Marvel vs Capcom Infinite is a tag team based fighting game produced and developed by Capcom Co., Ltd. This is tense 2 on 2 game where players fight as both Marvel and Capcom characters in various different modes, including a new story mode. The game has an homage to previous titles in the series with the inclusion of Infinity Stones and deeper mechanics than before.
The original Marvel vs. Capcom games were never concerned with story, preferring instead to be simple crossover games with arcade style endings for each character. This new iteration, however, features an actual story mode. Simply put, The villains Ultron and Sigma have fused into a single being called Ultron-Sigma, and have merged their two worlds together in the hopes of conquering the merged reality. You take up the mantle of both the Marvel and Capcom worlds' heroes and must work to stop the new threat while facing another menace at the same time in the form of Jedah Dohma from Darkstalkers and his attempts to create an army to balance life and death. It's much deeper than any previous iteration of the series, but it unfortunately ends up falling rather flat.
The story plays out like a film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe would, but it ends up being rather cut and dry. The story mode hits all the points you'd expect to see in a blockbuster movie with big fights, team ups, a few moments of suspense, and something that happens in every Marvel movie near the end. The set up here isn't bad, but the way it's handled makes the romp through this mode rather unfulfilling and unimpressive. Having a story to connect all these characters together is not a bad idea at all, but the way it's handled here makes it feel like they just wanted to tick off boxes and feel like the experience was like the movies they were emulating. This means that, with such a big cast, some characters never get to shine. This story clocks in at around 2 hours or so and I just wish characters were utilized better, since many times, they just disappeared from the story altogether.
Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite plays like a 2-D fighting game that's really in a class of it's own. The fighting is fast paced and very combo oriented, so understanding the game's combo system is very important to actually playing the game. This game, like previous installments, features a battle system where players have 4 attack buttons. There's a light punch, a heavy punch, a light kick, and a heavy kick. Pressing the light punch repeatedly will allow a player to execute what the game terms an auto-combo, which gives new or more casual players the ability to have an instant ground or air combo. Combos are normally done in the game by pressing a series of button and special move combinations to rack up damage. These can be extended via the game's new Active Switch"mechanic. This new mechanic allows players to switch between their two characters whether in the air or in the middle of attack animations. This allows for players to create assists of their own and form continuous and large combos with ease.
In addition to traditional normal and special moves, there are flashy Hyper Combos that keep the action intense and energetic. These Hyper Combos are bigger, flashier versions of regular special moves that not only do more damage, but can change the range on a move too. For example, Hulk has a move called Gamma Wave which has him lift a piece of the ground up so that the earth surges forward like a wave and knocks the opponent back a few spaces. His Hyper Combo Gamma Tsunami starts with a dynamic close-up and then has hulk push the opponent back the same way, only this time he pushes them a full screen away. Another new mechanic to think about for anyone thinking of playing is the game's Infinity Stone powers. All six of Marvel's Infinity Stones have been added into the game, and they each affect the battle in different ways. The six Infinity Stones present for this are the Soul, Time, Space, Mind, Reality, and Power Stones.
The Infinity Stones each have two abilities: an Infinity Surge and an Infinity Storm. The Stones offer either an offensive or defensive aid to the wielder, but it's ultimately up to the player to decide if a stone's abilities go well with a character they are using. As an example, If you're using a slow character that hits hard like Nemesis or Hulk, try to find a Stone that will allow the character to get in close to the opponent and utilize their strength. This will ensure the player can try to optimize strategies for themselves and offers a fair level of depth. For instance, a player using a team of Hulk and Nemesis will deal great damage, but will be rather slow. The Space Stone's abilities will allow them to bring enemies closer or trap them so the pair can close in. A player using faster characters like Mega Man X and Captain America might use the Time Stone to allow their team to pull off insane combos that would otherwise be impossible to do and provide a speed boost. It's a core mechanic to the game, and understanding how to utilize it well will determine how well you end up playing as a result, and no matter what Infinity Stone you pick, it will be a real force to be reckoned with.
The game modes featured are found in two varieties: offline or online. Offline modes include Story, Arcade, Mission, Training, Vs., and various modes to read up on characters from the game, hear music from the game in Sound, see Artwork, and listen to the voice work. Online modes include Ranked and Casual matches, Beginner's League for new players, Lobby, Rankings, and Replay Settings. The offline modes let you hone your skills, play against the friend of a computer, or experience the game's story. The arcade mode features a few fights leading up to a battle with Ultron-Sigma's final form, Ultron-Omega.
The Online modes are where the game lets you test your skills against players from all over via the internet. The netcode for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game are relatively stable and will give you minimal problems in this endeavor, but the Steam version unfortunately suffers a bit due to hardware limitations.
Graphics and Audio
The graphical style of Marvel vs Capcom Infinite goes for a cinematic style. It wants to emulate the kind of feel one would get when watching one of Marvel's movies. The characters look as they did in those movies for the most part, with Capcom matching that style with their own characters. When looking at the backgrounds in the various stages, it looks rather good and I really got a sense of what they wanted to go for when looking at stages like Avenger's Tower or the XGard Throne Room. Close up, however, the graphics don't hold up so well, and several characters look as if they've been through hard times.
Audio wise, the soundtrack has really taken a hit. One would expect bombastic, hard hitting pieces that would fit in with the frantic action happening on the screen, but between the two companies' sides, the Marvel characters have had their one iconic theme songs replaced with what is honestly forgettable and soulless tracks meant to invoke the movies and the Capcom characters, while an improvement with many decent sounding tracks, decided that dubstep needed to be a part of every song. It's a strange choice to make, and it doesn't really stand out too much. The voice acting is rather well done however, and everything in the sound effects area sounds great and adds the the atmosphere of the game.
Marvel vs Capcom Infinite is a rather split game in the end. The gameplay and everything contained therein works like a dream and is probably one of the best games in the fighting genre to come out recently. It's a really technical game with deep mechanics for those of a mind to delve into them, and the action is always fast paced and rewarding. There's nothing quite like setting up a big 100 hit combo and seeing it all come together. The story, graphics, and audio on the other hand feel lackluster and like someone was checking off boxes of things that needed to be included. The story feels run of the mill average, The graphics don't look very good when really looked at, and the music feels like someone took all the joy out of the process of making it.
Despite these flaws, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite raises itself up with its revamped gameplay, giving players depth that really brings out the best it has to offer when going full throttle. The introduction of Active Switch and the Infinity Stones really bring the action to w new level, yet still makes things accessible to those who are just joining the fray. The Mission Mode and Training area are great features and really help to get players better equipped for the experience.
This is a game that may turn people off by perceived difficulty in learning the combat, but there's definitely a reward here for players who have the patience to sit down and really explore what this side of the game has to offer. I loved how deep and yet inviting the gameplay side of the game was, though I wished the early combos weren't so long and complicated looking.
This is definitely a game to get if you're the patient type who can really reap the rewards the game has to offer, but if you prefer more depth in the story department, it may be best to look elsewhere, however. It's certainly not the best fighting game released recently, but it certainly shows why people love these kinds of games so much.
|+ Amazing, deep and rewarding gameplay||– Lackluster graphics|
|+ Iimmersive and well done learning tools||– A rather disappointing soundtrack|
|+ Good looking levels and backdrops||– Cliché and formulaic story mode|