Xbox Update Lets You Use Your Xbox 360 Gamerpic

Microsoft has launched a new Xbox feature that lets you change your gamerpic to what it was back in the Xbox 360 days. Xbox Insiders who are part of the Alpha Skip Ahead program (which you can opt into at any time) can now select their Xbox 360 gamerpic from the “change gamerpic” screen.

This may require a reboot, Xbox’s Eden Marie said on Twitter (via Eurogamer). Also of note, it will only work if you had an Xbox 360 back then and had a gamerpic assigned. If, for whatever reason, you change your Xbox 360 gamerpic on that console, this will also apply to your new Xbox.

This feature comes out of Microsoft’s Exploration Time program, through which Xbox employees working on the Experiences team can take a half day each week to work on anything they want.

The Xbox 360 gamerpics definitely do look dated, as the newer options are far more robust and detailed. But it’s a neat option to have in any event, and worth checking out just to see what your last Xbox 360 gamerpic was. The Xbox 360 was a very successful console and had many excellent games, and it’s fun to see its lineage continue in this way.

Microsoft remains committed to Xbox hardware these days with the Xbox Series X|S, but the company is also looking to move beyond console gaming to help reach 2 billion gamers around the world. Microsoft is doing this by bringing more of its games to PC and launching a cloud streaming service.

Pokémon Unite’s Big Update Includes a Slew Of New Features And Cross-Play

Ahead of today’s Pokémon Unite launch for mobile devices, the Pokémon Company updated the game to include a range of new features as well as cross-play.

Pokémon Unite has already added a number of playable Pokémon since its release for Nintendo Switch in July. However, as the MOBA makes its long-awaited debut on mobile devices, The Pokémon Company announced features of the new update on its website while also taking to Twitter to show off new gameplay clips for upcoming debutants, Mamoswine and Sylveon.

As of today, Unite fans can battle it out across multiple platforms, as the MOBA’s move to mobile also introduces cross-play. Budding trainers will be able to link their accounts across devices meaning that when you inevitably burn through the battery power on your Switch, there’s always your trusty smartphone to keep your progress moving forward.

Pokémon Unite will also now feature a number of new in-game events, during which fans will get the chance to obtain Super Item Enhancers. Similar to standard Item Enhancers but far rarer, these will allow players to upgrade a held item straight to level 30 – a prospect that could take the edge off some of the game’s microtransaction-driven grind.

With concerns over a pay-to-win nature of the game being brought into question since its release, the publisher has also said that it is developing a new mode of play “designed to level the playing field for all Trainers, regardless of their held items’ grades.”

Pokémon Unite’s new season also includes a brand new space-themed battle pass called Galactic Ghost 094, and the addition of Unite Squads. The Pokémon company says that through Unite Squads, players can use tags based upon their own preferences in playstyle to team up with other like-minded individuals who want to approach the game in a similar way. Whether you’re destined for greatness or want to take the game at a casual pace, joining up with players of a similar mindset should now be pretty easy within the game.

Because over five million trainers preregistered for the mobile version of the game (three cheers for an arbitrary milestone), every user who has played the mobile version of Pokémon Unite before October 31 will receive the Unite license for Pikachu (which lets you play as the character in-game) along with a special Holowear for everyone’s favorite little yellow companion and 1,000 Aeos tickets, which can be exchanged for in-game items. Mobile users will also be able to unlock the license for Zeroara as a launch bonus by winning a total of 32 battles in the game.

For more on Pokémon Unite, make sure to check out our review of the game where we gave it a 6/10 calling it “an entertaining MOBA constrained by its overcommitment to simplicity”.

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

Gran Turismo 7: Here’s What Comes in Each Edition

Gran Turismo 7 is set to release for PS5 and PS4 on March 4, 2022. Like earlier installments in the long-running series, GT7 is a racing sim that offers many modes to play, cars to collect, and tracks on which to burn rubber both online and off. It’s available for preorder now (see it on Amazon).

You can choose between the launch edition and the 25th anniversary edition, each of which comes with a selection of digital extras. We have the full rundown on these editions below, along with preorder links and all the other details you need.

Gran Turismo 7: 25th Anniversary Edition

There’s only one version of the 25th anniversary edition. It comes with the PS5 version on disk, plus a code for the PS4 version. Here are all the extras you get with this edition:

  • Steelbook Case
  • In-Game Credits – 1,100,000 CR
  • Toyota GR Yaris with country specific Livery
  • 30 Manufacturer / Partner Avatars
  • The Music of Gran Turismo Official Soundtrack
  • Toyota Castrol TOM’S Supra
  • Mazda RX-VISION GT3 Concept (Stealth)
  • Porsche 917K Living Legend

Gran Turismo 7 (Standard Edition)

PS5

PS4

The standard edition at launch is being called the Launch Edition, and it comes with the following digital extras:

  • Toyota Castrol TOM’S Supra
  • Mazda RX-VISION GT3 Concept (Stealth)
  • Porsche 917K Living Legend
  • 100,000 in-game Credit (CR)

Gran Turismo 7 PS4-to-PS5 Upgrade

While the 25th Anniversary Edition comes with both the PS4 and PS5 version, the launch edition does not. If you want to upgrade from the PS4 version to the PS5 version, you’ll be able to do so on the PlayStation Store for $10 once the game comes out.

What Is Gran Turismo 7?

Gran Turismo 7 is the latest installment in Sony’s premier racing series. It has returning game modes like GT Campaign, Arcade, and Driving School. It also has GT Simulation Mode, which has you play through a solo campaign, collecting cars as you complete races. You can also go online to race against others in GT Sport Mode.

The game has over 420 cars to collect. Each one is intricately re-created in the game, and feels different to drive. You’ll also find over 90 tracks you can race on, complete with dynamic weather conditions, including tracks from previous Gran Turismo games.

The PS5 version has some additional features. It supports 4K and HDR, with a targeted framerate of 60fps. It loads faster than the PS4 version and features Tempest 3D AudioTech with compatible headphones, including Sony’s Pulse 3D headset (soon to be available in midnight black). The game also uses adaptive triggers and offers haptic feedback.

Other Preorder Guides

Chris Reed is a deals expert and commerce editor for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @_chrislreed.

Nintendo Direct Coming Tomorrow, Focusing on Games Coming This Winter

A Nintendo Direct is coming tomorrow, September 23, promising to show off around 40 minutes of upcoming Switch games.

Announced on Twitter, the presentation will air at 3pm Pacific / 6pm Eastern / 11pm UK (that’s September 24 at 8am AEST). It will be “focused mainly on Nintendo Switch games launching this winter.”

Amid smaller showcases, this marks the third full Nintendo Direct of the year. In February, a Direct revealed Zelda: Skyward Sword HD, Splatoon 3, Mario Golf: Super Rush and more. At E3, Nintendo finally showed more from Breath of the Wild 2, announced Metroid Dread, and revealed Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope.

As for what could be shown at this event, there’ve been recent rumours about Game Boy and Game Boy Color games coming to Nintendo Switch Online. Many will also be hoping that we discover the identity of the final character coming to Super Smash Bros. Ultimate after Tekken’s Kazuya was added in June. Is it too much to hope we’ll see more Breath of the Wild 2 ahead of its 2022 release? Judging by how quiet Nintendo’s been about the game so far, quite possibly.

Correction: This story originally said Breath of the Wild 2 was arriving in February. No release month has been announced, and the error has been corrected.

Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].

Nintendo Direct For September 23 Announced

Nintendo announced that a new Nintendo Direct will air tomorrow, September 23, at 3PM PT / 6PM ET. It will feature about 40 minutes of new information that focuses mainly on Switch games launching this winter.

Nintendo has quite the lineup coming for the rest of 2021, including Metroid Dread, Mario Party Superstars, Shin Megami Tensei V, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Pokémon Shining Pearl, and Advance Wars 1 +2: Re-Boot Camp.

Since the winter period can also extend to the beginning of 2022, Nintendo also has more titles that can possibly launch then as well, such as Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Splatoon 3, Project Triangle Strategy, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, and possibly even the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel.

Of course, both Metroid Prime 4 and Bayonetta 3 are hotly anticipated, despite radio silence on any recent updates. Nintendo Directs are known for their shadow drops too, so there’s still hope for a surprise like Hollow Knight: Silksong.

We could potentially hear about the rumored third Xenoblade Chronicles game. It was reportedly supposed to be revealed earlier this year, but development has been difficult. Additionally, a new Nintendo Switch controller announcement is possible too. It could be a Nintendo 64 controller to tie in with N64 games coming to Switch Online, similar to what Nintendo did with SNES coming to the online service.

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Live-Action Cowboy Bebop Is an ‘Expansion to the Canon,’ Not the Same Anime Story

Netflix showrunner André Nemec has confirmed that his live-action Cowboy Bebop is an “expansion of the canon” rather than a beat-for-beat remake of the original anime.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nemec discussed his approach to making a live-action Cowboy Bebop for Netflix, explaining how he hadn’t wanted to replicate the story of the original anime with a direct adaptation, but rather step into its world to present an “expansion to the canon,” with some original stories that will “add things” to the mythos.

“I promise we will never take the original anime away from the purists. It will always exist out there,” Nemec assured fans of the Japanese anime classic. “But I’m very excited about the stories that we’re telling. I believe we’ve done a really nice job of not violating the canon in any direction but merely offering some extra glimpses into the world that was already created.”

We got under the skin of who the live-action characters were going to be,” he added. “I think that the poetic nature of the anime absolutely allowed for us to mine the archetypal nature of the characters and dig out deeper histories that we wanted to explore — and answer some of the questions that the anime leaves you with.”

Nemec expressed that he didn’t feel the need to “serve the exact same meal” by retelling the same story in a different form, even though he acknowledged that the anime had done such an “amazing job.” Ultimately, he felt redoing the anime would deliver disappointing results as it would “leave an audience hungry for something that they already saw.”

Cowboy Bebop will debut its 10-episode first season on Netflix on November 19 — here’s what we think the show needs to get right. The series joins several other live-action adaptations in the pipeline, including a new Netflix series based on One Piece, an Akira remake from director Taika Waititi, and a reimagined version of Your Name.

Adele Ankers is a freelance writer for IGN. Follow her on Twitter.

Battlefield 2042 Beta Codes Are Already Going Out, Despite No Announcement From DICE

A beta test for Battlefield 2042 is expected to begin in October, and ahead of that, some people who preordered the game have reported receiving codes already. In a post on Reddit, multiple people say they received a beta code after preordering on Amazon. Stories about beta codes from Amazon were also shared on Twitter, among other places (via GamesRadar).

Some are speculating that the codes were dispatched early, due to the fact that EA delayed the Battlefield 2042 beta in correspondence with the game’s overall delay to November 19.

Now Playing: Battlefield 2042 – Official Specialists Overview Gameplay Trailer

The official word from EA is that the beta dates for Battlefield 2042 will be announced in September, and with the month wrapping up soon, it shouldn’t be much longer until we learn more. Codes that have been sent out already do not work.

According to insider Tom Henderson, the Battlefield 2042 beta will begin on October 6 for people who preorder before opening to everyone else on October 8.

It’s been a long road to release for Battlefield 2042 already, as DICE took an extra year to develop the game to help give developers more time to make the most out of the PS5 and Xbox Series X|S. The game supports 128 players on those platforms, compared to 64 on PS4 and Xbox One.

Explaining the delay from October to November, DICE called out the “unforeseen challenges” related to developing a big, ambitious game during a global pandemic. The studio had expected its developers to be able to return to the office by now, but this was not possible.

Plenty of games planned for 2021 have shifted to 2022, due to the impact of the pandemic and other factors. For more, check out GameSpot’s roundup of all the games delayed so far.

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Fortnite: The Best Guns So Far

A game as prolific and eventful as Fortnite is sure to have a lot of debate surrounding the topic of what may be its best guns. In Fortnite, the best guns will change from season to season, as each new season brings with it new toys to try out and new themes that open up new creative avenues for Epic. After much deliberation, here are our picks for the best guns in Fortnite so far.

The Best Guns In Fortnite

The best guns in Fortnite will vary from season to season.
The best guns in Fortnite will vary from season to season.

Burst Assault Rifle (Epic Or Legendary)

Arguably the most versatile and reliable gun in the game, a purple or orange “Bursty” is must-have loot whenever it drops from chests or into eliminated players’ loot piles. The Burst AR is extremely accurate and fires off three rounds with every trigger-pull, allowing you to recenter the gun on your likely moving target with very limited recoil. In seasons where the Burst Assault Rifle is vaulted, its absence is sorely missed.

Compact Submachine Gun

If you play like me, you always want to have a close-range weapon in your inventory. While many prefer shotguns for such encounters, I’ve found the Compact SMG gives me a better chance of winning gun battles. Shotguns are brutal but slow, whereas the Compact SMG gives you a big magazine and almost unrivaled firing rate, meaning anyone who strays too close can be eliminated swiftly with plenty of the clip left over for their teammates.

Kymera Ray Gun

We may have seen the last of the Kymera Ray Gun, but I sure hope not. This alien tech weapon acted as an alternative to the SMG class and provided a continuous stream of death ray energy the likes of which Fortnite has never seen before or since. While it’s weak on builds, it’s devastating on players and vehicles. If it meant having the island invaded again so I could play with the Kymera Ray Gun once more, I might take the deal.

Pump Shotgun (Epic Or Legendary)

Whenever the “pumpy” is unvaulted, you’ll see Fortnite fans do one of two things online: rejoice or panic. Sometimes even the same people will do a bit of both. The Pump Shotgun has long been considered overpowered, but Epic has hardly dialed it back, seeming to like it that way. It’s slightly slower reload time means hitting your first shot or two is critical, but if you do, that’ll be all you need.

Automatic Sniper Rifle

Season 8 saw the return of the Automatic Sniper Rifle after a long absence, and it quickly changed the battlefield that is the island. With a longer scope than the Scoped AR, the ASR gives you the best of both worlds: rapid-fire shooting and deadly-accurate damage, creating one of the best DPS guns in the entire game. If I could make one gun permanent–never to be vaulted again–I’d choose this one.

The Kymera Ray Gun may never come back to Fortnite since it's so attached to the defeated aliens.
The Kymera Ray Gun may never come back to Fortnite since it’s so attached to the defeated aliens.

Gallery

Shadow Tracker

My favorite Mythic gun is the Shadow Tracker, and that’s for two reasons. For one, this list probably reveals I love a highly accurate weapon, and virtually none are more accurate than this silenced pistol. But its special ability of pinging targets on your map for allies to see really lifts the Shadow Tracker from a great gun worth its price in gold bars to a pivotal late-game tool in the right hands. The Shadow Tracker has won me countless matches.

Midas’ Drum Gun

When Midas was waiting at the center of the map in Season 2 of Chapter 2, his haven was the hottest spot of the season. That was owed all to his beloved Thompson, known in-game as Midas’ Drum Gun. This Exotic weapon combined the accuracy of the Compact SMG with the improved range of an AR, giving players the most-wanted gun in a season that was already obsessed with overpowered guns. With so many Mythics on the map and so many bosses to take down if you wanted one, most people flocked to take on Midas for his Tommy Gun each match.

Dragon’s Breath Sniper Rifle

This pyromaniacal sniper was already a fan-favorite gun, but it rose to new heights after Epic permanently buffed fire propagation in Chapter 2 Season 6. With each shot from the Dragon’s Breath, the immediate area is engulfed in flames, and now that fire spreads farther and faster, tearing down builds and burning through enemies with a fierceness that is as panic-inducing as it is properly deadly. Whenever this Mythic is available, it’s money well spent.

Mechanical Shockwave Bow

When the “Primal” Season 6 arrived in Chapter 2, snipers weren’t found anywhere, but in their place was a series of bows and arrows. Of those, the Mechanical Shockwave Bow was the most fun. Hitting enemies with this bow would do the initial damage from the piercing bow, but then shoot them toward the sky (or back into the storm) thanks to the attached shockwave grenade with every hit. With practice, you could even shock wave yourself over and over to traverse vast distances quickly. While this is probably the weakest gun on this list, it’s also one of the most creative when used in the right hands.

Sideways Minigun

The newest gun on this list, the Sideways Minigun is an otherworldly chain gun with accuracy that is probably too reliable for its damage. Perhaps that means a nerf is coming, but for now, we rank the Sideways Minigun as the best gun in Chapter 2 Season 8. Like other Sideways guns, the minigun is most effective when nearly overheated, so it’s designed to bring a downpour of bullets early and often onto your enemies, shredding through builds, vehicles, or anything else in its way.

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In Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

Most superhero games give you all the power–you are, of course, the hero of the story. With Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, developer Eidos Montreal is taking a different approach, putting you into a superhero team with the focus on making you feel like part of the group. You can’t deal with every problem on your own, but it’s remarkable how, through the teamwork mechanics within the game, you quickly start to feel like you can work together with the other Guardians to handle any obstacle.

We recently got to spend about two hours playing a chapter of Guardians of the Galaxy, which gave a sense of both how the choice-based story will unfold and how you’ll handle controlling the entire team of Guardians in battle. In both cases, your choices as the de facto leader of the Guardians is important, but yours isn’t the only voice that matters. Through its mechanics and its character development, Guardians of the Galaxy puts its focus on being a single-player game that’s all about teamwork.

Now Playing: Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy – Hands-On Preview

The portion we played takes place on a Nova Corps station called The Rock, where the Guardians head to pay a fine in order to get the interstellar fuzz off their backs. It starts in typical Guardians fashion–the team doesn’t agree on the best course of action, and as Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord, you have to deal with their different personalities and bickering. Gamora thinks it’s a good idea to settle up on the fine, even though it’s costly, so the Guardians won’t have to keep looking over their shoulders. Rocket, on the other hand, wants to just make a run for it and keep the cash.

Quill agrees with Gamora and so the team is off to pay the fine, but even before you depart, you have a chance to spend time with each member of the team, learn more about them, and develop a relationship with them. That includes a heart-to-heart moment in which you make it clear to Rocket that his opinion is valued, even when you don’t agree with him. It also includes a moment where you catch Gamora surfing the interstellar internet to feed her secret hobby of collecting extremely cute dolls.

Soon after landing at The Rock, the Guardians start to suspect that something is wrong. None of the space bureaucrats are at their posts, and the station appears to be empty, so there’s no one to pay the fine to. The group decides to head further into the station, but to do that, you need Rocket to use his engineering skills to open some doors. That highlights the Guardian Request system: When you need someone else on the team to do something, you can ask them for help, but they might not always just follow orders.

Later, when you hit another locked door that requires Rocket’s expertise, he straight-up refuses to open it, which demonstrates why Eidos is calling it the Guardian Request System. Rocket is tired of wandering around the station looking for people, and unless Quill agrees that he’s not going to lead them through the entire station, Rocket won’t be opening any more doors for the group. Decision-making is important to the story, but so is the interplay between the characters, and the Request system highlights how your interactions affect both plot and the puzzles you’ll need to solve. Rocket eventually agrees to open the door, but only after Quill agrees to end the search after just one more room.

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That one room is the turning point of the level, though, when you find a Nova Corps helmet and are able to listen into local communications. Here, you start to get a sense of what’s going on when you hear some weird religious chatter between Nova troopers–and apparently, they’re searching for someone. This also presents one of the major choice moments in the level, where you can decide to either speak up and ask the Nova Corps folks what’s going on, or remain silent.

On our first playthrough in the chapter, we stayed silent, and past the next door we found an elevator with a glass wall. Through it, the Guardians watched as some Nova Corps soldiers, with weird purple halos of energy around their heads, executed some of their comrades. Seems like some kind of cultish mind control situation is happening, but since we didn’t make our presence known on the radio, the Guardians were able to sneak into the room and take the cultists by surprise.

That kicked off combat for the first time, where we got even more of a sense of how teamwork permeates all levels of the game. Quill on his own isn’t a particularly strong fighter. He carries a couple of guns and sports his signature jet boots, allowing you to run or fly around the battlefield to hit different targets or drop into cover. But while Quill’s guns do some damage and he can also fight hand to hand, neither is always super effective against all enemies.

In an interview with GameSpot, senior creative director J.F. Dugas said Eidos Montreal had tried different versions of the game where Quill, and the player, were more powerful, but a more traditional superhero-like take on Guardians of the Galaxy didn’t quite work.

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“It’s building an ecosystem between the player and the characters around [Quill],” Dugas explained. “And when you think about that, Peter is not the superhero, actually. He doesn’t have superpowers, he doesn’t have any of those things. So it was all a question of, how do you balance it to make it feel rewarding to play Peter, but also feeling that you need your Guardians and vice versa? Because if you, as the player, you’re super powerful, then the Guardians or your companions are dead weight. And the opposite–if they’re too strong, they steal your fire.”

Quill’s role, which Dugas and senior gameplay director Patrick Fortier described as being the team’s quarterback, includes ways he can support the rest of the Guardians, though. His guns have elemental add-ons that give you different benefits. In the demo, we had access to an Ice element that allowed Quill to freeze enemies, which made them easy targets for the other Guardians.

In combat, the rest of your team will take on enemies on their own, with each fighting in their own way–Rocket sports an arsenal of heavy weapons, Groot ties enemies up with his roots, and Drax and Gamora close the distance to fight with melee weapons or hand-to-hand. But you can still use the Guardian Request System here, where you can call on each member of the team to use specific abilities on individual targets. So freezing a tough enemy with Quill’s guns allows you to then call on Drax to hit that enemy with a big attack, doing massive damage. Gamora’s assassin abilities are great for taking out distant snipers, while Groot can tie up multiple enemies with his vines and briefly take them out of the battle. Rocket has a powerful grenade that’s great for damaging several enemies at once.

Alone, none of the Guardians are suited to every situation, but together, they’re extremely formidable. As Quill, it’s up to you to give orders in the fight, paying attention to what threats are the priority and knowing which Guardian can best deal with them. The demo quickly started mixing tougher enemies with the grunts as we fought our way through them, including a big guy who sported an energy shield that made him tough to shoot. Using Groot or Drax as a distraction was key, allowing Quill to flank him to avoid the shield. Blasts from the freeze gun left the enemy vulnerable so Gamora could get in and do some big damage, and if you attacked from the back, you could destroy the shield generator, taking away its defensive advantage.

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Eventually, you can initiate a momentary boost called the Huddle, which also charges on a timer. The Huddle pauses the action and brings the Guardians to Quill for a quick pep talk, but you have to make sure you’re paying attention to your squad in order to effectively pump them up. The different members of your team will talk about how the fight is going, using keywords that hang on your screen.

You then have two options for your response, and you need to pick the pep talk response that’s right for the situation. If the Guardians are demoralized, you can reiterate that the group is capable of taking on anything when they work together. If they’re fighting over who’s kicking more ass, you can implore them not to get cocky and to support each other so everyone can kick even more ass.

The Huddle is a great emergency measure, because it automatically revives anyone on the team who was downed, even if you pick the wrong answer. But if you pick the right one, the Guardians are energized by Quill’s coaching, and everyone gets a momentary damage boost when they get back into the fight. It’s another way the game emphasizes the team over the individual, and reiterates that you’re a key part of the group.

Playing through the demo a second time also showed how choices can impact combat encounters. If you choose to talk to the Nova Corps through the helmet, a group of cultists will come looking for you, and you lose the element of surprise when they show up, forcing you into a fight. In the next scene when you’re in the elevator, the cultist enemies know you’re coming and open fire on the glass window. So instead of getting the drop on the enemies, Drax literally leaps out of the elevator and starts wailing on people. Quill’s jet boots allow him to follow, but the rest of the team can’t jump down three stories. So the first part of the fight is just Quill and Drax while you wait for the other Guardians to catch up, and in order to make it through, you really have to step up your game as the leader.

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A few moments later, the rest of the team joins the battle, and their banter reflects how you did. You might hear Rocket remark that the team owes Drax a beer for ripping through the enemy Nova Corps if you do well in the fight. So ultimately, your choices might lead you to the same places, it seems, but not necessarily in the same way.

While your decisions with the Guardians and how you treat them might influence how the story unfolds and their relationships with you, Fortier said they won’t affect combat. Rocket might complain about opening a door because you haven’t been listening to him throughout a mission, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to refuse orders while you’re in combat.

“We wanted to find the balance between having those moments to keep players engaged and to tailor the experience to how you played it, that you have a story to tell at the end of your adventure that is different than mine,” he said. “We went from point A to point B, we got to the same destination, but you had these things happen to you and you interacted with these characters and you had these different moments and I had something else. But we didn’t want to go overboard with that. So we tried some combat where suddenly Rocket doesn’t work anymore or things like that, and then it became a little too micro, because then you don’t remember what it is you did exactly, and you start fearing how you’re going to respond. So we wanted to keep it lighter in that way.”

Working together well as a team builds a sort of combo meter that measures your effectiveness, which earns you experience points you can spend on any of the Guardians to unlock new abilities. You can add to Quill’s arsenal of moves, like adding the ability to hover above the battlefield to get better sightlines on enemies, or throw more options to the rest of the Guardians for when you use the Request system in a fight. Each of the moves has different stats, so you can see how much an attack will damage enemies, how many people it can target, how long it will make your cooldown timer, and how much it contributes to filling up enemies’ Stagger meters, which can stun them and leave them open to more attacks. Knowing what abilities are good in which situations is essential to winning fights, and the better job you do synergizing each team member’s moves, the more experience you earn to buy new abilities.

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There are also ways to make yourself a little more effective. Collecting supplies off the ground as you work through a level gives you materials you can later use at workbenches, giving you a chance to upgrade Quill’s loadout. That lets you add to your capabilities, powering up your guns or equipping a better version of your scanner that lets you gather information about your enemies–which feeds back into your ability to make good decisions for the team, while making yourself a better fighter too.

The demo ended soon after a few more big fights with various enemies, requiring changes in tactics in order to deal with each. The team finally made their way back to the ship, with the Guardians constantly bantering and joking the whole way through. Through combat, character moments between fights, and the decision points throughout the demo, it was remarkable how much Guardians of the Galaxy captures the feeling of being a member of a team–even if the rest of the team is controlled by AI.

It all suggests that Guardians of the Galaxy is a superhero game that’s not going to feel like other superhero games–but it does a great job of capturing the humor, dysfunction, and camaraderie that makes the Guardians of the Galaxy such a great group of characters.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is slated to release on October 26 for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and PC. A cloud version is also coming to Nintendo Switch.