Oof, I truly do not envy the devs tasked with making these games.
On the one hand, Disney is likely not going to let them make an actual MCU game because the MCU continuity is so tightly orchestrated, and any story set in that universe would immediately be thought of as a canon part of the whole. Agents of Shield and the Netflix shows being relegated to “maybe part of the multiverse somewhere” is a pretty clear sign Kevin Feige isn’t allowing anything he doesn’t have a direct hand in.
Yet at the same time, it’s clear that the MCU portrayals of these characters have now become so engrained in our popular culture, the devs (I guess) feel like they have to hew pretty close to the mold in order to connect to that existing audience.
I think it puts them in this really awkward middle situation where they’re trying to do both, and convincing people of neither. It’s exacerbated by the corporate lingo they keep tossing around where they claim they’re “doing their own spin on these character,” which only draws more attention to how much they’re not.
The Avengers game suffered from this to a degree, the doppleganger syndrome I’ve discussed before, but the footage of Guardians looks way more flagrant to me, in that the personalities of the team look lifted straight from James Gunn’s pen.
Don’t get me wrong here, the Guardians game looks really cool and I’m excited to play it. But I almost wonder if this “Marvel game universe” SquareEnix is crafting wouldn’t have been better served by simply leaning into an entirely different direction, to avoid the comparisons. Perhaps something with more stylized art, a la Ultimate Alliance, or super faithful to the comics, or maybe even just super dark and gritty just for shits and giggles.