex game or one with narrative depth on par with a BioShock or Last of Us, but with some good graphics, decent writing, solid performances from the voice cast, and some sticky, albeit simple, gameplay, a thrilling video game romp through the Marvel universe sounds like a good time to many gamers.
However, it is important to remember that Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is not actually Marvel’s Guardians in the sense that these are redesigned characters not voiced by their movie counterparts. So, it’s Marvel universe but not the MCU. Naturally, it will be a tough needle to thread writing these characters to be likable for the same reasons their MCU counterparts are while still making them feel unique.
Considering the live service stuff is gone in Guardians of the Galaxy there’s a lot more reason to be excited for this Square Enix Marvel game, but considering not only how Marvel’s Avengers released but how it wasn’t particularly beloved for its story and characters either, it’s also fair to approach Guardians of the Galaxy with a healthy bit of skepticism.
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After all, even single-player story-driven experiences aren’t free from microtransactions and other monetization-bloat, so this game could eventually suffer from a lot of the same problems as Marvel’s Avengers. Ultimately, we’ll have to wait and see how the game’s release goes.