Title: Marvel vs Capcom Infinite

Platform: Windows, PS4, Xbox One

Reviewed on: Windows

Genre: Fighting Game

Players: Single player, Multiplayer Vs. (Online and Local)





Written by Bad Demoman 17th October 2017
























Marvel vs Capcom is a very important series to the Fighting Game Community - almost rivalling Street Fighter. Marvel vs Capcom 2 was one of the most prevalent games in fighting game eSports for years, and Marvel vs Capcom 3 was many people's first foray into competitive fighting games - myself included. With its flashy graphics watching a fast paced Marvel 3 match is like being a kid in an arcade, seeing all the flashing lights and standing in awe. With its huge cast of characters from two well-loved companies, it had wide appeal. It was truly something quite special. So the announcement of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite obviously had many excited, especially after it seemed like the series had been nixed by Disney. So can it live up the the Marvel vs Capcom legacy?


Before the game was even released, graphical concerns were apparent. Chun Li was particularly infamous for having a face that looked like it had been given a massage with sand paper. Surely, an absolute disservice to such a loved character. Thankfully, this has improved - marginally. Some characters look fantastic - Jedah, who has never been represented in 3D before, is a perfect rendition of how I’d imagined seeing his sprite, even down to the somewhat glossiness to his model. The new DLC characters in particular look like they’ve had a lot of time, care and attention put in. However, Marvel vs Capcom Infinite is inconsistent in quality - for every character that looks amazing, there's a meth-head Dante or an Iron Man who looks like he’s had Robert Downey Jr.s face pasted on top (Seriously, when the Xbox 360 Iron Man game looked better, you know there's an issue). With stages, there was potential for some really interesting stuff. Each one is a combination of iconic places from Marvel and Capcom - Asgard has been combined with the city from Megaman X, for example. However, stages are bland and uninteresting. Sure, some might say they’re not the most important thing for a fighting game. But when Injustice 2 and Killer Instinct (games that I’m not huge on, but can recognize their merits) can have dynamic stages that make every fight feel so much more exciting, it’s disappointing to see the concept fall flat on its face.


























The story has been lauded from the start, and while I enjoyed it at first, the campy cheesiness starts grating quickly. Mild enjoyment turned to a struggle to finish, and jarring interactions between the two universes makes things all the worse. Each character seems to be paired with another for the glut of their interactions, and while Hulk and Ryu helping each other fight off a huge Monster Hunter beast was probably the highlight of the whole thing, awkward pairings like Frank West and Spiderman feel forced, and the characters have very little in terms of chemistry. Thankfully, no content is locked behind completion of the story like some games do, so giving it a wide berth is your best bet.


Perhaps this lackluster story could’ve been improved by some noticeably missing characters that Capcom have proven in the past they have an excellent hold of. I would’ve loved to see Wolverines cynical contributions to each ridiculous situation, or even Deadpool lampooning the whole situation. It would’ve made the ridiculous tonal shifts a little more tolerable, from Morrigan hitting on Ghost Rider to Gamora and Strider competing with each other for title of edgelord. Speaking of the cast, it almost feels like Disney may have had too much of a say in that regard. Most the Marvel cast is whatever’s popular or upcoming in the cinematic universe, and there's a complete absence of anything owned by Fox - so no X-Men, or even Dr. Doom, iconic of the series with his finger lasers and foot dives.



























So far I’ve been overwhelmingly negative about Infinite, but there's one area where it truly excels - the gameplay. After all, that’s the real draw of any fighting game. With a departure from the 3 vs 3 style from previous installments and the removal of Assists, which often made games very complicated and filled the screen, a degree of complexity has been removed - but this means that space can be filled back up with just plain great fighting game mechanics. You don’t have to build a whole team around one devastating assist, and only having to learn 2 characters means each one can be more complex. While MvC3 has characters that felt like one trick ponies, Infinite has fully realized representations. I hate to come back to him again, but Jedah really is the perfect example of how great the characters are designed. He feels incredibly satisfying to use with his sweeping scythes and unconventional yet intuitive movement. This is also the case for most of the rest of the cast too. The button layout is a little odd at first, especially for those used to MvC3s simplistic Light-Medium-Heavy-Launcher setup, but if you’re willing to put the time in it leads to an enjoyable variety of options to use. With the tagging system, you can bring your partner in at any point , even during your combo to carry on, which feels fluid and it’s easier to use than MvC3s strange Rock Paper Scissors system for mid-combo swap ins.While any fighting game has its stronger characters, until you reach the highest level of play each character has a well defined role, and as a result the game feels pretty well balanced bar a few minor exceptions. The only area that gameplay falls flat for me is the Infinity Stones. It’s an interesting concept, and far better as far as comback mechanics go compared to MvC3s much lauded “X-Factor”, but it feels a little gimmicky and most players tend to just go for the Reality Stone, which adds a tracking projectile to any characters arsenal.


All of this comes together to provide a smooth fighting game experience, helped greatly by the fact that the games online systems are extremely well designed. Lobbies allow 4 games simultaneously, so no longer will you be waiting in a huge queue of other players. As soon as you’re done with a match, you can get right back into searching for another game with a few button presses, rather than going through scores of menus like some games. All this, with a fantastic netcode that can withstand all but the laggiest of matches. Unless your internet is truly awful, you’ll be able to duke it out online to your hearts content.


























Marvel vs Capcom Infinite perhaps isn’t the game we’d all been hoping for. The visuals might not be stellar, and the story is cheesy garbage, but the element that really brings fighting game fans together is the fast-paced enjoyable gameplay. In this, Marvel vs Capcom delivers in spades. Unfortunately, it’s joined a market where even Street Fighter 5 is the least of its concerns for competition - Tekken has never been stronger, and even more niche titles like Guilty Gear and BlazBlue are proving a difficult hurdle. Still, Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite provides an enjoyable experience to both new players and old, and has a slightly lower entry bar in terms of skill than its counterparts while still having enough depth for the die-hard players.



Pros:

A recognizable and varied cast,

2v2 Fast-paced Fighting,

Easy to learn, Hard to master.


Cons:

Inconsistent and jarring visuals,

Truly atrocious Story Mode,

Infinity Stones feel gimmicky.


Final verdict,

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite gets a 7/10.


Written By,

Bad Demoman



    
















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