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Image courtesy of Eidos-Montréal

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.

Image courtesy of Eidos-Montréal

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.

Go deeper

The big face-off between Halo, Call of Duty and Battlefield

"Halo Infinite." Image: Microsoft

The video game horse race to watch this fall is between “Call of Duty: Vanguard,” “Battlefield 2042” and “Halo Infinite,” three shooter games from giant franchises that keep bumping into each other on their way to release.

Driving the news: Two of the expected mega-games will intersect tomorrow, as Activision’s “Vanguard” and EA’s “2042” both run online showcases at 11 a.m. ET to reveal new modes.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 13 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

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