Much like its movie counterparts, Guardians of the Galaxy pays homage to various musicians of the 1980s by way of sole playable character Peter “Star-Lord” Quill, who was abducted from Earth as many of the tracks were gaining popularity. The ability to easily turn off this music should be a boon for streamers, as they can be suspended or even banned on websites like Twitch and YouTube for the copyright violations that arise from broadcasting licensed music.
This was a common question after Guardians of the Galaxy’s reveal at E3 2021, which promised an extensive soundtrack of era-appropriate songs from artists like Bonnie Tyler and Joan Jett. Speaking with VentureBeat, senior narrative director Mary DeMarle further revealed that the soundtrack will also include songs from Iron Maiden, Rick Astley, KISS, Wham!, Blondie, and Europe.
“The way we use the music in the game is fun,” DeMarle said. “Of course we’ll use it as part of the cinematics or to heighten drama in some scenes. You’ll be in big battles and hear something amazing like ‘The Final Countdown,’ because it matches the story. But at the same time, we have two unique ways we use it. There’s a jukebox in the Milano where you go over and pick the song you want to hear as you explore. You can listen to the songs on your own, how you want, while you’re hanging out.”
The other way Guardians of the Galaxy uses music is through its “Huddle Up” mechanic, which sees Star-Lord gather up his allies — Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Groot — during combat in an American football-style huddle in which the player can choose a song to pump up the group. Choose the right song to match the mood, and everyone gets a performance boost: attack power-ups, full health, ability cooldowns reset, the works. Choose poorly, however, and only Star-Lord receives those benefits. Nothing’s going to stop him from having a good time, after all.
While streaming has risen dramatically over the last few years, developers have only recently started to include ways for streamers to protect themselves from the DMCA strikes that may arise from the licensed music in their games. Remedy Entertainment included a similar soundtrack toggle all the way back in 2016’s Quantum Break, but similar implementations have been few and far between since then. The option was most recently seen in CD Projekt Red’s Cyberpunk 2077, one of the few positive aspects of the much-maligned game.
With the option to disable licensed music now confirmed in Guardians of the Galaxy, here’s hoping its soundtrack still has some cool beats after you disable all the nostalgic throwback stuff. The game launches on October 26 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Switch, and PC.