Crystal Dynamics seems to deflect their Avengers' designs criticisms as fans' diversed opinions formed from Marvel's history, I disagree

Arthands

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,624
So few months back I made a thread, criticising their bad designs for the characters of their Avengers game. I wasn't the only one, there were bunch of complains over their designs. And then Crystal Dynamics emerged and state that they have no plan to change their designs.

And then in November, developer (Shaun Escayg) cites that they have the challenge of going up against a 10 years history of movies in terms of designs for the character models. In the recent Playstation magazine, he repeated that sentiment, claiming that they expected the criticism and brings up Marvel's 80 years of history.

This is 80 years of Marvel history to play with, and you know, a lot of people forget, but when the movies first came out, there was an uproar from fans. Like ‘this is not how Iron Man speaks!’ And now we face the same thing with the game. We kind of anticipated that.
I will call a spade a spade: I think that's pure nonsense. There are bunch of Marvel heroes looking entirely different in movies/tv and comics, such as Falcon or Hawkeye. Yet they were well receives too. Take for example, Scarlet Witch has her iconic red headress in comic, yet her movie interpretation were well received.



The main bulks of complains with Crystal Dynamics' designs is that they were bad interpretation in general, which makes them look ugly, generic, boring and look like they are bootleg Avengers of the movies. The criticisms isn't because they changed too much or due to fans' diversed opinions.

Look at this comparison of Thor in his initial reveal, and Thor in his 'character profile' video on youtube. Thor with tied up hair was well received in general, on reddit, twitter and here. Does he looks exactly like Chris Hemsworth or classic comic book look? Nope (though his classic comic book alternate outfit looks great too).



Some subtle changes and fans on reddit are happy but she is not looking exactly like Scarlett Johansonn.


Captain America's secret empire outfit hardly look like its movie counterparts (no holster, no helmet strap etc) but it was well received anyway on here and I believe everywhere else too. It also ain't 1:1 comic imitation as well, no silly feather ear or bright red gloves.


Some Marvel characters in movie were similar to their comic counterpart, other receives overhaul designs (as mentioned before). Some overhaul works (as mentioned previously), some doesn't and were rightfully criticized too (Apocalypse, Iron Fist, Galactus). Sometime an overhaul/reinterpretation works, sometime it don't. In the case here, it didn't work in general, that's something they should straight up admit that they fuck up. Yes, fans' diversity opinions might have been small part of the reason, but that's definitely the general reason why their designs were criticized.
 
Oct 27, 2017
16,261
The problem is that their modelling is in the uncanny valley which when more closely compared to the movies instead of the comics (since they chose a realistic style) makes them look even more jarring and off in comparison. I wish they'd gone with something more stylized looking. Going with a realistic art style and not using the actual actors was asking for unwanted comparisons (see the older Bond games when they couldn't get the actors' likenesses)
 

shinobi602

Wushu Studios
Verified
Oct 24, 2017
2,002
I completely missed those changes. Thor and Black Widow look so much better. Wow.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,089
It was always going to upset people. Marvel spent a decade breaking their necks to maintain continuity as best they could with the MCU and then they make an Avengers game where the main stars don’t look or sound like the characters they’ve drilled into our heads for a decade.

For what it’s worth, I think the characters actually look pretty good and are really identifiable. And they’re still clearly working hard on them.

I’m truly intrigued to see what this game actually is, top to bottom, when it finally releases... no clue how it’ll go.
 

Gaiseric

Member
Aug 4, 2019
111
The mistake they made is by trying to stick too closely to MCU. Turns into looking like bad cosplay if not done right.

They should have focused on those 80 years and far fewer would be complaining.

If they made them look like the comic book aesthetic there would have been far less push back.

I just hope they add way more outfits in this game.
 

Patitoloco

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,782
They definitely have improved the models, they don't have to look like the MCU actors, they just needed to find their style, which they clearly didn't have before.

I think the main problems were the faces and the hair, and those have been touched up so that they have a more distinct style (and the graphic fidelity gained in these months also has helped).
 

Mr.Deadshot

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,927
It still looks generic as fuck. They should have gone with a full comic look. Just like Marvel Ultimate Alliance but with actual budget and hardware power behind it.
 

ArmGunar

Member
Oct 30, 2017
3,953
That early version of Thor and Black Widow just look sloppy and bad.
Exactly, criticism had nothing to do with MCU and the actor/actress

Just look at Spider-Man released just few months before Avengers reveal, literally nobody said anything about Peter Parker model, because it was at least decent for people and very good for other

This is a poor excuse from Shaun Escayg
 

Grunge_Hamster

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,370
Yeah, basically it was a comment to excuse the look of the characters.
I guess they based all the designs from a base (Lara?), made some changes for everyone, and that's why they looked so uncanny...?

It didn't help they are basically model after the MCU before the comics, so it looks off.
 

Heidern

Member
Oct 30, 2017
164
Connecticut
Why would people play as a character whose looks are not something they actually like/accept? It's like they expect that game play will override any ambivalence in the player's feelings about the character's appearance. I'm not so sure about this.
 

Tbm24

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,677
Why would people play as a character whose looks are not something they actually like/accept? It's like they expect that game play will override any ambivalence in the player's feelings about the character's appearance. I'm not so sure about this.
Well, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect them to please everyone. Moving away from the established actors was going to ruffle feathers no matter what. I think they look just fine. Not sure what I should be reasonable expecting but I was NOT expecting them to look like the movie characters.
 

jelly

Member
Oct 26, 2017
12,151
It's jarring because of the films and the Captain America costume was a bit weird looking but it's not game breaking. Nobody expects them to get the real actors, what would be worse is trying to immitate them. Still the game play for me which is the bigger issue.
 

FairyEmpire

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,724
The mistake they made is by trying to stick too closely to MCU. Turns into looking like bad cosplay if not done right.

They should have focused on those 80 years and far fewer would be complaining.

If they made them look like the comic book aesthetic there would have been far less push back.

I just hope they add way more outfits in this game.
Yeah they're stuck between a rock and a hard place in that 99% of the audience expects them to make characters that look like those they've seen in theatres for a decade now, but then they can't do that because they can't use the actors' likenesses and so they either do what looks like cosplay or they move away from the movie designs. It's a difficult task for sure and I think that the newer versions look about as close as they can to a modern, MCU-like approach without being able to use the real deal. My worries currently lie elsewhere: what I've seen of the game so far is nothing to write home about, but they've made multiple Tomb Raider games I enjoyed start to finish so I'll definitely keep an eye.
 

Rappy

Member
Oct 28, 2017
237
Exactly, criticism had nothing to do with MCU and the actor/actress

Just look at Spider-Man released just few months before Avengers reveal, literally nobody said anything about Peter Parker model, because it was at least decent for people and very good for other

This is a poor excuse from Shaun Escayg
You barely saw Peter Parker in the marketing and no one cared because they care more about Spider-Man. I will say myself that I find the Peter Parker model/face not great but not terrible just the same as these Avengers.
 

youwei

Member
Jun 3, 2019
210
some fans are too used to the cinematic universe and they would like to see it similar in the console version

for me , i am okay as long as the game does not have game breaking bugs ( even on day 1 ) , i would rather the game delay to 2021
 

balohna

Member
Nov 1, 2017
779
Kind of a nitpick, but Cap having the modern-looking American flag patches on his shoulders bugged me for some reason. I get that he’s a soldier, but he’s always felt a bit disconnected from the actual military. Especially the modern US military. This small detail makes it feel like he’s a present-day super soldier instead of a WW2 super soldier that got frozen in a block of ice.
 

Gaiseric

Member
Aug 4, 2019
111
Yeah they're stuck between a rock and a hard place in that 99% of the audience expects them to make characters that look like those they've seen in theatres for a decade now, but then they can't do that because they can't use the actors' likenesses and so they either do what looks like cosplay or they move away from the movie designs. It's a difficult task for sure and I think that the newer versions look about as close as they can to a modern, MCU-like approach without being able to use the real deal. My worries currently lie elsewhere: what I've seen of the game so far is nothing to write home about, but they've made multiple Tomb Raider games I enjoyed start to finish so I'll definitely keep an eye.
Yeah, I still can't even put my finger on what genre this game falls in.

Time will tell how things go with this one.

If there's a silver lining, I do like the improvements in the face models of 'Not Scarlett Johansson, Not Chris Hemsworth, Not RDJ' etc
 
Nov 2, 2017
2,490
I really don't think he was trying to say that all criticism is invalid because of this. Bear in mind they're seeing the backlash to the designs harder than we ever will and they are still human.
 

Slayven

I don’t know what you’re talking about
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
42,228
They could be realistic looking problem is that they looked like movies enough to tell you they couldn't go all in. They should have went in and made it their own like Sony spiderman
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,000
Yup, people are fine with different interpretations, as long as the actual designs look good. If anything the base designs didn't go far enough.
 

Illusion

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,090
All good examples.

But yeesh. They didn't even take the criticism to heart, they just shifted away from it saying it was impossible to make something that didn't look like the movies or comics.

That's just gross incompetence. I didn't know they said that, but now I feel like I don't want to even get the game just knowing that.
 

litebrite

Member
Oct 27, 2017
10,415
The problem was them going for photo realism combined with MCU inspired designs but without the actors actual likeness so the characters looked bootleg or B movie tier of the MCU.
 
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IIFloodyII

Member
Oct 26, 2017
11,920
I just wish they were a bit more unique and stood out more. Like Insomniac's Spidey is very much Insomniac's design and he stands out when compared to the usual Spidey design. I love their suit, after at first being pretty mixed, but it grew on me massively over time and is one of my favorite Spidey designs ever now.
Saying that I don't hate their designs and I think they'll do some great alternative skins, but I just don't really care at all for the default designs.
 

PadWarrior

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,185
I wish they looked like their comic designs. Ultimate alliance 3 did a great job on the designs. These guys still look like cosplayers.
 

funky

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,938
It just looks like they went for the semi realistic human look you see in Halo or Uncharted but didnt do it right and everyone has weird size faces.
 

BAD

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,281
USA
I just think the game looks less polished than I expected. It has some weird graphical limitations and will look terrible when next gen hits a few months later.
 
Oct 27, 2017
4,000
Someone already made this joke about the early Joker design for MK11, but damn CD's Avengers designs were like porn parody designs lul
 

Alienous

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
6,356
It was just excuses.

Here's Tony Stark in Iron-Man VR

(Josh Keston with a goatee)

then in Square Enix's Avengers


Willem Dafoe is the face that comes to mind when you think of Norman Osborn. If you read the comics maybe it's Tommy Lee Jones.

Here's Norman Osborn in Marvel's Spider-Man


(Mark Rolston)

But when this is the character design Crystal Dynamics arrived at for Hank Pym...

... maybe it's just that their process is broken.
 

FallenGrace

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,250


This is all I see when I look at them. I mean Bruce Banner is blatantly based on Mark Ruffolo in Avengers but with uncanny valley feeling of not quite looking right. The reveal was kind of rough and while Black Widow looks better Thor looks like he belongs on Assassin's Creed Oddessy now.

Just not feeling it. Real shame.
 

Elephant

Member
Nov 2, 2017
1,156
Nottingham, UK
I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's got nothing to do with whether they look like *Insert other version of character*. It all just looks a bit crap.
 

Slayven

I don’t know what you’re talking about
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
42,228
It was just excuses.

Here's Tony Stark in Iron-Man VR

(Josh Keston with a goatee)

then in Square Enix's Avengers


Willem Dafoe is the face that comes to mind when you think of Norman Osborn. If you read the comics maybe it's Tommy Lee Jones.

Here's Norman Osborn in Marvel's Spider-Man


(Mark Rolston)

But when this is the character design Crystal Dynamics arrived at for Hank Pym...

... maybe it's just that their process is broken.
I like that Hank Pym, no disrepect to VR Ironman but dude has the perfect amount frat boy douche for Tony.
 

Caspah

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
3,716
Graveyard in Boston
For me it was less their designs, and more that they didn't look human even though that's clearly what they were going for. They were lifeless in cutscenes, and seemed to be mannequins during the gameplay featured.

The rest of the game looked great, which made the character models seem even weirder.
 

Prine

Banned
Oct 25, 2017
7,299
It's even more damning that they had the freedom to not look like MCU actors and they still came up with that trash. It's not that they have to look different, that's fine, we're happy, they should just look good, and for instance Black Widow looks much better, but we (gamers) shouldn't have to review these changes to let them know, the initial face for hero's were objectively atrocious. Same goes for Sonic.
 
Nov 16, 2017
173
If they were worried about looking like the movies, they could have just gone full comic book. But it's obvious from the costumes to the dialogue to the set pieces they showed the aim was to make an MCU game without going full MCU. It comes off as the Kirkland Avengers.
 

Bjones

Member
Oct 30, 2017
4,762
Yeah their models looking bad have nothing to do with mcu

Thor looks straight up like a create a character from dragons dogma.
 

AdamE

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
308
They all lack charisma. The designs are one thing, but the head models of Tony, Thor and Steve Rogers especially look like what you’d get as henchmen in a Die Hard movie.

Hank Pym looks like discount Star Lord.
 

ieandrew

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
328
As someone critical of the look in the unveiling, I think that though they are still imperfect, they aren’t something I’d take issue with if that’s how they were introduced to me.

Wish MCU was not constantly brought up. It’s completely irrelevant whether they appear similar to the actors. They simply didn’t look like good video game character models. They didn’t have an interesting look within the environment they built. Whether they’re taking the criticisms to heart, the models are definitely improving.
 

Lashley

Member
Oct 25, 2017
33,373
Widow and Thor look a lot better, if their idea is to blame the fans for their weak designs then they're off to a shaky start.
 

Alpha Baymax

Member
Dec 3, 2019
792
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 demonstrates 80 years of Marvel history. I echo the sentiments of others by saying this looks like discount MCU.

I really hope the delay that's being given to this game is to improve the character models as even the revisions still look really rough.