Exclusive Q&A: 'Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy' video game drops new trailer

Players anticipate the new video game "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy."
Players anticipate the new video game "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy." (Image credit: Marvel/Square Enix)

With a blast from Star-Lord's jet pack and a heavy dose of humor, Square Enix has dropped the first trailer for their upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy" video game during this year's virtual E3 event.

This planet-hopping sci-fi adventure is similar in style to "Marvel's Avengers," which was released back in September of 2020. "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" is a rousing third-person shooter starring the renegade gang of misfit heroes that MCU fans are enamored of. 

Gameplay revolves around players taking on the role of Star-Lord (aka Peter Quill), battling beside Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon and Groot. The title won't feature exact cinematic representations of the crew, but instead offers an entirely original storyline unfolding across the universe just one year after the iconoclastic team first formed.

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"Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" was developed by Eidos-Montreal, the award-winning gaming studio behind "Shadow of the Tomb Raider," a pair of "Deus Ex" titles, "Human Revolution" and "Mankind Divided." The studio also helped Crystal Dynamics develop "Marvel's Avengers," which was the first Marvel-based title to emerge after inking a partnership deal in 2017 between Marvel and Square Enix.

Square Enix and Eidos-Montreal's "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" will be available for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One and PC on October 26.

Space.com chatted with Mary DeMarle and Patrick Fortier, two of the game's main narrative developers at Eidos-Montreal, to learn about keeping the essence of these beloved MCU characters, while still adding their own individual scenarios and surprises to the mix.

Space.com: Can you give us a rundown of the plot and what gamers can look forward to?

An image from "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" video game. (Image credit: Marvel/Square Enix)

Mary DeMarle: When we started on the project one of the things that was super exciting to us was that Marvel basically said, "We want you to create your own version of the "Guardians." We want this to be Eidos-Montreal's take, we don't want MCU, we don't want the comic books. Maintain the essence of these characters and create something new." So we dove into the movies and the comics and what we discovered is our own take on them.

The story takes place twelve years after a massive war has swept through the galaxy. It's not the Infinity War, we call it the Galactic War. All of our characters have backstories that are tied into that. So for example, Peter, he was kidnapped at the start of the war because his father was J'son of Spartax, the king of this empire. Now the galaxy is recovering and Peter has decided to gather a group of eccentric space outlaws and convinced them that there is a lot of money to be had if they can rebrand themselves as heroes for hire. They've even got business cards and have done some missions together, but not enough to have gelled as a team. 

In the first mission of the game they're trying to capture a very rare and valuable monster, but their carefree attitude towards exploration and missions culminates in a bet that goes catastrophically wrong and sets off a chain of events that spreads out through the galaxy.

An image from "Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy" video game. (Image credit: Marvel/Square Enix)

Space.com: What were some of the main challenges of adapting "Guardians of the Galaxy" into a video game while paying fan service but also putting your own stamp on it?

DeMarle: One of the biggest challenges was humor. You can't have "Guardians" without having that humor. But writing humor and ensuring humor is one of the hardest things to do. Also, the challenge of dealing with five strong characters that people know and love, making sure you're maintaining the essences of them while bringing your own unique spin. From a story standpoint, they all have to have compelling arcs of their own. And on the gameplay side, they're onscreen with you all the time, so balancing that is hard.

Patrick Fortier: The biggest thing you think about is this dynamic between the group and these tensions between this dysfunctional family. What kind of mechanics are going to translate into putting that front and center? And that's what ultimately drives us to make a more narrative driven action adventure game and experiencing the team from the inside. That felt like very fertile ground for us to explore.

Space.com: Can you tease any MCU Easter Eggs and surprises that might unfold in the game?

DeMarle: We definitely have a lot of easter eggs in it. When you're dealing with Marvel and its history and the comic books, there's tons. We've only shown a few of the characters you can meet in this adventure. You saw Mantis and Cosmo. You saw the Blood Brothers and Lady Hellbender. But there are more to come and some of them are cameos and some are the main villains in the piece. We've also filled the edges you're exploring with readable material and lore.

Fortier: I think it's fair to say as Marvel fans, we had a lot of fun filling up the universe.

Space.com: Why is "Guardians of the Galaxy" the perfect property for a modern video game translation?

DeMarle: For me, it's that they're not perfect superheroes. They're flawed individuals. They all have that weird, eccentric nature, bumbling around and so darned optimistic that they'll improvise and find their way out of everything. They get along so well, they care, and have heart. Their interaction results in some really fun and exciting twists and turns and unexpected stuff.

Fortier: It's the idea of the solo team play. This is the perfect group to explore mechanically. We're apprehensive about things that are going to happen. We need everybody to contribute. There's something big to move so we need to call on Drax. I'm flying around and shooting things and I know Gamora is gonna knock down this enemy I've just frozen. Now this is a great opportunity to call on Rocket to do area damage. So it creates this synergy where you don't feel like you're just playing a single character, but that you're part of a team and this team is alive and kicking. It brings them to life in a way that I find is not often done in video games.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.