Guardians of the Galaxy Developers Explain the Game’s Combat Mechanics

Square Enix’s take on Guardians of the Galaxy is a little over a month away. Players can only control Peter Quill/Star-Lord throughout the team’s new adventure. However, that doesn’t mean gamers won’t have sway over the actions of the other Guardians. Senior Gameplay Director Patrick Fortier and Senior Narrative Director Mary DeMarle recently spoke with CBR to discuss how they developed the game’s combat system, which promises to give each team member something to do during a fight.

Bringing the Guardians to life wasn’t an easy task. Apparently, the developers at Eidos-Montréal went through several iterations of combat mechanics before settling on the finished build. But it sounds like gamers will be satisfied with what they came up with.

“I can tell you it was tough,” said Fortier. “[Laughs] That was the very first mechanic we started working on. A lot of people on the team wanted to develop Peter right away — give him more gadgets and more power, things like that. I really wanted to figure out the Guardians, though. We went through a lot of iterations. For example, we tried controlling Peter in real-time, but that wasn’t great: you’d ask for help from a given character, but Drax gets there and Peter’s already down. It’s like you’re muddying up the battlefield all the time and figuring out the different metrics required for these other characters.”

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“Ultimately, that’s where we found our groove,” continued Fortier. “We simplified everything by unifying it to one button to control the Guardians. As a result, it’s an empowering button. It slows time, so now you can analyze the battlefield a little bit. All the buttons that you get remind you which Guardian is where. And, as you trigger them, you get an immediate effect.”

Fortier and DeMarle also wanted to give each Guardian his or her own ability. Plus, it was important to make sure that the team members were sharing the workload.

“Part of the difficulty was also figuring out exactly which specialty we would give to which Guardian,” explained Fortier. “Theoretically, Groot could be an absolute tank and do everything by himself, but you want characters to have specialties so you can create strategies for encounters. There was a lot of balancing to create an environment where you don’t feel like they’re doing everything and you’re just standing back or, in contrast, where you feel like you’re doing all the work and they’re just slowing you down.

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“It was like trying to find that sweet spot where they’ll come in and do a lot of actions by themselves,” continued Fortier. “But you can still call on them at any time for strategic reasons. It creates these moments where you feel like you’re operating as a team instead of individual characters doing their thing, which was important to us.”

Guardians of the Galaxy will be released on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X & Series S, and PC on October 26.

Are you looking forward to experiencing the game’s combat system for yourself next month? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 1: Cosmic Avengers

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