Thankfully, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t the kind of massive hundred hour-long open world experience so many AAA games feel the need to be these days, but even so, there’s plenty going on here that you’ll need to keep an eye on as you play the game. And so, as you prepare to step into the shoes of Star-Lord and head out on an galactic journey with you fellow Guardians, here, we’ll be going over a few handy pointers that you should keep in mind as you play the game.
You may only play as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy, but even so, making full use of your entire crew’s collective strength is an important part of the game’s combat. Each Guardian can be commanded every so often on a cooldown to use one of their abilities, and using comboing these together is where most of the strategy lies in the combat. Enemies are often weak to particular kinds of attacks, so making sure that you use the right Guardian for the right job and then follow up in the correct way is something you’ll need to keep an eye on.
Moment-to-moment, Guardians’ combat is defined by you moving around as Star-Lord and shooting people with his elemental guns, and given how busy things can get between that and using your teammates’ abilities, it can be easy to forget that Star-Lord has his own set of abilities that he can use as well. The fact that his abilities menu is brought up by clicking the left stick (which can a bit clunky in hectic encounters) doesn’t help things, especially compared to how all of the other Guardians’ menus each have one of the face buttons dedicated to them. Even so, keep in mind that you probably will be spending points on unlocking Star-Lord’s abilities (some of which can be pretty useful), so don’t forget to make use of them when you can.
You’ll often find yourself come up against large groups of enemies in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but thankfully, the game gives you enough crowd control tools to fall back on. The biggest of them all is Groot, who can use an ability that binds all enemies in a certain area to the ground and renders them immobile for a few seconds. Following up on this by having Rocket throw a grenade into the midst can be a very effect strategy. At the same time, Rocket also has an ability (which you need to unlock) that sees him throw a gravity grenade that pulls all enemies around it into a helpless floating heap in mid-air, which can also come in handy if you ever feel overwhelmed by the number of enemies around you.
Several enemies in Guardians will be a little harder to take down than others and take very little damage, which makes chipping away at their health bar a lengthier process than usual. If you come across such a foe, focusing on their stagger meter instead is usually the wise choice. Each of the Guardians has certain attacks that focus more on stagger damage (Drax in particular specializes in this area), so hit those bulkier enemies with several of these attacks until they’re staggered, at which point you’ll be able to deal significantly more damage even with regular attacks.
Abilities and combos are obviously the best way to deal damage to enemies in Guardians of the Galaxy’s combat, but the game also often gives you other opportunities to do so. Often enemies will display button prompts that can serve as finishing moves or as otherwise crippling attacks, while you’ll also often spot plenty of cues in the environment. From asking Gamora to slice a length of rope holding a large container aloft so that it drops on top of a group of enemies to ask Drax to pick up a massive boulder and hurl it at someone to asking Rocket to rig a mine close to an enemy, you’ll regularly spot things in the environment that you can use to your advantage- so always keep an eye out.
Guardians of the Galaxy gives you a style rating for how you do in combat, which contributes towards your momentum- which, in turn, determines how much you fill up the bar that gives you ability points for unlocking, well, abilities. And as you’d expect, there is a way to maximize your momentum. Essentially, performing combos and dealing larger and larger amounts of damage to enemies is the way to do it, but how you follow up on abilities is also something you need to think about. So if, for instance, you craft a collection of attacks that sees all five Guardians working in conjunction to wreak havoc on enemies, you’ll make much faster progress towards earning more ability points.
As you fight your way through enemies, your huddle gauge will constantly be building up in the background, and once it’s filled up completely, you’ll be able to huddle up with your team in the middle of a firefight and take a second to regroup and talk about how the fight’s going. Depending on how they’re behaving, if you make the right choice, you can trigger buffed damage, reset cooldowns, and full health for your entire group. Obviously, it’s a pretty useful tool, but one thing to keep in mind is that the huddle gauge can usually take a while to completely fill up- so don’t use the huddle as soon as you get it. Wait for when you’re in a particularly busy combat encounter, and then huddle up when it will be most useful.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a pretty linear and fast-moving game, and with most of the focus being on storytelling and combat, there isn’t an awful lot of exploration here. Even so, you do get the chance to explore some brief branching paths and hidden areas every now and then, and it’s always a good idea to keep an eye out for these areas in the environment. From components to spend on crafting to special items that unlock unique conversations with characters to unlocking new skins, the rewards for exploration are usually worth the effort.
As straightforward as Guardians of the Galaxy usually tends to be, there might be times when you’re not entirely sure on how you have to progress, or where the game tasks you with finding your way our of rooms within a certain window. At times like these, it’s a good idea to use Star-Lord’s scanner. Simply activate the scanner with the right stick and move around a little bit. Objects of interest will be highlighted in yellow, and a simple scan will tell you whether or not they’re the key to moving forward.
As you progress through Guardians of the Galaxy’s story, at various points you’ll find yourself back in the Milano, the ship that serves as the home and hub for the Guardians. During these moments, much like Mass Effect, it’s a good idea to take the time to go and talk to all the members of your screw. A lot of the times they’ll have interesting things to say, or might even be having conversations with each other that might be worth listening in on. At times, depending on where you are in the story, or if you can find certain items, you might even get some unique conversations that reveal more about the characters.
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