Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Review – A Gem in the Rough
Marvel vs. Capcom is a franchise steeped in legacy. From the series origins with X-Men: Children of the Atom and Marvel Superheroes, to the main stages of EVO with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, these games have been praised not only for their dream team rosters, but also their deep and naturally chaotic gameplay. Fast forward, and the latest entry in the series may have dropped some of their fans favorite characters, but the core gameplay is still as fun as ever.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite blends two of its predecessor concepts: Teams of 2 instead of 3, and the Infinity Stones. On the character select screen, each player selects their team, followed by one of six Infinity stones. Each stone brings with it benefits that can be activated at will, such as a knockback attack that leads to a wall bounce, a dash that can be used for mix ups and avoiding attacks, and a homing projectile. As you use these moves the stone’s meter fills. Once it is at 50% you can activate an Infinity Surge, allowing for game changing attributes ranging from faster attacks, to resurrecting a dead ally. This replaces the X-Factor mechanic from MVC3, and can be activated multiple times within a match.
The tag mechanic has also been heavily altered. Instead of teams of 3, with one character out and 2 assist characters that can be tagged in, Infinite opts for a 2v2 tag anytime mechanic. This means that characters can be brought in and out at will, allowing for a greater variety of combos and mix up potential. This replaces assists, as you can perform a special move and tag in your other character, whilst still having the first character perform their special move. You can also call in a counter tag, whereby at the cost of 2 bars of meter you can tag in your second character while being when your assailant has you in a combo, to try and stop them.
Infinite does its best to cater to both hardcore and casual fans. Auto combos and easy hyper-combos are activated from the outset, but don’t do as much damage or have as much combo potential as ones you would find and execute on your own. The online system allows for rematch and search again options as soon as a match ends, meaning you don’t have to exit to a main menu after each bout. During my time online, I found games rather quickly, with only a few lagging, though it was very noticeable when they did.
Outside of Online, Infinite also has a mission mode to learn characters and general gameplay, a training mode, arcade mode, offline versus (both against player 2 and a CPU), and a story mode. Infinite’s story mode lasts roughly 3 hours total and covers the events that take place after Ultron and Sigma join forces to merge the Capcom and Marvel universes. Sadly, the story is filled with missed opportunities and awkward dialogue. While there are some interesting moments, I never felt engaged with the tale of some of my favorite comic book and videogame characters uniting. This is in part due to the game’s subpar presentation. Many faces and bodily proportions look strange, and much of the cast having returned from Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is disappointing, at the least they have been changed to give them a fresh feel.
With its sometimes horrid visuals and lackluster roster, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite appears to be a disaster on the surface. However, when examined up close, the makings of a fine and fun fighting game are easily seen. While the story mode may not draw in the biggest crowd, the robust gameplay and fun online offerings should keep fighting game fans marveling at the games infinite potential.
If you’d like to see gameplay footage, click here to watch as we go through a couple matches in the game’s arcade mode with Dante and Ultron.