Earlier this week, we finally got our first look at the long-awaited Avengers video game from Crystal Dynamics, and the response was…mixed. A lot of mockery was directed towards the look of the game’s main characters, who appeared loosely based on their movie counterparts, but off enough that they looked like body doubles of the genuine article.
THR spoke with director Shaun Escayg about the look of the characters, and he explained that although they’ve worked closely with Marvel on the game, they always intended for their game to be its own thing rather than an adaptation of the MCU:
“We knew we wanted to make an original Avengers game and go back to the roots in the comic books,” Crystal Dynamics creative director Shaun Escayg tells The Hollywood Reporter.
Escayg says that at no point during the game’s development process did they consider using the likenesses of the actors behind the MCU versions of the heroes. “We wanted to clearly show that this was our spin on the Avengers,” Escayg says. “Even the way we cast these characters was based on our story and our narrative.”
And that’s totally fine. The problem is that it appears they had a directive from Marvel—make it look like our ridiculously popular movies—but also they didn’t get the likeness rights for the actors. Ultimately, the design of the characters, particularly their costumes and faces, don’t provide enough of a departure.
The looks of the characters aside, the game will at least offer an interesting multiplayer component where you can jump between characters. Escayg explains:
“The cooperative element helps a lot. It’s almost like playing a different game when you get to each character,” he continues. “That was something that Marvel really pushed for. They said if you’re going to tackle Iron Man this needs to feel like an Iron Man game when you’re in his shoes.”
Despite the jokes at the look of the characters, I have high hopes for Avengers because it would be great to have a game that does the franchise justice. Marvel’s Avengers arrives on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May 15, 2020.