Warning!! The following contains spoilers for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, available now.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is a unique entry in the decades-long list of video games based on Marvel superheroes. The game perfectly balances its gameplay and world-building with unique characters that make the player want to get to know them more between missions. By separating from any established continuity, the games also allow these versions of the characters to vary slightly from their film and comic iterations. As a result, even seasoned fans of the characters are open to unexpected revelations about their favorite Guardians.
One of the oldest friendships in the game is between Rocket Raccoon and Groot. According to Rocket, the two have been working together for a decade before even meeting Peter Quill. In other iterations, their long-standing friendship has allowed Rocket to understand Groot's language, Tahlunisan. For some time, he was even Groot's translator before the other Guardians started understanding him as well. But in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, the understanding between the two characters is drastically different.
Part of what makes Groot such an interesting character is how he can convey so much emotion by only uttering "I am Groot." The Guardians have only formed recently in the game, and Peter Quill wants desperately to understand his new teammate. Before leaving the Nova Corps' ship, Hala's Hope, Peter picks up a universal translator. By activating a special conversation with Groot on the Milano, players learn that Peter wants to understand his new friend. However, the translator needs some work and doesn't even carry Groot's language.
Peter calls Rocket over, hoping that the translator may have Groot's language package. However, Rocket quickly shoots down the idea without even looking at the translator. In addition to the fact that only the super-rich can afford the package, the translator is beyond repair. During the course of the conversation, Rocket will reveal that he can't actually speak Tahlunisan, not fluently at least.
Rocket explains that in the decade of working with Groot, the two developed a mutual understanding of their language, though Groot would instead call it a misunderstanding. Nevertheless, it reveals that Rocket can't totally understand Groot, unlike his previous adaptions. Of course, Rocket and Groot have always appeared as the closest team on the ship, and they are. But the revelation that Rocket still can't totally understand his friend adds to the realism the game conveys.
Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy captures the spirits of each character. But by adding in small nuances like Rocket only getting a gist of Groot's language shows there's still room to grow. The revelation is shocking but heartwarming because it's yet another subtle way the game eases players into the idea that this is more a family than a team. Which means that there's still room for them to grow. In that time, Rocket and the other Guardians may be able to understand Groot without the need of a universal translator.
Developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by Square Enix, Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy is available now for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
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