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Square Enix’s Guardians of the Galaxy sounds like an old school gamer’s dream

OPINION: Square Enix’s new Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game was made official at E3 over the weekend. Just like the Awesome Mix, it has a decidedly old school feel. Chris Smith believes this will be music to the ears of some gamers. 

It wasn’t a surprise to see Square Enix confirm its next Marvel game during the E3 2021 keynote. It has long been rumoured as the spiritual successor to Marvel’s Marmite-esque Avengers game

However, it’s the finer details surrounding the forthcoming Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy game from Eidos Montreal studio – of Deus Ex and Tomb Raider fame – that are likely please gamers of a certain vintage. Square Enix has set out its stall already. This is single player campaign where you play as Star Lord, in the third-person until you complete the game. That decision has already been roundly criticised, but I’m absolutely content with it.

The rest of the crew will be along for the ride; with Rocket, Groot, Drax and Gamora popping up from time to time. They’ll be computer-controlled characters who will assist in battle, but can be directed by Star Lord. There’s a new gameplay mechanic called the Huddle. When you’ve built up a power meter, you’ll be able to call all of the Guardians into the huddle and give them a pep-talk inspired by one of thirty 80s classic songs that are part of the game. How fun does that sound?

There’ll be no DLC and no micro-transactions. Everything you can unlock, you can do so by actually playing. This will be a self-contained, linear, action-adventure game with a narrative to play through and I’m 100% here for it – especially after the more confusing Destiny-esque proposition offered by Marvel’s Avengers. If anything, this looks like Square Enix putting its hands up and saying sorry for not hitting the right notes with Avengers.

“There isn’t going to be any DLC for this game, there isn’t going to be any microtransactions,” said senior narrative director Mary DeMarle “and that’s because, for us, it’s very important that on day one, when players get this game, they can have access to everything there is about this game and experience it. So right off the bat, they can get all the costumes or outfits that are available. They can find all the abilities as they progress through the game. It’s all there.”

*Stands and applauds*

As someone who doesn’t have the interest in – or the ability to be competitive at – multiplayer games, this is music to my ears. As someone who just isn’t bothered about prolonging the life of games that deliberately keep stuff in reserve for the DLC seasons, this self-contained game is much more tempting. As a gamer who would never spend a penny on unlocking loot, I’m absolutely on board with the decision to dispense with micro-transactions completely. They’re just noise. Get them out of my face.

Some gamers are already claiming “this is what Avengers should have been” and it’s hard to disagree. While I have the ultimate respect for those who want ultimate control and limitless gameplay options, I’m not among them.

My time for gaming is limited, so I want to know what I’m supposed to do and have a relatively clear idea of how I’m supposed to do it. I want to engage with fun characters and enjoy well-crafted storylines. This game, with Marvel on board as story consultants, should tick all of those boxes. It is a bit weird seeing the Guardians in a different guise to their MCU depictions, but I’m open to getting used to it.

As a part time gamer, I sometimes feel left behind by the direction the industry has taken over the last few years; especially with the multiplayer-centric battle royale games that have dominated the scene. I don’t think my preferences should be the norm, far from it, but I am glad that at least some of the cultural hit games do cater for how I like to play. I can’t wait for this.

Do you agree with Chris? Or is he a Luddite who should let the gaming past stay in the past? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

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