Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Cloud Version review Nintendo Switch Square Enix Eidos Montreal Marvel's

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy takes the ragtag team of misfits and reimagines them for an original story. Eidos-Montreal’s latest game does enough to stand out from the ever-increasing crowd of superhero games thanks to a touching narrative and well-realized characters that are brought to life with stellar vocal performances. In review, a few key design decisions hold Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy back from ranking amongst the best superhero games, and the issues become more complex with its cloud version on Nintendo Switch, where inconsistent performance and technical hiccups mar the overall experience. Streaming a game is entirely dependent on internet strength, so your mileage may vary — but Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a game that deserves to be played at its technical best.

Original and heartfelt

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy begins an undisclosed amount of time after the team has already formed, and through contextual dialogue, you get the sense that they already have a rich history of misadventures. In Eidos-Montreal’s take on the Marvel universe, the Guardians are attempting to make some money on a mission to capture a monster in a dangerous quarantine zone. The story plays out across a series of new and familiar Marvel locations as the Guardians attempt to free themselves from a precarious predicament and end up in the midst of a nefarious plot in the process.

Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Cloud Version review Nintendo Switch Square Enix Eidos Montreal Marvel's

A steady stream of twists and reveals keeps things interesting throughout Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but the characters themselves are the real narrative standouts of the game. Fantastic writing and voice acting bring each member of the Guardians to life, whether it’s the genuinely funny banter between Rocket Raccoon and Drax or more emotional beats that dig deeper into their backstories. Everyone gets a moment to stand out in their interactions with each other and with Star-Lord.

Some surprising sequences even slow the game down to flesh out the key motivations for the Guardians, and it’s all brought together by a healthy number of small but meaningful dialogue decisions that subtly change the character relationships as the story progresses. Exploring their ship, the Milano, likewise provides organic conversations based on recent story events, collectibles, or dialogue decisions.

It’s all about the team in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

A well-paced campaign has you control Star-Lord exclusively through a mixture of third-person combat and exploration scenarios. Star-Lord’s Elemental Blasters, which later gain elemental ammo types like ice or electric, are your core means of attack. By pressing L to slow the game down, you can command the Guardians to use their abilities. Rocket Raccoon specializes in area damage, Groot can trap foes to a spot, Drax staggers enemies, and Gamora deals heavy damage to individual targets. Once combat clicks, you can create combos that make the team feel like a cohesive unit, such as getting Groot to lift enemies and following that up with an area grenade from Rocket.

This sense of teamwork culminates in the huddle mechanic, which brings the team together for a motivational speech. After reading the Guardians’ current thoughts, you decide what speech will best motivate them, and if you get it right, it results in attack buffs and a kickass ’80s tune. Varied enemy types such as multi-health-bar foes that must be staggered or shielded opponents that are weak to your specific elemental ammo types add some appreciated challenge. However, since the same basic combos are effective throughout, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t push you to make more creative use of the team’s abilities, even after you’ve unlocked more abilities for each character.

Marvels Guardians of the Galaxy Cloud Version review Nintendo Switch Square Enix Eidos Montreal Marvel's

During exploration, clear level design makes it easy to parse where resources for unlocking perks might be hidden, as well as collectibles and unlockable costumes. Going off the beaten path was consistently rewarding, especially when the Guardians would banter about my doing so. However, the perks themselves grant simple things such as increased health, reflecting a basic progression system that doesn’t invite much customization to fit your play style.

Some light puzzle-solving and platforming sections make use of Star-Lord’s visor to highlight objects of interest and command the Guardians to do things such as getting Drax to move heavy objects or making Gamora cut through obstacles. Although, while these sections were a fun diversion, I would’ve liked to see the game take these mechanics further by rewarding more inventive uses of the Guardians’ abilities.

Stuck in the clouds

In simple terms, this review would not recommend playing Nintendo Switch’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version over the standard version. Whether in docked mode with an ethernet connection or in handheld mode with Wi-Fi, the game was almost always playable but frustratingly inconsistent on a technical level. Sometimes the resolution could be impressive, and other times it was far too blurry. Load times could be better too. Lag caused by streaming resulted in occasionally jarring frame rate issues, and the audio could sometimes desync from the cutscenes or cut out completely. Input lag when the game was underperforming was annoying to deal with as well, but never a game-breaker.

If one can set aside the pronounced technical issues that the Nintendo Switch cloud version brings, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy otherwise has terrific visuals and audio. Strong lighting breathes life into the creative alien environments, while the character and facial animation express impressive nuance. On the smaller screen of handheld mode, the game can look far better, especially when it comes to cutscenes that make great use of the character performances or during combat where it’s too frenetic to notice many graphical flaws. An eclectic selection of rocking ’80s songs like “The Final Countdown” fits the tone of the story perfectly, and it blends well with a superb and original orchestral soundtrack that adds gravitas to dramatic moments.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy needs to be experienced at its best (not in cloud form)

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version presents an enjoyable and original story for the beloved troublemakers on Nintendo Switch. Excellent writing and vocal performances build a narrative that is both comedic and surprisingly heartfelt. A meaty but meaningfully varied campaign introduces fun locations and surprises for Marvel fans, and it’s backed up by a killer ’80s soundtrack. Combat makes clever use of synergizing the team’s abilities as well. However, that combat doesn’t evolve enough throughout the story to maintain its appeal. As far as cloud games on Switch go, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is as good as there has been for gameplay. However, unless Switch is your only way to play this game, I would recommend playing Marvel’s latest gaming adventure on hardware that isn’t reliant on the cloud.

Release Date: October 26, 2021
No. of Players: 1 player
Category: Action, Adventure
Publisher: Square Enix Europe
Developer: Eidos-Montréal

A Nintendo Switch review code for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version was provided by the publisher.

Our review policy.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy

7

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cloud Version presents an enjoyable and original story with excellent writing and vocal performances, adding up to a narrative that is both comedic and surprisingly heartfelt. A meaty but meaningfully varied campaign introduces fun locations and surprises for Marvel fans, and it’s backed up by a killer '80s soundtrack. Combat makes clever use of synergizing the team’s abilities as well. However, that combat doesn’t evolve enough throughout the story to maintain its appeal. And on Switch specifically, technical performance issues stemming from cloud streaming make this the worst version of the game to play.

Pros
  • Fantastic story and voice acting
  • Fresh and original take on the Marvel universe with fun references
  • Eclectic selection of '80s music
Cons
  • Inconsistent performance on the cloud
  • Upgrade system could have been fleshed out more
  • Combat does not evolve enough over time
Chirag Pattni
Psychologist and long time gamer. Has a love-hate relationship with technology and enjoys all things Japanese.

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