I want to be candid here and say that I have only played Marvel vs. Capcom 3 in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, and I didn’t like it. I had friends that loved the series, but I couldn’t get into it. I’ve never been a fan of any Capcom fighting games, including the Street Fighter series. Even though I am a big Marvel superhero fan, I was more of a Mortal Kombat and Dragon Ball Z Budokai gamer. With Infinite releasing a demo for E3 2017, I decided to give the series another chance.
First thing first, the graphics are a mix bag. Despite the bright colors in the visuals, everything else appears really bland. Not necessarily bad, it just lacks much personality or charm. Some of the characters look off, specifically the human-like characters. Both Chris Redfield’s and Chun-Li’s character models look weird, especially compared to the better character designs. Chun-Li’s face is rightfully ridiculed on the internet for how bad it looks, especially given her appearances in other games. Other characters look great; X’s and Ultron Sigma’s appearances are actually really cool. The demo only showcased two stages and they are also mostly lame, having the same bland aesthetics as some of the worse character models. At least the colors also look nice in these stages.
The demo centers on a certain part of the story, where the Marvel and Capcom characters assault Ultron Sigma’s castle in XGard, a twisted version of Asgard from the Thor comics. They come to the castle to free Thanos, who has been kept prisoner by Ultron Sigma. I really hated that there was no story mode in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, so I was initially really happy they incorporated one this time around. With NetherRealm Studio developing some really engaging story modes in their fighting games, it was the right choice for Capcom to try the same for Infinite.
With that said, the story, of what we were given, is awful. The dialogue is so cringey, with every character talking to each other as if they been best friends their whole lives. It doesn’t work and feels really awkward. Scenes with Rocket Raccoon using Dante’s pistol should be awesome, however it comes off stupid and forced. The story so far feels like a Saturday morning cartoon, and not in a good way. The Marvel and Capcom characters do not really gel together especially since not all the Capcom characters gel with one another either. It is hard to see Chris Redfield, one of the heroes of the ultra-violent (and mostly cheesy) Resident Evil video game series, in a setting like this. It is especially harder to swallow picturing him interacting with not only characters from the Marvel series, but from Capcom as well. Having him fight along with characters like X, who has a more anime-base design, makes the more realistic Chris seem out of place.
Fortunately the gameplay is really fun in Infinite. It is easier to pick up than their past games, which may irk fans. Personally I found the past games in the series to be too hard, and very unrewarding when you are able to do anything. Infinite makes combos easier to do, and the fighting is much faster than MvC 3. The quick pace of the fights highlights the graphics at its best, with characters looking very smooth when they are in motion. We get to see everything they do and they all move how you would imagine. The story sadly only allows you to sample a small amount of characters, so you never get to properly get used to any of the characters.
Tag-team is back from the previous entries, yet this time it is only two characters per team, rather than three. You switch between two characters with one of the front triggers on your controller; you essentially take control of two characters in each match. It is a shame they lowered the amount to two rather than keep the usually three character teams. While I personally never cared for it, the three-character teams were staples of the series for years. I do not think Capcom needed to lower it to two players if they wanted to draw in a more casual crowd, as I feel like any player can handle the three-character teams.
Each team has one of the infinity stones; the stones with nearly unlimited power. Each stone has their own skill; for instance, once fully charged, the space gem confides the opponent in a small box. The opponent is stuck in that box for a limited time while the user of the gem is allowed to attack them anywhere on the stage. The infinity stones add in a fun x-factor in the matches, even if they come off as overpowered.
One of most noticeable shortcomings in the demo already, which will be an issue once the full game is released, is the roster choice. Since the game is based more on the current Marvel Cinematic Universe, all the X-Men characters appear to have been dropped. There probably won’t be characters like Wolverine, Storm or Deadpool in the game once it is released. It really sucks, especially since there have been many leaks suggesting of what the main roster will be. Base on the leaks, the roster looks terrible. Capcom will need to really fix the roster through updates and downloadable content, as the roster at launch is looking to be one of the worst rosters in the entire franchise.
Despite all the negative response the game is getting, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite is actually a very fun game to play. The graphics are not the best in Capcom’s library, and the story as shown in the demo is really bad. The demo also doesn’t really allow you to play one character for too long, so you never grasp how to properly play the game at its fullest potential. The gameplay is thankfully really fun, and it does make me want to pick the game up at launch. It may anger some fans of the series and hardcore fighting game competitors, yet I do like the more casual approach Capcom is taking. I just hope they add better characters (X-MEN!) sooner rather than later, or else the game may not last long outside launch.