Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite Review

By
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gaming :
Eric Hall

Reviewed by:
Rating:
3.5
On September 18, 2017
Last modified:September 18, 2017

Summary:

Capcom's popular crossover remains as enjoyable as ever, but a disappointing roster and off-putting visuals drag down the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite experience.

Due to the complicated licensing rights involving Marvel Comics, not many were expecting the return of Marvel vs. Capcom anytime soon. The two most recent releases in the franchise had been delisted from digital platforms, and individual character rights were being tossed around to different studios. Despite the complicated situation behind the scenes, Disney and Capcom somehow managed to come together for the latest entry in the fan-favorite franchise, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. With fans around the world, the studio certainly had its work cut out for itself this time.

For the first time in series history, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is actually taking the time to delve into how these two extremely different properties came together. Utilizing the same storytelling method used by NetheRealm Studios’ more recent efforts, the title uses a multitude of different characters to tell its story. You’ll have the chance to test out several fighters as you take on a near endless supply of Ultron Drones and the occasional important character.

As for how the Capcom and Marvel universes came together, that goes back to the creation of the being known as Ultron Sigma. Goaded into entering the Capcom Universe by Death and Jedah, Ultron soon realizes he can wield true power by working with Mega Man X baddie Sigma. The two robotic beings merge into one powerful creation, and with the power of the Infinity Stones, begins to take over the two universes. In order to save the day, both sides must put aside their differences and work with the powerful, but dangerous, Thanos in order to stop the diabolic duo.

While it may not reach the same heights as its peers, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite‘s story is appropriately absurd. The fusion of the many properties of Capcom and the Marvel Universe is handled about as well as you think it would be. So, if you ever wanted to see Haggar and Frank West beat up Spider-Man, or Gamora and Strider team up to take down Grandmaster Meio, feel free to tune in. After the criticism Capcom received over the lack of single-player modes in Street Fighter V, I’m happy they took the time to create something as silly as this. If there’s one issue I have though, it’s that it is not the longest story mode out there. It only takes a few hours to finish, which I suppose is decent for a fighting game, but I do feel that there could have been even more goofiness thrown in to pad it out.

Outside of the main story, Infinite also features a few other single-player modes. Arcade lets you create a team and battle through a variety of other teams. At the conclusion of each run, you’ll come face-to-face with the powerful Ultron Sigma. Outside of serving as a good training ground, completing a run in arcade mode will also unlock new color schemes for your characters. If you wish to further improve your skills with a certain combatant, you can also try and complete all of their missions in mission mode. These missions will test your ability to chain together moves into powerful combos. While there’s also a traditional training mode, I thought going through mission mode provided a better training experience overall. Regardless of which option you choose, there are plenty of tools for you to hone your skills with.

Despite the greater emphasis on production values, the gameplay of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is obviously the main drawing point. Like previous entries, the game is built around team-based action, although it has shifted back to 2v2 battles, like the original Marvel vs. Capcom had. And while you can certainly use one character to beat down someone else’s team, you’ll probably want to make use of the new Active Switch system. This mechanic allows players to swap between teammates at will and opens the door to some pretty devastating combos if handled correctly. Likewise, the switch can also be used to disrupt an opponent’s combo, albeit at the expense of your Hyper Combo Gauge.

The other big addition to the fighting engine is the ability to wield one of the powerful Infinity Stones. Serving as a mechanic to replace the X-Factor system from Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Infinity Stones grant you access to two unique abilities per stone. At the outset of each match, you’ll have the chance to pick which Stone you want to wield (Power, Time, Space, Reality, Mind, Soul), and during the match, one ability can be used constantly (Infinity Surge) and one needs to be charged up (Infinity Storm). Both the Infinity Surge and Infinity Storm for each Stone has its own unique strengths, and your choice of Stone will depend on how you choose to play the game. If speed is what you want, then the Time Stone, which greatly increases your mobility, will suit your needs. Or you can use the Reality Stone to unleash a variety of long-range elemental attacks.

In spite of my affinity for fighting games, I do not consider myself an expert on them in any sense. So, if you’re looking for in-depth strategy relating to the Infinity Stones, you’re better off looking elsewhere. What I can tell you, though, is that the Stones add an additional layer of enjoyment to the action of the game. Whether it was trapping my opponent in a box with the Space Stone, or resurrecting a fallen partner with the Soul Stone, I enjoyed figuring out how to use each one to compliment my own ability. I’ll be interested to see how professionals utilize these powerful Stones in different ways, too, as I can see the potential for some truly wild combos to come from them.

Even with all of the new mechanics being introduced, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is arguably the most accessible entry in the series yet. The control scheme has drifted back to the style seen in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, with heavy and light attacks for both punches and kicks, and one button to use for teammate switching. To help newcomers string together moves, Capcom has introduced an auto-combo system where you can mash one button in order to trigger a combo. You can also trigger a Hyper Combo by pressing the two heavy attack buttons at once, which will please those who hate having to do the work to use one. It’s a much better system than the Simple Mode that was featured in the last entry, which I think went too far in simplifying things.

With all of that said, I have had a lot of fun playing around in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. It moves extremely well, and I never thought the action got too hectic for my preference. That was my biggest fear coming into the game; despite the fact that I like the other entries in the series, it was too easy to get lost in all of the action. I think moving down to 2v2 was the right move, and the Active Switch system opens the door for some nifty teamwork. All in all, if you were a fan of the earlier entries in the series, I think you’ll enjoy what Capcom has developed here.

One of the areas where I think Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite falters, though, is the roster. Both sides of the game get 15 fighters each, which amounts to a slightly underwhelming total of 30 combatants. This is the lowest amount of characters in a title in the series since the original MvC, although there are six (Black Panther, Sigma, Monster Hunter, Winter Soldier, Venom, Black Widow) additional fighters scheduled for release as DLC. I don’t want to get into the battle over DLC here, but considering that three of these characters make an appearance in the story mode (though not as combatants), it’s a little annoying that the roster is as slim as it is.

Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite Review

I’m also just not thrilled with some of the characters chosen for the roster in general. The Marvel side, whether due to internal pressure or not, has shunned the X-Men once again. Instead, we get a smattering of MCU all-stars both new (Gamora, Rocket) and old (Spider-Man, Captain America). There’s nothing inherently wrong with this approach, but there are so many Marvel characters out there, that it’s disappointing the roster is shaped the way it is. Same goes for the Capcom side of the roster, which is mostly filled with retreads. There are only two new fighters (Jedah and Mega Man X), and yet no one could find a replacement for Spencer? Or Frank West? Also, this was the perfect chance for someone from Power Stone to make their long-delayed return, and I’m upset Capcom missed out on it.

Much has been said about the graphics of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, and I can report that it does look better than it originally did. The levels look great, and most of the character models are at least accurate to their designs. There are still issues, though, particularly with the faces. Simply put, they’re pretty ugly. They sometimes move into that unfortunate uncanny valley territory that nobody enjoys. It’s something that’s particularly distracting during the cutscenes found in the story mode, where you want to focus on the ridiculous dialogue, but instead get distracted by Morrigan’s face. I think Capcom would have been better off sticking to the more stylistic look seen in MvC 3, rather than the more realistic style here.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite may not be a revolution for the long-running series, but it’s another solid release for Capcom. The action is easy to get into, thanks to some helpful tweaks, but holds untapped depth for those who are willing to put in the time. The decision to include a full-fledged story mode was also a good decision from the studio, even if its ridiculous nature may not appeal to everyone. However, the disappointing roster (which will be padded out with DLC) and inconsistent graphics hold it back from the upper echelon of the genre. Regardless, it’s nice to see the franchise return for another go-around, and hopefully, this marks the start of a renewed partnership between Disney and Capcom.

This review was based on the PlayStation 4 version of the game, which was provided to us by Capcom.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Review
Good

Capcom's popular crossover remains as enjoyable as ever, but a disappointing roster and off-putting visuals drag down the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite experience.

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