Eidos Scared Marvel With Early Guardians of the Galaxy Concepts; Fat Drax, Human-Sized Rocket, & More

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With Eidos Montreal’s Guardians of the Galaxy game, the studio didn’t exactly copy the MCU’s (Marvel Cinematic Universe) depiction of the characters, though you can see some inspiration was taken here and there. But did you know that Eidos wanted to deviate so much from the character designs in the early stages that the studio scared Marvel?

This tidbit of news surfaced in the latest issue of EDGE magazine (issue #374), where Senior Narrative Director Mary DeMarle, Creative Director Jean-François Dugas, and Art Director Bruno Gauthier-Leblanc talked about the 2021 action game. 

Though Marvel was largely supportive of the studio’s ideas, some early plans for the characters were rejected. “The way I like to work is to turn the dial up to 12 on the concepts,” Gauthier-Leblanc grins, “and then bring it back, instead of going one, two, three, four.” Groot, he says, was “scary”, but the artists realised that look didn’t fit the gentle-giant persona the writers had given him. “We had a fat Drax,” he adds. “Our first version of Star-Lord was like a cosmonaut, with almost a full cosmonaut suit. And we had a human-size Rocket, which was weird. So, yeah, we scared the hell out of them the first time.”

As we can plainly see in the game, the early concepts didn’t make it out of the development phase. Bruno Gauthier-Leblanc also talked about how the studio and Marvel found a middle ground for the character designs in as early as the second pitch.

But it wasn’t long until they found common ground; by the second pitch, the two parties were almost in agreement. And Marvel’s own feedback proved helpful when it came to alternate costumes. “A lot of the suits were [Marvel] almost fanboying and pitching us things like, ‘Oh, in this issue in the 1970s, Star-Lord was wearing this – it’ll be awesome’, and we were like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it’.”

While it would have been interesting to see what could have been with Eidos Montreal’s far-out designs, everything worked out in the end, as the studio’s Guardans of the Galaxy game managed to beat expectations. On our end, we gave it an impressive 9.5/10 score (along with an Editor’s Choice badge) and said, “The expectations that I had for this game were unsurprisingly low, and in fact, I had zero interest in even playing it. That would have been a major mistake on my part, and if you are someone who is jaded by the release of Marvel’s Avengers, rest assured Guardians of the Galaxy is everything you could want out of a Marvel Game. It’s fun, entertaining, and quite possibly one of the best games this year. I’ll say it, it might just be my personal Game of the Year.”

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