Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy needs to channel the comics instead of the films

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Square Enix announced it’s latest Marvel project during E3 yesterday, unveiling the narrative-driven adventure game Guardians of the Galaxy. 

The short gameplay demo followed all four of the Guardians across an alien planet, cutting to moments of dialogue and combat. It’s pretty much everything you would expect from a Guardian’s of the Galaxy game. 

It honestly looks pretty great, although the footage shown during E3 did give me some cause for concern. Much like the recent films, it looks like Drax will provide comedic relief throughout the game, which is a stark contrast to the comics. 

The movie trilogy was always going to provide an important source of inspiration for the developers. However, it’s important that the game also follows what happened in the comics. 

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Comic Drax, not movie Drax

Drax has become a point of contention for many fans, and even the actor who plays him. The primary complaint was that the movies took Drax down a comedic route, ignoring his serious arcs in the comics. It looks like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is going to follow this same direction. During Square Enix's reveal, Drax makes numerous quips .

In the comics, Drax had a far darker backstory, one that saw him driven by revenge after Titan Thanos murdered him and his wife and subsequently kidnapped their daughter. Granted, this origin story was likely a little too dark for Disney, but it was very briefly alluded to in the films. If the developers want to bring the best of Dax out, they need to dive into his back story and make it far more prevalent. 

Make Thanos the villain 

There are no confirmed details for who will play the villain in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, but if the comics are anything to go by, it should definitely be Thanos. Thanos has a long and storied history with the Guardians, especially Drax. Featuring him as the primary villain in the game would bring it closer in line with the comics. 

Guardians of the Galaxy has featured Thanos several times, and there is a rich lore to pull from. One of the most popular Thanos stories involved the Guardians taking the villain to a different dimension in order to make him more susceptible to death. 

Let each character shine

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Unlike a movie, which has a limited run-time, video games provide room for exploration. Comics are similar in this way, providing specific characters with an entire series worth of exposition. In the past, Guardians of the Galaxy has dedicated a number of stories to Drax, Gamora and Rocket. This not only builds individual characters outside of the mainline series, but also makes each one more interesting.

Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy has ample opportunity to explore the team through a myriad of side quests, exposition and collectibles. Doing so would not only further immerse players in the lore, but also create an experience that is far closer to the comics than the movies. 

Be its own thing 

The Guardians of the Galaxy game is free to explore the universe without the confines of the wider  Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movies always felt constricted by the overarching universe, but the game doesn’t have that restriction. This should give the development team the chance to create a Guardians game that purely focuses on the property.

It’s still early days for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. However, a commitment to a single-player only campaign with narrative decisions and Ninja Gaiden-like combat has got us excited. Here’s hoping Square Enix and Eidos-Montréal can pull it off.

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