Can Guardians of the Galaxy succeed where Marvel Avengers failed?

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy, developed by Eidos Montreal, was revealed during Square Enix Presents E3 2021.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy follows the space trotting team of misfits, based on Marvel comics and heavily inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the 2nd game based on Marvel Comics property published by Square Enix.

Marvel Avengers, developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix, was released in August of 2020. The game was heavily panned for being an uninspiring microtransaction-filled live-service mess.

With the launch of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy coming near, the question remains, will it follow in its predecessor’s footstep, or will it succeed where Avengers failed?

Why did Marvel Avengers fail to deliver?

Within the last couple of decades, comic book superhero culture has not only exploded into the mainstream but has taken its crown. Movies such as Avengers: Endgame and Zack Snyder’s Justice League have grown to be acknowledged beyond a comic book movie but as a masterpiece.

Marvel Studios, a subsidiary of Disney, has built the Marvel Cinematic Universe, an interconnected movie franchise that currently boasts 23 movies, with more movies and TV shows coming up.

However, the Marvel comic book properties have failed to translate into video games, except for the Marvel Spider-Man series by Insomniac. When Square Enix first announced that a Marvel Avengers game was under development at Crystal Dynamics, fans’ excitement went through the roof.

Crystal Dynamics is best known for developing the Tomb Raider series, which took on a linear action-adventure route following the 2013 reboot. As Crystal Dynamics started the development of Marvel Avengers, Eidos Montreal took over the third Tomb Raider game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Given Crystal Dynamics’ history, as well as the rich stories of Marvel Comics, fans assumed the game to be a single-player story-focused linear action-adventure game. However, it was soon revealed that Square Enix has opted for a co-op live-service adventure.

Upon release, the game was heavily criticized for having uninspired character design, grindy mission structure, and anti-consumer microtransactions. Since then, the Marvel Avengers has released several updates, with plans for more, but still hasn’t recovered from the distaste it left in the player’s mouth.

Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy taking a different direction than Marvel Avengers

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy was revealed during Square Enix Presents E3 2021. The second game, based on Marvel Comics by Square Enix, is all set to be released on October 2021. The game has chosen to follow a single-player narrative-focused gameplay.

During the brief gameplay, the players were given control of Peter “Starlord” Quill. Although it is still unclear if players will be able to control other guardians or will they experience the entire adventure from the perspective of Starlord, this already signifies a shift in the gameplay direction.

Senior Creative Director Jean-Francois Dugas said:

It’s single-player, but it’s kind of like solo team play. You feel like even though you’re only controlling one character, you feel like they’re present in every aspect of the game.

Even though not much is known about the game yet, Marvel Guardian of the Galaxy already seems to improve upon the shortcomings of Marvel Avengers.

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