Two legendary worlds collide
The next evolution of Capcom’s frenetic crossover fighting game series has arrived on PS4 and Xbox One. Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite packs 30 fighters—half from Capcom video games and half from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Fan-favourites like Captain America, Chun-Li, and Thor are joined by newcomers Captain Marvel, Ultron, Mega Man X, and more.
As well, this is the most accessible entry yet with simpler gameplay and an assortment of offline single-player modes. With that said, let’s take a closer look at what MVC: Infinite has to offer.
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Before diving into the meaty parts this game, it’s important to know there are two versions available. The first is the regular edition, out now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox One Digital Download. This gives you access to the full game, including all game modes and the entire starting roster of 30 characters.
Your other option is the Deluxe Edition, also available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Xbox One Digital Download. This edition contains the full game, plus the 2017 Character Pass featuring six additional characters. If you want the most complete edition with all the latest roster updates, this is the version to get.
If you bought the Xbox One regular edition you can also upgrade with the Xbox One Character Pass Digital Download. This will give you a redeemable code to download the six new characters added this year.
Play through the Story Mode
Whenever I start playing a new video game the first mode I usually check out is the single-player Campaign. I love good stories and especially enjoy learning about characters and the circumstances surrounding the game. I was particularly excited about MVC: Infinite‘s story because, well, it combines two of my favourite universes. Spider-Man teaming up with Mike Haggar? Morrigan having a flirtatious moment with Ghost Rider? Rocket Raccoon asking Mega Man what batteries he takes? Heck yeah, this story did not disappoint.
The main conflict revolves around Marvel’s Ultron and Mega Man X’s Sigma, who together conspire to bring about the “Convergence.” This event fuses the Marvel and Capcom universes together and brings about some pretty unusual circumstances. The largest of which is, of course, Marvel and Capcom characters now exist together in a new converged universe. The blending goes a lot further though as locations and organizations from both worlds merge into something familiar, yet new. For example, Final Fight’s Metro City and Marvel’s New York City combine to form a hybrid metropolitan call New Metro City.
Defeat Ultron Sigma
The Convergence also results in the birth of a brand new supervillain: Ultron Sigma. He has the consciousness of Sigma and the near-impenetrable adamantium body of Ultron. Using the Sigma Virus he plans on infecting the Earth (and other realms), turning its inhabitants into a controllable army. In order to accomplish this, Ultron Sigma collects two Infinity Stones, and sets his sights on the remaining four.
As the Marvel and Capcom heroes, it’s your job to put an end to Ultron Sigma’s evil scheme. The story’s full of fun, wacky partnerships from both sides, with Hulk and Ryu being my runaway favourite. You’ll also visit some interested mash-up locations like A.I.M.BRELLA, and the Thor/Mega Man X world of Xgard. There is one significant damper though and that’s way too many drone fights. At least half the fights in the story are against Ultron’s bot army, which is a bit of a disappointment. I would have liked to have seen way more superhero vs. supervillain confrontations.
Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite takes the controversial route of simplifying its gameplay, but I’d argue it’s for the better. For starters, the game reintroduces a true 2-vs-2 tag fighting system, as opposed to 3-character teams like the last game. Further to that, swapping characters now happens instantly at the push of a button, regardless if you’re on the ground or in the air. You can even start moves with one character—say Ryu’s Hurricane Kick—then call-in your ally for a double attack. This helps keep the fighting fast and furious, staying in tradition with the series.
The gameplay has also undergone some transformations to make it easier for newcomers. You can now perform a lengthy auto-combo by simply tapping the light punch button several times. As well, powerful auto-super attack (which use one bar of your Super Gauge) are done by pressing Heavy Punch + Heavy Kick. And to make things even easier, the exact same button combinations are used for basic combos across all characters. So once you’ve mastered a combo input sequence, repeating it with other characters is a snap. This is a great step forward for the series.
Deeper competitive challenge
So the basics are easy to grasp, but does the game offer deeper gameplay for highly competitive gamers? There answer to that is a resounding yes. The easier-to-pull-off combos happen to be the weakest, so learning advanced combos gives you a huge competitive advantage. Furthermore, with instant teammate swapping the ability to chain attacks two-person attacks is near limitless. For example, you can initiate Chun-Li’s Spinning Bird Kick super move, then switch to your other character and start an auto-combo—while Chun-Li is still finishing her attack.
Essentially, the auto-combo and auto-super moves give new players a fighting chance against more experienced players. But with practice, competitive players will learn to unleash more powerful combos dealing significantly greater damage. It’s a fair, rewarding system to feels right for all skill levels.
As the game’s title implies, Marvel Universe’s Infinity Stones make their long-awaited appearance. There are six in total and you’re able to equip one of them before a match. Each stone offers a basic “Infinity Surge” benefit, such as the Power Stone bouncing opponents off the wall. Infinity Stones further possess a more powerful “Infinity Storm,” which in the Power Stone’s case raises your attack power.
Overall, I’m extremely impressed with how the Infinity Stones integrate into the gameplay. I didn’t find any of them to be overpowered, and they add interesting new twists into battles. It’s also possible to block or counter Infinity Storm attacks, which keeps matches fair and rewards good block timing.
Variety of game modes
Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite features numerous game modes to keep you playing. For single-player you have the Story mode, Arcade mode, Missions, and Training. Missions I found the most interesting as they offer 10 challenges for each character. The first few missions teach you a character’s basic moveset and easy combos. Later Missions dive into more challenging combos including launching, chains, and air juggles. Missions is the best place to go to learn new skills to prepare for online battles.
The game’s Online feature are pretty standard for fighting games these days. You have Ranked Match, non-ranked Casual Match, a Beginners League for new players, and lobbies. There are also global rankings to see how you compare with players from around the world. Finally, a Replay area lets you replay your fights to improve your performance and study other players. The netcode for MVC: Infinite seems pretty solid—from my testing the online experience was smooth and lag-free. If you do happen to run into performance issues, you can always choose your opponent’s connection strength.
Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite delivers fun, frenetic gameplay that feels great. The Story mode has plenty of highlights, including neat pairings and hilarious dialogue. The character animations are excellent, too, but unfortunately some character faces look a little off. The good news is MVC: Infinite delivers where it matters—it has superb gameplay and intense battles. This is one of Capcom’s finest fighting games yet.
+ Very balanced gameplay
+ Great visual effects
+ Story moment has its funny moments
+ Infinity Stones add more strategy
+ Online play is smooth
– Too many drone battles in the Story
– Roster lighter than previous games
– Animations are great but character models are just OK
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5