It's tough to keep the lid on the sixth RPS Advent Calendar door. There's almost too much banter, too many highjinks, too much quipping. It's enough to give you quiplash, I tells ya.
Make way for the comedy action stylings of Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy!
Hayden: I think it’s fair to say I’m the biggest Marvel fan here at RPS. I indulge in reading comics in bed over the weekend and I go to see every movie about five times (thanks, Odeon Limitless!). The Guardians have always been the best for me, though. Their endless wisecracks make me genuinely laugh in a way most things just don’t manage.
In the MCU, the Guardians are defined by these jokes. Sure, there are moments of emotional vulnerability, but two-hour movies just don’t give you the time to dive into these characters as I'd like. Quill and Gamora are very much the focus, while the rest are relegated to the side. Thankfully, Eidos Montreal’s roughly 15-hour jaunt with the Guardians gives them all plenty of time at the forefront, creating my favourite depiction of this crew yet.
There are certainly elements borrowed from the movies. Drax is still an overly-literal alien who can’t grasp a good pun, while Rocket predictably grows from self-centered arse to team player. The quick quips and funny jokes still zip around the Milano, but we also get to explore the grief and pain that unites the Guardians much further, gaining a deeper insight into the team. Oh, and you get to have long convos with Groot, which are unsurprisingly hilarious and adorable. These opportunities allow Eidos Montreal to expand on each character, while also exploring the wider Marvel mythos.
And wow, there is plenty to explore. Guardians Of The Galaxy really dives into the Marvel treasure trove. Sure, you’ll see classic Guardians staples like Knowhere, Thanos, and lots of Nova Corps peeps. But you also get to discover other goodies, including both recent creations and popular characters of old. You’ll step foot on Lamentis, battle the Dweller In Darkness, and maybe even spot Pip the Troll scurrying about in the shadows. There are plenty of references throughout Guardians Of The Galaxy that are just waiting to be found.
So, for a Marvel fan like me, this is a real treat. Hell, you even get to meet Fin Fang Foom. FOOOOM! For those just looking for a fun sci-fi adventure, however, all of these extra details make the universe feel huge - and will hopefully entice you to explore the Marvel universe further (if you need comic or movie recs, ask in the comments or on Twitter; geeky chats are what I do best).
The Guardians don’t just wander around and look at old comic relics, though. They kick names and take ass. You get to fight a delectable array of Marvel denizens and delinquents, with killer moves and banging tunes that make every battle feel like a vibrant scene ripped straight from the movies.
This is helped by the Momentum system, which encourages you to get creative with combat by ranking you after each fight. You raise your Momentum and earn higher ranks by using a variety of attacks as Star-Lord and commanding the other Guardians to do the same. This made me feel like the director of my own awesome movie moments, lining up my toys in slow-mo and then watching them kick ass around me as I blasted baddies from the air.
I’ve wanted to fly around and save the galaxy as Star-Lord for years, and Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy certainly delivers on that comic book fantasy. But it also has an abundance of heart, hilarity, and hectic combat that made this my favourite Guardians experience yet.