We go hands on with the upcoming fighter.
Once all of the dust had settled on developer Capcom’s Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite‘s long awaited fighting game; and we come to the painful realization that the game does not launch with any X-Men in sight; what’s left is a game filled with familiar and unfamiliar characters, dowsed in fighting mechanics that anyone can learn how to use. For those who know nothing of fighting games, there’s a valuable button-mashing mode; and for those who are already skilled, well, button mashing may not be enough to save you.
It’s always interesting to see a slew of comic book characters meet video game characters for an all-out battle royale. And Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is no different. The roster this time around looks a little more movie-based than previous versions of the game, however. Marvel’s side seems to focus heavily on the Avengers (from the comic book series of the same name), and namely those from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (MCU) specifically. With the likes of Hulk, Hawkeye, and Rocket Racoon, Marvel fans from all walks of life should enjoy what the Marvel roster has to offer.
For those fans who are missing famous X-Men characters from previous version such as Cyclops, Psylocke, and (the ever famous) Wolverine… Well, tough luck. This game is heavily focused on the Marvel Heroes (and villains) showing up in film rather than what’s accepted in the comics. For Capcom fans, the roster isn’t going to be too drastic of a change. There will be the additions of Chun-Li (Street Fighter), Hiryu (Strider), Chris Redfield (Resident Evil). And the bad guy behind the curtain is none other than Ultron Sigma — a combination of Ultron from Marvel and Sigma from Mega Man X series.
"Before each battle you have the ability to choose one of the game’s cornerstones: an Infinity Stone power."
The preview version only a handful of stages available and what was there looked intriguing. The Throne Room is drenched in gold with massive statues on either side; a series of stairs leads right to the golden throne itself; this background is beautiful, but feels a little small. Another new stage is Avengers Tower. This stage again feels dense and not open. There’s a really cool holographic image of the world in the background with computers lining the set. Each stage is very bright and colorful or dark and moody depending on what you select. Even if some of the stages feel a bit claustrophobic, they do look nice and well crafted in what feels very authentic to the comics.
Within the preview version there were 21 characters to choose from — but we know more will come upon release and/or with DLC. I decided to go with Chris Redfield and Rocket Racoon. Since the game is designed for 2v2, it’s awesome to be able to pick more than one character at a time. I learned that Chris Redfield is a bit slower but when I switched to Rocket Racoon the game was on. Rocket is small, short, and fast. His gun comes out during special combos and his body is so small it’s hard to hit. Even as the developer was trying to attack me with special moves, I could just stand there and many of the moves would just fly over my head without damaging me.
So each character has a wide range of abilities when it comes to speed, agility, and strength. What is same from each character is the initial move set for each of them. There is no high, medium and low attacks within Infinite. It’s all based on the four face buttons of high kick, low kick, high punch, low punch. However, there are slight variations for each character, but if you know one character, then you will have basic knowledge on every character thereafter. Combos don’t take more than mere seconds of practice or once you learn them from the menu screen. There’s also the ability to change your character to a button-masher. Turning this on will allow any button set to be an instant combo.
" I doubt the graphics will be cleaned up in time for release so I guess we’ll have to live with them."
Before each battle you have the ability to choose one of the game’s cornerstones: an Infinity Stone power. These powers can be activated upon charging a bar with any given character in the game; and they charge by hitting or getting hit. So no matter what, they charge almost constantly. Each power is pretty cool and fun to play around with. One of the stones I chose changes any button into a combo (so pretty much the button-masher’s option). As well as one that traps my opponent in an energy box and allows me to hit on them for a short period of time.
The characters in the game…I must admit they look rather underwhelming graphically. Mega Man X looked great, but others such a Ryu, and Captain America (and many others) looked like clay that had been mushed up and formed into a game character. The faces were often weird looking and can’t stand up to the beautiful hand-drawn-appearance of characters and backgrounds of previous games.
Overall, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is shaping up to be a fun fighter. However, the hits and combos were just too easy to come across and made me feel too powerful. The infinite stones were pretty cool, and the roster is nice, save for no X-Men (or Spider-Man). I doubt the graphics will be cleaned up in time for release so I guess we’ll have to live with them. But this game should quench the thirst of those looking to rid that bad taste of Street Fighter 5’s launch.
This game was previewed on the PlayStation 4.