Marvel's "Guardians" gamble
Eidos-Montréal's upcoming entry into the Marvel gaming universe, "Guardians of the Galaxy," has big shoes to fill — but may just be on track.
The details: A recent demo given to the press covers part of the game's fifth chapter, where the Guardians find themselves exploring an oddly deserted Nova Corps station.
- The demo was only a small slice of the game, one that focused largely on combat to the tune of classic hits with some quieter crew moments baked in.
- Fights are fast-paced, as you can issue commands to the entire team as Star-Lord to attack or use the environment to your advantage; downed comrades can also be revived if you can get to them safely.
- The team is constantly in motion, as characters deliver one-liners, offer advice or charge ahead into scuffles.
One small thing: If you've spent a lot of time watching the Guardians in the MCU, it can be a little jarring to see them on-screen without their famous faces.
- But their general vibes are intact, from wisecracking Rocket to the more measured Gamora, and overall the gang feels far more connected and cohesive as a group.
The big picture: Over the past decade, Marvel has become a movie powerhouse, with its films regularly grossing hundreds of millions of dollars.
- That grip hasn't fully extended into video games, in which titles like "Marvel's Avengers" received middling reviews.
- Expect to see a growing catalog, however, with games like "Spider-man 2" and "Marvel's Wolverine" on the way from Insomniac Games.
What's next: The game launches Oct. 26 for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.
Star-Lord is more than just a taken name for hero Peter Quill — it's also a fictional band led by one of the game's own developers.
The details: Quill's jacket is emblazoned with the band's name, Star-Lord, as part of the idea that he's a fan — not that he's running around with his own name.
- During a recent press event, senior audio director Steve Szczepkowski said he recorded a demo featuring his own vocals — a placeholder as the team sorted out a sound for their fictional metal band.
- But one of Szczepkowski's collaborators liked his original vocals so much that they decided not to hire another singer.
- "We listed out a bunch of sort of high-level themes and topics we wanted to cover on the album, like, you know, strong sense of family, a strong sense of self," Szczepkowski said.
The game does still include a ton of licensed music, a touchstone fans of the "Guardians of the Galaxy" films have come to expect.
- During the game's huddle mechanic, for example, Quill will pull the team in and give a speech that kicks off a song in keeping with the theme of his message.
- "The [Star-Lord] record is definitely visible throughout the game and it makes its appearances, but we never force it down the player's throat."
- Eidos-Montréal released the first track, "Space Riders with No Names," this month.