Faithful “Guardians of the Galaxy” fans, disappointed that their favorite summer blockbuster didn’t get a dedicated tie-in console game, will want to take a closer look at the upcoming Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition). In addition to launching with Avengers– and Spider-Man-themed Play Sets, the toys-to-life follow-up also support a standalone “Guardians of the Galaxy” adventure on day one.
Bundled with sweet-looking Star-Lord and Gamora sculpts, the six-to-eight hour, story-driven campaign can be tackled with the capable pair of cosmic antiheroes or their sold-separately pals Groot, Rocket Raccoon, and Drax the Destroyer. The film’s setting, storyline, and secondary characters figure prominently into the Play Set (Cosmo the dog is a freaking mission-giver!), but our recent demo – featuring all five characters – was squarely focused on showcasing the Sakaaran-slaying quintet’s superpowers and special abilities.
Beginning in an arena-like outdoor environment, our presentation started with Star-Lord – decked out in his trademark flowing trench coat, and clutching dual-pistols – taking on bad guys and enemy turrets. Coupled with the mobility afforded by his afterburner boots, Star-Lord’s ranged sharpshooting skills made quick work of the on-foot foes. The entrenched cannons, however, posed more of a problem… until the player running our demo swapped Star-Lord out for the melee-focused Gamora. Sporting her signature sword and the agility of an Olympic gymnast, the green-skinned brawler bounced from one turret to the next, leaving little more than smoking scrap and twisted metal in her wake.
While we would have been perfectly content to follow Gamora through the entire game, there was still a trio of Guardians to unleash on Ronan the Accuser’s minions. With Groot taking his spot on the Disney Infinity base, we witnessed another skilled melee fighter in action. Where Gamora was perfect for up-close encounters, though, the tree-limbed hero could use his bare hands… errr, branches to beat up baddies from afar. From enemy soldiers to flying drop ships, it seemed that nothing was beyond his reach. His coolest ability, though, was one that saw his lethal limbs target distant enemies before snaking underground and popping up beneath them for surprise attacks.
After literally uprooting much of the landscape from behind Groot’s special ability, the player placed fan-favorite Rocket Raccoon on the base. Sporting two machine guns – and plenty of personality – the half-pint hero unleashed hot lead and snarky attitude in equal measure. The adorable ass-kicker was doing just fine on his own, but the player decided to steal some of his spotlight by showing off one of the title’s team-up discs. Placed on the base like any other power disc, the plastic wafer temporarily spawned Yondu into the scene. Armed with his death-dealing homing arrow, the computer-controlled blue baddie helped Rocket clear the area before disappearing into thin air (a cooldown meter in the top left corner of the screen let us know when he was ready for round two).
Thanks to Rocket’s enthusiasm for eliminating every enemy onscreen, there was little for Drax to do when he stepped up to the portal-like peripheral. Despite the lack of dagger fodder, however, the tattooed muscleman still had some tricks to perform. Upon entering the more vertical living quarters of planet Knowhere, the bulging behemoth began displaying his awesome ability to scale buildings. Working much like the Hulk’s fists in the Avengers Play Set, Drax’s twin blades can be used to ascend flat, vertical surfaces. Of course, we’re guessing he’s also pretty damn good at doing other things with those dual daggers when not driving them into concrete.
That same sentiment applies to the other four characters, too, as we only got a teasing taste of what they’re capable of individually and as co-op teams. Thanks to power discs, special abilities, character-specific attacks, and a new skill tree system, the Guardians are armed to the teeth with moves, gear, and other goodies that fans of the film will surely appreciate. In fact, one such surprise – hinted at by Senior Producer John Vignocchi – is a special move that will see Groot and Raccoon teaming up, just as they did in the film, to form a living turret of sorts.
When not letting the Guardians loose in their standalone Play Set, they can be unleashed into the creativity-fueled Toy Box or assembled to tackle “Escape from the Kyln,” a dedicated dungeon-crawler accessed via the bundled game disc. Toss in the fact that the five detail-drenched figures are some of the prettiest to ever set foot on the base, and it looks like gamers and toy collectors alike will have plenty of reasons to get down like baby Groot when Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes (2.0 Edition) hits Xbox One and Xbox 360 on September 23.