Marvel cuts the Guardians of the Galaxy ongoing comic book series short


Gamesradar 22 September, 2021 - 11:28am 42 views

Marvel's comic superheroes, the Guardians of the Galaxy, are taking a break

"The end! Thanks for everything -- and see you at Gosnell's!" reads text overlaying the last page of Guardians of the Galaxy #18.

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 was the finale of 'The Last Annihilation' cosmic crossover event. Without giving too much away in terms of spoilers, we can say everything and everyone wasn't annihilated as Dormammu wished.

For those looking to the horizon for what's next, Marvel Comics' next planned Guardians of the Galaxy-related comic is December 22's Wastelanders: Star-Lord #1 one-shot, starring an elderly version of Peter Quill and Rocket from an alt-reality future. Given James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is scheduled for a 2023 release date, expect the full team to get its own book again in advance of that somehow - but at least not until 2022.

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy | Hands-on Preview 22 September, 2021 - 03:30pm

I played three hours of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and I didn't want to leave the Milano

Gamesradar 22 September, 2021 - 08:00am

The team's ship and intergalactic home is filled with lore. These might be familiar characters, but Eidos Montreal's story and interpretation of the Guardians is unique. This is a team that has only been working together for around a year, but the fact you don't really know these characters makes the Milano a fantastic way to dive into their rich narrative backstory. Each of our Guardians has their own sleeping quarters, and stepping into any of them gives you an idea about how these characters function. Rocket is incredibly messy, Gamora collects Funko-esque figures, and Star-Lord's looks more akin to a teenager's than that of a leader. 

In each of the rooms, you'll find various items belonging to each of the Guardians. Some are interactable, the keys to unlocking new pieces of information and insight into the characters you'll be spending so much time with throughout Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Striding into Gamora's room as Star-Lord, she's quick to appear behind you and question why you're in her space. But instead of being offended, you end up talking about her relationship with Thanos, and the things she's been through during the galactic war that all of these characters have lived through. 

"It's not an origin story in our game, but we needed to develop that [background] and for you to understand the relationship between these characters," explains Patrick Fortier, senior gameplay director. "How they met, how they were affected by the war…"

"They have different background stories, they have different life experiences, but they all have that sense of loss in common – they've lost something," adds senior creative director, Jean-Francois Dugas, when I ask about this more emotional side of the game. "What they have with the Guardians at the beginning of the game is more like business partners, but they know deep down inside that's the closest thing to a true family that they have, and they will through the game discover and embrace that more."

Having dropped some four hours into the game, my preview time joins the Guardians after they've just escaped from Lady Hellbender's fortress, as they head to the Nova Corps station to pay off a huge fine. But, as you can imagine from a bunch with such murky morals, not all of them are best pleased to be doing the right thing by caving to the space cops' demands. So the atmosphere on the Milano is, at best, tense, at worst, on the brink of explosion. 

They have different background stories, they have different life experiences, but they all have that sense of loss in common

My time spent on the Milano pre-mission was then as much about learning about these characters and how they tick, as it was about trying to diffuse the situation somewhat. You can upgrade the Guardians' perks at work benches using the components you collect during missions, which boost the moves or weapons the Guardians already have – like shields, health, or cool-down times. You also have Ability points that you can use to unlock new moves for each Guardian that you can equip at any point. But on the Milano I take a moment to chat through the plan with Rocket first. He's still grumpy about it of course, but it does make some of the later conversations a little easier. 

But I do eventually leave the Milano, ripping myself away from the reams of backstory available even in this small introduction to the game, to head to the Nova Corps base. It's here that I get a look at some of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy's puzzle mechanics, where I have to tell Rocket to crawl through a small vent to reach a control panel beyond to turn on the power. But, before a gigantic door can pop open in the eerily and unexpectedly deserted Nova base, I have to use Quill's visor to flick switches in the floor to direct the current. It's a familiar puzzle, but figuring out how to use each of the Guardians' skillset to solve a particular problem is another part of getting to know them.

It's the same with combat too. At one point in the base, the team finds an abandoned helmet, and you're presented with a choice – respond to the voice talking on the comms inside, or throw the helmet away and move on. Running through this preview section twice, if you reply you'll bring the mysterious enemies down upon the team and start the combat sequence straight away. Ignore the chatter and you'll have the element of surprise on the enemy, granting yourself a little more time to assess the situation before you turn your guns on them. 

But, regardless of your choice in that moment, combat is all about preparing for the battlefield, almost with an RTS-like style of analyzing your enemies and how to attack them. Like with the puzzles, you'll be able to command your various teammates in battle – and you'll absolutely need to. While Star-Lord has his blasters and elemental weapon, you won't have everything you need to defeat foes yourself. 

In this sequence, shielded enemies needed to be taken down by Drax, and you could then use Groot to immobilize them for a while before using Rocket's ranged bomb attacks and Gamora's impressive close-range damage to cut down a chunk of their health before the shields regenerated. There were also items I could use – Drax flinging an explosive barrel into the fray, or Gamora dropping a hanging crate onto the unsuspecting enemies from above – to help take them all down, which only added to the feeling of constantly strategizing. 

The more you do well, the more you'll build literal momentum – pulling off combos, using different powers, and blending various moves. The more momentum you gather, the more you'll be able to use the Guardians' combos and build your Huddle gauge. When it's full, you can draw the Guardians in for a chat in the middle of combat, listening to how they're feeling and give them an appropriate pep talk. Get the right vibe and all of you will get a boost, but mess it up and you'll only give Star-Lord the power-up. Either way you'll be rewarded with an '80s power ballad, like Pat Benetar's 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot', to soundtrack your battle, which feels incredible when everything's going your way. 

"What was important to us was – and it was the most challenging thing to do – to create this ecosystem in which all the parts need to play their roles. So you, as the player being a so-called leader, it's also being part of the action and being invested in it, and finding the different ways to deal with the enemies," says Fortier. "It's about finding that balance where you're not the most powerful person on that battlefield, but you're a key part of it, you're critical to the success in combat." 

That balance feels like it's very much at the heart of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy. Every conversation you have, every choice you make – both in battle and in exploration – affects how you experience the game, with Dugas even teasing that putting down the controller and leaving the characters idling can unlock secret dialogue options. The small things, like taking your time to explore rather than following Rocket's instructions, or asking the wrong Guardian to hack a terminal, can cause different reactions and make things pay out slightly differently. 

Although I only played an hour or so segment of the game (twice), it's the ripples of choice that drives it forward constantly. It's a promising look at Eidos Montreal's solo debut into the Marvel universe, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out come October. 

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'Guardians of the Galaxy' is already better than the 'Avengers' game | Engadget

Engadget 22 September, 2021 - 08:00am

This isn’t the case in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and that’s a good thing. The game introduces fresh versions of the Guardians and ensures players will get to know them, placing an active emphasis on relationship-building and teamwork, rather than running and gunning. Eidos-Montréal’s interpretation of the Milano crew is familiar but refreshing, and the characters in the game are just as charming as they are in the MCU — if not moreso.

The preview for Guardians of the Galaxy lasted about an hour and dropped me in the middle of chapter five: Star-Lord and his pals are on the Milano, debating whether they should pay a fine at Nova Corps headquarters. They banter and decide to do it, intermittently dealing with a purple-and-orange llama that’s stowed away on their ship from a previous mission. The llama’s name is Kammy. Drax, the vengeful yet simple warrior, calls it “the child.” It’s all very cute.

Star-Lord is the only playable character in Guardians of the Galaxy, but he’s able to interact with and even direct his teammates, taking advantage of their unique skills as needed. For instance, Rocket, the foul-mouthed raccoon, is good at hacking doorways, crawling through vents and fixing things, though he’ll give you an earful while he does it.

By chapter five, Star-Lord has a handful of skills and tools, including the ability to scan his environments for areas of interest or weakness. Using this overlay turns the landscape into an infrared world of neon silhouettes and bright yellow clues. If Star-Lord himself can’t use a particular item, chances are someone on his team can, and he’s able to work with them once he’s found the way forward.

In combat, Star-Lord can instruct his crewmates to use their special moves at any particular time, and they also react automatically to nearby enemy behavior. For example, Star-Lord can freeze an enemy with his ice gun and Groot, the powerful tree creature, will start wailing on the frozen foe, no player input required. There’s also a huddle function that can turn the tide of a big battle — Peter Quill calls the team together and listens to their thoughts on how the fight is going, and then he determines whether to encourage them or check their egos using a range of 1980s pop-rock lyrics. If he picks the right tone, the entire team gets a big boost so they can start spamming attacks; if he picks the wrong words, only Star-Lord gets the damage augmentation.

Fights in chapter five are fast-paced and packed with enemies, meaning the Guardians are often spread across the environment, waging their own tiny wars. Star-Lord’s ability to call in his crewmates’ special powers adds a layer of rapid-fire strategy to the gunbattles, and this system should only become more robust as the game progresses.

Interacting with the Guardian NPCs is a critical component of the game’s non-combat moments, when players have to communicate and solve puzzles to progress. Guardians of the Galaxy uses a Telltale-style narrative system that alerts players with text in the upper-right corner when something significant has gone down — think “Gamora will remember that” — and in conversation, there are often multiple responses for players to choose from, sometimes with a timer attached. Seemingly innocuous decisions, such as whether to respond to an audio cue, can significantly change how the game plays out, for instance jump-starting a battle or creating an opportunity for the Guardians to sneak in.

Relationships are everything in Guardians of the Galaxy. The core theme of the game is grief, according to developers, and even as the Guardians joke their way across the stars, they each deal with a unique sense of loss. This is, ironically, what brings them together. The game's music plays into the emotional mood, with plenty of licensed ’80s hits and an original album from Star-Lord that taps into feelings of being an outcast and finding your chosen family.

It’s hard to say if Eidos-Montréal has captured the right balance of emotion and action throughout Guardians of the Galaxy, but the preview is encouraging. The developers aren’t afraid to let dialogue and puzzle-solving breathe for long stretches of the action, while battles themselves are full and frenzied. At any rate, it already feels way better than Marvel’s Avengers.

Guardians of the Galaxy is due to hit PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, PlayStation 4, and PS5 on October 26th.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy feels like a terrible family holiday, and that's great

PC Gamer 22 September, 2021 - 08:00am

Bickering, banter and getting into trouble with the cops.

Star Lord, Gamora, Drax, Groot and Rocket are a found family for whom there is never a wrong time to bicker. Starting the demo (which picks up around five hours into the campaign), I find the crew of the Milano raring for an argument, and as "so-called leader" Star Lord I've got to try and defuse the tension. Usually with bad jokes.

This is not just evocative of trips with my family—it's also very true to the Guardians as they're presented in the comics and films. Pretty quickly it becomes clear that Eidos Montreal has nailed the tone of its adaptation and captured the characters and their complicated relationships perfectly. For the two hours I played, it was never anything less than authentic.

Marvel's cosmic heroes, true to form, are in a bit of trouble with the space cops, otherwise known as the Nova Corps, and must take a detour to a Nova Corps precinct to pay a fine. Before the cops get their cash, however, there's time to explore the Milano, the ship that serves as the game's hub. There's a workbench where Rocket can upgrade Star Lord's gear with new perks, a jukebox filled with Star Lord's favourite tunes and lots of opportunities to have exposition-filled conversations.

It's a very traditional hub, and I find myself getting impatient as Star Lord blethers away with his buds. While Eidos-Montreal has done a great job making the crew match their comic counterparts, the one-on-one chats are just a bit too formulaic and awkward. I'm itching to get into a fight, so I put an end to my socialising and head to the cockpit. It's time to pay a fine.

Naturally, things go awry. The precinct appears to be deserted, the Milano gets impounded and we've got to find someone who will take our cash so we can get back to saving the galaxy. As we explore the ghost precinct there are plenty of opportunities for more organic chats, with the quintet constantly commenting on things and, of course, arguing. The dialogue here is a lot more natural than the one-on-one chats, and the source of plenty of jokes.

If you were to jump into the game at this point, with no experience of the Guardians, I suspect you'd pretty quickly get a clear impression of what they're all about. It's constantly reinforcing the team's personalities, whether it's through Rocket's constant complaining and insults, or Drax refusing to grab a soda from a vending machine that you've broken because it would be dishonourable.

Star Lord is the only character you can directly control, but you can still give your pals commands. Outside of combat, this seems to mainly be used to overcome obstacles like locked doors or blocked routes. In the Nova Corps precinct, Rocket gets to show off his skills by crawling through vents to get to hidden areas or fiddling with door consoles. In one instance there's a hacking mini-game where I have to work with him to reroute power to a door, a sequence that's elevated by the fact that I can reroute power to other objects, finding a hidden item in a toilet—a new outfit for Drax—and creating more excuses for banter.

The Guardians are not your minions, though, and don't like to be bossed around. When faced with another locked door, selecting Rocket again just pisses him off. He wants to leave the precinct instead of continuing to explore it. Asking a second time makes him acquiesce, though there will be moments where the Guardians will simply refuse to do things because of prior decisions that you've made. In the E3 demo, we saw Rocket being tossed over a chasm by Drax, after which he made it very clear that he'd never allow that to happen again.

How you react to certain comments from your pals will impact your relationship with them, and inside the precinct there are a few other choices to make that slightly change how things play out. One of them, what to do with a lone prisoner, seems to mostly be a setup for a visual gag, though there could be greater consequences further down the line. Another has a more immediate consequence, allowing you to skip the first fight.

After a bit more exploring we discover that we're not alone, and that the cops are still here—except they're not themselves. They're under an alien influence, necessitating a lot of punching and shooting.

Star Lord's got a brisk, acrobatic combat style where he can dash across the battlefield with his rocket boots, dodge punches and projectiles, and pester enemies with elemental attacks. Between the weapon perks, special abilities, team attacks and your mates' abilities, there's quite a lot going on. Generally, you want to stagger enemies to make them vulnerable, which is a straightforward principle, but the volume of enemies, many of whom have pesky shields, means the encounters can get a wee bit tricky unless you're making full use of your powers.

While Star Lord has loads of utility and the other Guardians are pretty capable on their own, throwing a bit of teamwork in there makes the world of difference. You can select a target, a character and an ability and then watch as your mate pulls off a flashy move, but what you're really trying to do is find synergies and use them to create openings. Groot, conveniently, can trap enemies with his vines, which is the perfect opportunity to unleash Star Lord's barrage attack—an ability that is infinitely more effective when you can focus on an immobilised enemy.

I can't deny that there is something inspiring about watching my BFFs kicking the crap out of space cops to some cracking '80s bops.

There are environmental hazards, too, which you can target directly or tell your companions to use. As Star Lord, you can simply blow up an explosive barrel, but Drax will actually pick the barrel up and throw it at enemies, so you don't have to worry about the blast missing everyone.

When the chips are down, that's when it's time for an inspirational speech and some good tunes. This is essentially Star Lord's ultimate ability, where he can gather his teammates when the bar is full and inspire them to go all-out. It's an ability that feels true to the comics, and you even get to choose what kind of speech you give—though no matter what you choose it seems like it's always going to be a bit generic and corny. With the speech given, the Walkman comes out, the music starts blasting, and everyone gets supercharged. While the speeches might not be great, I can't deny that there is something inspiring about watching my BFFs kicking the crap out of space cops to some cracking '80s bops. It gets the blood pumping.

I'm surprised by how tactical the brawls can be, too. Sure, sometimes you're just beating up some goons, but even on the normal difficulty you need to think about how you're taking advantage of your team and when's the best time to deploy their abilities. It's still a fast, kinetic action romp, but you get to really feel like a leader, a tactician, where your calls can turn a slog into an effortless ballet of death.

Marvel's Avengers, which Eidos-Montreal also worked on, makes for an interesting comparison. Even though you're playing in a team of heroes, there's so little actual teamwork, especially in singleplayer, where your AI-controlled buds just do their own thing and never accept any input. Guardians of the Galaxy's fights are also infinitely more fluid, in part because even the very healthy enemies can be taken down swiftly with the right abilities, but also because the controls are so much tighter. In Avengers it feels like you're driving Captain America or Iron Man, but in Guardians you are Star Lord.

I had so much fun hanging out with the Guardians that I took the demo for a spin a second time, and that tiny bit of familiarity with the combat system did a world of good. I was flipping and flying and blowing Nova Corps goons to smithereens while sliding on my knees like a seasoned pro, and damn did it feel great. I can't wait to return next month.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy will be getting into trouble with alien dictators and space cops on October 26.

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Hands-On Preview - IGN

IGN 22 September, 2021 - 08:00am

My sample of the combat came as part of chapter five of the campaign. At this point in the story, the Guardians have racked up a considerable amount of debt that needs to be paid to the Nova Corps. In order to pay that fine, they must head to The Rock, a Nova outpost. Things aren’t quite as they should be though on arrival though; it’s eerily quiet, and evidence of a conflict can be found. After a short period of exploration, I stumbled into some glowing Nova Corp members who are clearly not in their right mind. Naturally, things kicked off.

Star-Lord can lock onto targets and blast them with his dual pistols. These have a cool elemental alt-fire mode, and a tap of the d-pad switches between four different ammo types: lightning, ice, wind, and fire. I only had the ice option available to me during my session, but I found it to be particularly effective, especially when I was inundated with enemies and needed to slow them down. There’s no ammo to pick up for these pistols; instead, they operate on an overheat system that requires a well-timed trigger pull to reload efficiently, à la Gears of War’s active reload. It’s an all-timer mechanic that I frankly can’t blame any shooter for borrowing. Ranged combat can be paired with fast melee attacks to quickly build up enemy stagger bars, which when full allows you to activate team takedown attacks to deal heavy damage.

Then there are Star-Lord’s signature abilities, which can be periodically used by awkwardly pushing in the left analog stick (to be fair to Eidos-Montreal, almost every other button is under constant use) and selecting the move you’d like to perform with the face buttons. These abilities include Fan the Hammer, which lets you rain a torrent of high-speed bullets in a straight line that melt anyone in your path, and my personal favourite, Eye of the Hurricane, which launches you into the air before unleashing a spiral of grenades that have a wide area of effect and deal heavy stagger damage. Further signature abilities can be unlocked using skill points that you’ll earn as you level up.

Keeping up? Good, because that’s only half of it. While you aren’t able to directly control the other members of the team in combat, you do get to command them, which at times turns the battlefield into a real-time tactics arena. This is where the Final Fantasy 7 Remake of it all comes into play. Holding down the left shoulder button will bring up the option to use the other Guardians’ abilities. For example, Groot can be instructed to tie up a targeted enemy in his tendrils, which can then be followed up with an instruction to Gamora to leap in and slice that enemy up for big damage.

It’s a very fun combat system to play around with, requiring split-second decisions within the chaos. Adding further to this is that if you do enough damage consistently, you’ll build up the momentum meter, which when full allows you to “huddle up”. This unique mechanic not only grants your thumbs a few moments of respite, but also grants stat buffs to either the full team or just Star-Lord, depending on if you selected the optimal dialogue option. Undoubtedly my favourite part of this, though, is when the action resumes and a random 80s hit from Star-Lords’s playlist soundtracks the fight. And sure, We’re Not Gonna Take It by Twisted Sister just makes sense for an occasion like this, but there’s something even more contrapuntally delightful about listening to Hot Chocolate’s Every 1’s a Winner while Rocket fires explosives into a poor soul’s face.

It’s a complex combat system to wrap your head around, but the more time I spent with it, the more comfortable I became, and the more fun I had with it. With multiple unlockable abilities for each character, there’s a wealth of different combinations to try out and find what works best for each situation. You’ll have to think about that too; it’s challenging at times, and these aren’t encounters you can simply button-bash your way through. When all the systems come together it can feel a bit like trying to juggle several lit fireworks, which could result in a beautiful, explosive display of firepower, or just as equally blow up in your face if you aren’t paying attention.

The team throws out witty one-liners during combat, but also has great moments of interaction during cutscenes and exploration. From this small slice, Guardians seems very well written and - crucially - funny. A standout moment saw Star-Lord point out the location of a heavy unit by shouting “Big guy, 12’o’clock!”, only for Drax to dryly reply with “Current time irrelevant!”.

All of this is not a million miles away in tone from the two James Gunn MCU movies, and so very much feels part of the Guardians of the Galaxy lineage. Eidos-Montreal has, however, made the characters feel distant enough from previous iterations, which has helped it avoid stumbling into the dreaded uncanny valley that Crystal Dynamic’s Marvel’s Avengers occasionally did.

Further respect is paid to the relatively short history of the characters by the dozen or so unlockable outfits for each member. These range from Star-Lord’s classic Team-Lord suit from 2008’s Guardians of the Galaxy #1, to Gamora’s look from the 2014 movie. I found a couple of these while exploring the dark corners of the Nova Corps base I was visiting, and they can also be rewards for solving puzzles that act as a break from the high-octane action. While not overly complex, these challenges varied, from using my ice ammunition to freeze a rotating gear in place, to turning digital connectors Watch Dogs-style to power up a grid, and even directing Rocket through small gaps that only he could fit through. It looks like Guardians will try to switch things up on occasion and not rely too heavily on its fun combat.

Ultimately, I came away far more excited to play Guardians of the Galaxy than I had been prior to my time with it. There’s a surprising amount of depth on offer in both regards to combat and characterisation, with plenty of unlockables and player choice available throughout its systems. All of this while also blaring out Take on Me, The Final Countdown, or Hangin’ Tough? Sign me up.

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