Developer Eidos Montreal took inspiration from the comics for Guardians of the Galaxy character designs, and used the deep well of legacy material to make a version of the group that is “unique and recognizable.” According to a post on the Square Enix site by Bruno Gauthier-Leblanc, art director at the studio, the team was fortunate to have the creative freedom to do so.
For Rocket and Groot, the most iconic of the Guardians of the Galaxy character roster, the developers chose a visual design that emphasized that bond. “These two characters go way back; they are best friends and inseparable,” writes Gauthier-Leblanc. “As such, their fighting style and consequently their visual designs were developed to complement each other.”
They tapped into the armor design of Japanese mecha in shaping Groot’s bark-skin and chose to give Rocket a transforming backback and tinkering goggles to communicate his passion for the technical elements of gadgets and weaponry. The symbiotic nature of their relationship is signaled by the harness that Groot wears, which lets Rocket secure a tactical position on Groot’s shoulders.
As a largely shirtless individual, it’s a bit trickier to communicate backstory on Drax, which is why this version of the character has tattoos that tell his story. In the game’s lore, they signal milestones in his life relating to family and the battles he’s fought to avenge them. Gamora on the other hand is given a distinct profile with sleek tactical armor that evokes her assassin past.
Peter Quill, aka Star-Lord got the full retro treatment, with a look that’s meant to be “a time capsule of 1980s culture” right down to his sci-fi pompadour, leather jacket and various trinkets from his childhood. “As some of us on the team are children of the 80s,” wrote Gauthier-Leblanc, “we had a blast designing his character.”
Guardians of the Galaxy is slated for release on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Windows PCs on October 26, 2021.