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Guardians of the Galaxy (2021) - It's really Groot!


Vemsie
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Ahh, this was just the tonic after hammering (and being hammered by) the brilliant but bleak brutality of Elden Ring for the last three weeks. I had this in mind as a more easygoing treat to unwind and reward myself with after completing that game and it hasn’t disappointed.
 

The writing and character interplay are every bit as wonderful as the movies, which I regard as easily the best the MCU has offered. They’ve really nailed it and it’s a genuine delight to journey with this ragtag bunch of misfits riffing off each other constantly. It taps into the hypercoloured galactic span of the comics very well too and is a real looker. Flarking brilliant stuff. 🪐🤟

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I'm 12 chapters down now whilst I thought it was okay after 3 chapters, that's not the case now at all.

 

I'll spoiler the following mainly because I'm sure most people won't care, but there are some minor story bits in there too:

 

Spoiler

Despite all the praise it has had, I'm still waiting for when the story is meant to get good, I feel like I'm missing something. Likewise I'm not seeing why everybody says the writing is so good; outside of a few chats with Drax (which have in fairness felt very human and 'real') I've not found it to be anything special, but none of the other characters have really done anything to stand out and that early humour seems to have disappeared. And, just because this is in a spoiler so I don't feel so bad writing a wall of text, the amount of plot armour is just ridiculous. The big bad is just a whole load of meh, too. Oh look, we have an irregularly shaped mass of something floating around, how exciting, that was all the rage in games & films a few years ago as an enemy type (I know it turns into Magus at the end).

 

I also have a minor story gripe that Star-Lord's jacket (with Star-Lord written on it) is referenced twice so far: The Blood Brothers said they found him due to his jacket, and in a later mission there's a comment about how immature is is having his name on it. But I wasn't wearing the default jacket at either of those points, so it did mildly bug me that it was accounted for in the script. Still, that's just being really picky now, just because it's disappointing me more generally.

 

The whining has really grated too. Sure, having the characters moan/argue/shout at each other isn't so bad for 2/3rds of a 2-hour film, but for 10+ hours it's not so entertaining. The canned battle chatter is awful and incredibly repetitive too. Sadly, none of the characters have done enough to keep me engaged with them - I skip all the Milano chatter now and just head straight for the missions. Rocket is incredibly annoying, with no redeeming qualities, Gamora here is just...bland? And Groot is Groot. Drax is the only well-rounded character, to the point that I would much prefer this version (and voice actor) in the films that Dave Bautista. 
 

The missions themselves are very poor, being simultaneously overly long and yet doing very little with that time. Outside of fighting there is far too much aimless walking or some poor platforming (including some 'fun' hammer the 'A' button to cling on when you can't make the scripted jump - which happens twice in the space of about 10 seconds on one level), the puzzles are fairly basic (and just add to feeling of padding) and the actual combat is absolute trash. I said it earlier in the thread, but I have loaded everything to do with combat in my favour, so it should be a breeze and over quickly. Well, one out of two, huh? The fact the devs put in so many options for making combat easier (more so than I've ever seen in a game) to me suggests they also thought it was a weak point - it certainly doesn't inspire much faith.

 

The RPG-lite elements are useless, too. The perks that are notionally there to aid combat offer so little benefit as to be worthless and the sponginess of the enemies means that abilities - which should make your team feel powerful - do very little. This version of Drax frequently punches through walls, for example, yet his skills don't even outright kill the lowest of grunts. It's stupid. I am really struggling to think of worse combat I've endured in a game in recent years, perhaps some game I bought for £1 or something, I don't know.

 

 

I'm really, really disappointed with this. I remember seeing some gameplay (the E3 reveal perhaps?) and thinking it looked really boring, I'm pretty sure I posted about it at the time because at that point I didn't know you only controlled Quill. I was never going to buy it after that showing, but when people started saying how good the story and writing was I was counting down the days until it got the inevitable Game Pass announcement and really looking forward to it - and downloading 75GB on my measly 2.5Mbs connection only added to the excitement. To say it has not lived up to my expectations - nor the praise in this thread - is a great shame to me.

 

I have 4 missions to go which I guess is probably at least another 3/4 hours+ of play based on how long it has taken so far and, whilst I will finish it, I'm really not looking forward to it and just want it done now.

 

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8 hours ago, pinholestar said:

Ahh, this was just the tonic after hammering (and being hammered by) the brilliant but bleak brutality of Elden Ring for the last three weeks. I had this in mind as a more easygoing treat to unwind and reward myself with after completing that game and it hasn’t disappointed.
 

The writing and character interplay are every bit as wonderful as the movies, which I regard as easily the best the MCU has offered. They’ve really nailed it and it’s a genuine delight to journey with this ragtag bunch of misfits riffing off each other constantly. It taps into the hypercoloured galactic span of the comics very well too and is a real looker. Flarking brilliant stuff. 🪐🤟

That’s the exact reason why I am enjoying it so much it, it’s a perfect pallet cleanser from the bleakness and repression of Elden Ring - which I find is only really enjoyable in short bursts.

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21 hours ago, Thor said:

Just stop Gabe, and play something you want to play. It's what I've done with Elden Ring.

 

 

Sunk cost fallacy took over - but I've finished it now. Did not like.

 

I have no idea how you played through it 4 times!

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21 minutes ago, Gabe said:

 

Sunk cost fallacy took over - but I've finished it now. Did not like.

 

I have no idea how you played through it 4 times!


I have no idea how you cope with a 2.5Mbits connection. You at least mean MBs?

(which would still be horrifically slow, but I can compute 20Mbit/s).

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1 hour ago, footle said:


I have no idea how you cope with a 2.5Mbits connection. You at least mean MBs?

(which would still be horrifically slow, but I can compute 20Mbit/s).

I always confuse those - it is 2.5MBs, not Mbps (so about 20Mbps) - and yes, it is horrifically slow but is only a temporary inconvenience. Had to download this across three days! Totally not worth it.

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I know, right? It sure does make you appreciate having a proper fast connection when you want to download something. It's still adequate for things like iplayer and Prime video though, so you get used to it.

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4 minutes ago, Gabe said:

I know, right? It sure does make you appreciate having a proper fast connection when you want to download something. It's still adequate for things like iplayer and Prime video though, so you get used to it.

 

Totally this - and are you sure it's not 2.5 Mbit/s? I'm on just over 2 Mbit/s down, around 600Kbit/s up.

 

It sucks, but we can stream Prime on a good day. 40GB patches are the pits.

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I've been really enjoying it and am on the final run in now. Quick question I was wondering about, as while I like it I CBA with a re-play:

 

Spoiler

What happens if you don't snap Cosmo out of the promise or cause the Worldmind to doubt?

 

The fight the Worldmind helps you with looked like it would have been insanely hard without its intervention.

 

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12 hours ago, RFT said:

I've been really enjoying it and am on the final run in now. Quick question I was wondering about, as while I like it I CBA with a re-play:

 

  Hide contents

What happens if you don't snap Cosmo out of the promise or cause the Worldmind to doubt?

 

The fight the Worldmind helps you with looked like it would have been insanely hard without its intervention.

 

Spoiler

They both save you having to go through some long, exhausting fights if you can convince them.

 

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I'm on chapter 14 out of (I think) 16 now and to be honest I can't wait for it to end. It's got steadily worse as it's gone on, it's now just walk/fight/walk/fight and the combat is incredibly tedious. I think if it had been half the length and a bit pacier then I would have had a better opinion of it but despite its impressive production values I've gone from being quite impressed with it to just hoping the end hurries up and arrives.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

It's a weird one, this. It kinda plays like ass. I'm sure I'm not the first person to say it but the combat feels really stodgy and there are all these moments that show you how good Naughty Dog are at making this exact sort of thing. Little moments of dialogue will cut half way through because you've hit your marker too early, you'll see a shiny off the beaten path and going to get it will just stop all dialogue, press pause on the play, and then when you cross over the right threshold everything kicks back in. It feels like a really pretty AA 360 game to play. It's got the slidey slopes and the crawl through corridor spaces and everything you'd expect from a game made in 2014. And yet I don't give a shit because it's also all kinds of brilliant. 

 

I genuinely can't think of a time I've been more blown away by performances and a script in a video game. Not because it's got the power of a Last of Us (for someone who's not that into the Naughty Dog thing I really am bigging them up a fair bit here..) or the sheer brilliance of a Red Dead 2 but just because it's funny and warm and all the characters are brilliant and it makes me really happy seeing them all interact with each other. If it played like DOOM Eternal it'd be an all timer but as it is I'm more than happy to play a slightly awkward part in a really excellent Guardians thing every night for a couple of weeks. 

 

One and a half thumbs up from me, basically. 

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On 22/06/2022 at 22:20, BitterToad said:

It's a weird one, this. It kinda plays like ass. I'm sure I'm not the first person to say it but the combat feels really stodgy and there are all these moments that show you how good Naughty Dog are at making this exact sort of thing. Little moments of dialogue will cut half way through because you've hit your marker too early, you'll see a shiny off the beaten path and going to get it will just stop all dialogue, press pause on the play, and then when you cross over the right threshold everything kicks back in. It feels like a really pretty AA 360 game to play. It's got the slidey slopes and the crawl through corridor spaces and everything you'd expect from a game made in 2014. And yet I don't give a shit because it's also all kinds of brilliant. 

 

I genuinely can't think of a time I've been more blown away by performances and a script in a video game. Not because it's got the power of a Last of Us (for someone who's not that into the Naughty Dog thing I really am bigging them up a fair bit here..) or the sheer brilliance of a Red Dead 2 but just because it's funny and warm and all the characters are brilliant and it makes me really happy seeing them all interact with each other. If it played like DOOM Eternal it'd be an all timer but as it is I'm more than happy to play a slightly awkward part in a really excellent Guardians thing every night for a couple of weeks. 

 

One and a half thumbs up from me, basically. 

Started it off on again on PS5 after seeing it was on the terrible Playstation Plus service everyone hates. It plays so much better at 60FPS than it did on my Series S. Now it's just a pretty bog standard shooter rather than a pretty bog standard shooter that's also a bit of a horrible trudge. 

 

I'm now properly enjoying myself. The script and the characters are just so good. I've got a constant smile on my face while I'm playing it. Great.

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Finished this on PC. Just a nice, good looking, well written funny summer blockbuster exp smudged into a linear entertaining game. Berry nice.

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  • 4 weeks later...

And done. I had two emotions running through me at the end of Guardians of the Galaxy. Gutted that I wouldn't get to spend any more time with these brilliantly written consistently entertaining characters and secretly maybe 25% happy I wouldn't have to play any more of their perfectly fine but nothing special game. Apologies for the long post so long after release but... well... what else am I going to do with my Sunday night?

 

I think these are the definitive versions of these characters. I loved both Guardians movies but the way they build and shape the Game Guardians is about as good as anything I've seen in a video game including in your Naughty Dogs and your Rockstars. I really loved how they developed over the course of the game and the way that threaded through with the gameplay too. Comparing it to something like The Last of Us 2, which I always felt was a brilliant story and a brilliant game that didn't quite mix together, I thought this was kind of genius in the way it all progressed as the game went on. 

 

Spoiler

The tying of the characters final powers into big moments in their story could have been a bit tacky but actually kinda worked! And I loved how you spent the whole game telling Rocket to crawl into really obvious nooks and crannies and Gamora to cut the things Gamora cuts, but then when everyone's developed into their "final forms" (both emotionally and in EXP bars) on that last mission they take matters into their own hands. "Don't worry boss, I've got this." Clever!

Fun little touches like that help sprinkle a bit of that storytelling magic over what as a game is... okay? I'm literally watching the credits roll as I type this and I don't think if pressed I can remember a single set piece in the game? It's a very AA version of the Uncharted thing in a AAA (if pretty buggy) skin. The combat kind of works when it works; I never really got bored of using Rocket's bomb to drag all the baddies in one place then getting Drax to run at them and throw them in the air for instance. Quill's guns always felt like pea shooters though and it felt like the designers had just layered system upon system in lieu of depth. You had a four powers for each Guardian; Quill Powers, Quill gun modes, environmental aids, finisher moves, special press triangle now Quill moves, and then you had the huddle... 

 

I honestly cannot think of a poorer implementation of a system in a game I really liked than the huddle. You'd be in the thick of things, zipping from enemy to enemy chaining attacks and then bang, Huddle available. The huddle is basically Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. A brilliant flurry of action that forces you to sit through a load of plodding nonsense (come at me nerds.) It slows the game down so much. And all you're really doing is matching words and listening to one of about ten unskippable chats that you've heard before. The biggest shame is that the game's at its best once it's over because you can just punish bastards with really fun unlimited combos of special moves but I stopped using it by the end of the game just because of how bored of it I was. 

 

But look, I finished it and as I hope the opening of this post suggests I really liked it! It's a high high 8 for me, and out of everything reminded me of Respawn's Fallen Order game from a few years back. A really great use of a license taking the best bits from the movies and telling a really great story tacked onto a game that would probably sing with a sequel entry. I want to see what this team can do when they don't have to build everything from the ground up. We know this didn't sell well to start with due to absolutely awful marketing but I really really hope the team get the chance. They've done a lot of the hard work in creating characters I would 100% spend £60 to spend more time with, they just need to make a game to match it. 

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21 minutes ago, Eighthours said:

Just started this. Is the default difficulty OK, or is it a more enjoyable experience if I knock it down?

I hated the combat, others liked it, but I think the general consensus is to bump up the damage you deal, decrease the damage enemies deal, put on every assist in your favour and away you go.

 

Enemies are still bullet-sponges even with everything stacked for you, but it makes it slightly more tolerable (it still gets boring very, very fast.) 

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1 minute ago, Gabe said:

I hated the combat, others liked it, but I think the general consensus is to bump up the damage you deal, decrease the damage enemies deal, put on every assist in your favour and away you go.

 

Enemies are still bullet-sponges even with everything stacked for you, but it makes it slightly more tolerable (it still gets boring very, very fast.) 

 

Thanks for the advice! :)

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I beat this on Friday night. Pretty good game, a bit rough around the edges. I think I encountered 2 progression-blocking bugs, but a reboot sorted them out. The combat was a bit janky, but the presentation, and especially the excellent dialog, redeemed it.

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I saw trailers for this and it just seemed to be everybody shouting at each other. Is it just everybody shouting at each other?

 

It seems to get praise for the story, but is the story video-game good or *actually* good? And how long is it?

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