Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite Review
Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Editor’s Note – This game was reviewed on the PS4 with a review copy provided by Gaming Instincts.
Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite seeks to reinvent the franchise and create the most accessible entry, but several odd decisions and production values hold the game back. After the launch of Street Fighter V with missing features like Arcade Mode. Capcom decided that the latest Marvel Vs Capcom game would introduce a comprehensive Story Mode. All the bells and whistles are great but when compared to other games on the market, it is hard to argue that Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite doesn’t hold up. The gameplay and changes made to this series are amazing which will evolve over time. This game either way will always be remembered for its outstanding gameplay but will quickly fall to the wayside because like ARMS, it lacks content to keep casual players engaged other than Versus Mode.
Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite introduces a first for the series a full-fledged Story Mode. Story Mode consists of tackling several 2v2, 2v1, or 1v2 battle across a new universe that merges the Marvel and Capcom locations together. Ultron Sigma is the abomination and fusion of Mega Man X’s arch villain Sigma and the Marvel’s psychotic A.I. Ultron. Both fused together to create Ultron Sigma who seeks to control all the Infinity Stones and wipe all organic life across both universes. It is up to the heroes of both Marvel and Capcom to work together and prevent Ultron Sigma from destroying all life. On paper this plot sounds better and fascinating than the actual Story Mode itself which leaves much to be desired.
Marvel heroes like Captain America and Iron Man work tirelessly around the clock to develop strategies to defeat Ultron Sigma. Capcom heroes like Mega Man X and Dante provide backup support and fighting prowess needed to defeat the bad guys. Story Mode is a short but fun romp that should not be taken too seriously. Unlike Injustice 2, the story crafted is merely an excuse to try out several characters in the roster and as a fun diversion. Capcom developed the story and several interactions feel forced, stale, and lifeless but there are some genuine moment of hilarity. Several characters have fun anecdotes and interactions that play on their similarities. Ryu helps Hulk control his inner Rage, Gamora feels passion for Strider as a fellow assassin and several fun scenarios that are brief. It makes sense to have Morrigan and Ghost Rider team up to and retrieve the Soul Stone when considering the source material of both characters. I do applaud Capcom for transitioning different stages in a manner that flows with the story.
The most fascinating parts about the story are the clever ways they integrate Marvel and Capcom lore together. There are parts in the Story Mode that shows the attention to detail about the overlapping two universes together. Ultron and Sigma are great examples as you learn further into the story about their meeting and what triggers their alliance. As mentioned, not all fights are just waves upon waves of Asgardian Soldiers and Ultron Drones. You fight anyone and everyone across the Story Mode, often times taking the role of the villain who has to oppose our heroes. There are some gameplay variety but they are few and far between. It all culminates to a huge boss fight and a cliffhanger ending that leaves it open for a sequel or as a DLC. Does this game need a story mode when comparing to other games on the market? It’s hard to answer that question but I would have said no based on my reaction to the E3 demo. Having a Story Mode does give casual players a new fun option to try out other than a simple arcade gantlet but there is almost no reason to ever replay it.
The biggest critical flaw that Story Mode presents are the character models. Story Mode emphasizes how terrible some of the character models look and at times lifeless husks. While Story Mode was a welcomed addition to a Capcom fighting game, this game still lack great single player content to keep newcomer and casual fighters engaged. Story Mode isn’t good enough to forgive Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite’s bare-bones content, while it is a fun distraction there is no replay-ability. If your looking to obtain all the stages the game has to offer then completing the Story Mode is a requirement, which will surely sour people’s experience of this game.
This is the meat and bones of what defines a proper Marvel Vs Capcom experience. Capcom implemented several changes that has made Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite the least recognizable MvC game to date. However, these changes also make the game the most accessible to newer and casual players than it ever has. The first major change is the transition from 3v3 to 2v2. Having teams reduced two characters emphasize the need for a solid strategy, team composition, and allows for more creativity. Players will learn to mix and match several combinations of characters using the switch system. The switch mechanics which allows the player to tag out the current fighter mid combo and continue with the chain with the other fighters attacks. Knowing and experimenting which characters complements each other will be part of the strategy but also allows people to have fun using wacky teams.
The Marvel Vs Capcom series has always be known for having assists which are attacks performed by the other members of your team. In Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 you would choose your team of three and choose an appropriate assist attack to compliment your composition. Some characters would have amazing assists but at the cost of having the screen be cluttered with attacks often resulting in getting hit by random attacks, Dr.Doom’s Hidden Missiles being notorious for this. Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite no longer features the assist mechanic in order to give the franchise a refreshing break with the intent of attracting new players.
What the game now offers instead are Infinity Stones that can be equipped and used during fights, each stone has a specific action and the stone can be charged to unleash an Infinity Surge. The Power Stone’s can cause a wall bounce hit which can help extend combos and its Infinity Surge causes the player to deal more powerful strikes. There are a total of 6 Infinity Stones each with a defining attribute that can add a new layer of power and open up options for certain teams. Its hard to say whether the changes of adding a switch mechanic and the Infinity Stones make up for taking out Assists and X-Factor. On the one hand, these changes breathe new life that can help the game be more balanced and approachable to a new crowd of fighters. On the other hand, Infinity Stones don’t seem that necessary or useful but its too early to tell as the community needs to figure out how to incorporate them.
These changes to Marvel Vs Capcom closely resemble the mechanics and style of Street Fighter X Tekken. Street Fighter X Tekken was not well received because of its controversial gem system and the fact that several Tekken characters were severely under powered when compared to their Street Fighter counterparts. What makes Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite a great game at a gameplay level are these changes to help streamline the combat and action on screen. Character changes and new mechanics helps players get acquainted with fighters faster with auto combos and the exclusion of several dragon punch motion attacks. Yet there is enough depth and complexity for veterans players to develop insane strategies. Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite will have its sour points but gameplay is still amazing, fast, and fun. There is a lot more room for creativity by using several team compositions which are supplemented by the Infinity Stones.
Graphics and Sound
Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is not a gorgeous game and character proportions are hideous. The stages, music, and effects are amazing that should deserve praise when in the heat of a fight. The fighter models are dreadful with weird body proportions and lifeless stares. In a lot of ways Ultimate Marvel Vs Capcom 3 is a much more polished and beautiful game when compared to Infinite. Not all characters look bad! Some characters like Gamora, Ghost Rider, and Jedha look amazing with stellar attack designs. Characters like Ryu, Captain America, and Morrigan look pale and lifeless by comparison. Characters like Firebrand, Mega Man X, and Arthur look like plastic toys with deadpan eyes because of the “realistic” art style Capcom tries to go for. It is not noticeable during fights but it stands out tremendously during Supers that zoom in and during the Story Mode.
The stages are gorgeous with a surprising amount of detail that show the fusing of two worlds. The Valkanda stage integrates Black Panther’s world with that of Monster Hunter series and it works well! Never in my wildest dreams would I have loved a stage that has bot a Black Panther and Ratholos Statue. The announcer still sounds amazing and all hyper combos, Infinity Surges, and attack sounds are on point with weight to them. It is a shame that Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite looks cheap but there are some defining features that don’t sully the whole picture. Yet it is hard to argue or defend this game when it comes to the art style choices made. Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite tries to emulate a realistic art style but fails to achieve it because of the rooster of characters.
Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite is a great game that’s marred by bad art style, lack of content, and a questionable story mode. The game is an amazing entry for beginners and newcomers to the series but it’s hard to justify a purchase when other fighting games on the market completely outshine this game. Story Mode is a welcomed addition for casual players but it only highlights the production problems of this game. Character changes, mechanics, and the Infinity Stones do provide a fresh new take on this fighter that is fun and engaging. The sound and stage designs are fun nods to the IPs they are based on but there is still a glaring problem when it comes to content. The hardcore fighter won’t care about anything other than Versus and Online Matches but it is a hard purchase for casual fans. Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite is still an amazing game with hours of great fights to be had but i would look elsewhere like Injustice 2 or Tekken 7 for a meaty title.