Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite does very little to grip you at first due to a ridiculously cheesy introduction that sees iconic characters being introduced in true cringeworthy form. The series on the whole has always been a bit silly as far as the plot is concerned, but here in particular it feels far too stuffed with “look at me, look who I am, look at what I’m doing” rather than relying on a solid well paced setup. It’s not a good first impression, but fortunately it picks up the slack from there on out. We’re not in the business of giving away too much of the plot, so I’ll dance around that as best I can. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite sees the collision of both titular universes thanks to Ultron Sigma, a fusion of Avengers villain Ultron and Mega Man antagonist Sigma. Ultron Sigma plans to utilise all of the Infinity Stones and infect biological life with the Sigma-virus, and it’s up to the heroes of the aforementioned universes to put a stop to the madness.
Despite a very weak opening the story does unfold into a surprisingly enjoyable experience. There’s plenty of genuinely intriguing and equally as hilarious moments throughout the six hour story mode, and heaps of fan-service thrown in for good measure. One complaint I have is aimed at the interfering loading screens, and although they’re not lengthy, they do frequently pop up to a noticeable degree. Capcom have had a lot of work on their hands with the promotional run for this game, having to readdress facial features for certain characters as well as trying to win over the crowd with the roster that’s on offer. Sure there’s some fighters that are absent from the roster, but with the upcoming arrival of Black Widow, Venom, Winter Soldier, and Monster Hunter (due out later this year) grouped with the current fighters, the cast is diverse enough to uphold the story and see the overall experience through.
It is however a shame that we don’t get to see some modern versions of the characters within, instead we have Resident Evil 5’s Chris and Devil May Cry 3’s Dante, rather than the more up to date versions. This isn’t a huge complaint but it’s certainly something I assume fans will take issue with. Nevertheless and as alluded to above, the story mode stands strong on its own. It allows engagements between several characters to play out quite fiercely and fun, with the narration often dipping into the backgrounds of each fighter to a pleasing degree. The ending is easily the best chunk of the story and most certainly leaves us wondering just what the hell can happen next.
If you’ve not been keeping up to speed with your MvC news, you’ll be surprised to learn that the 3v3 combat from previous entries has been dialled down in Infinite to 2v2. This design choice gives you more manageable control over the fields of play, whilst retaining the chaotic gameplay formula that the series is well known for. What this means is that Infinite is much more accessible for newcomers and returning fans alike, and although the latter of that spectrum may need some time to adjust to the new mechanics, Infinite has been crafted in such a way that it’s not overly hard to bond with regardless as to whether you’ve enjoyed previous installations or not.
Infinity Stones play an integral part in the flow of the combat, being that each of the stones house a unique ability. Mercifully the use of these stones are well implemented, ensuring that they don’t feel either out of place or overly devastating throughout. If anything the functionality of the Infinity Stones makes Infinite feel more tactical and somewhat strategic. You can use specific stones to beat down your foes with more powerful attacks, you can trap your enemies, unleash deadly projectiles and even bring both fighters into the fray at once. There’s a good balance within and the stones thankfully don’t tug too hard on the core experience.
Mission mode is a great place to start out as it offers an in-depth tutorial that will feed you the basics of play. Not only that but it pushes you into trying out increasingly difficult attacks and combos with each fighter. I found myself constantly going back here to sharpen my skills and I did indeed feel all the more better for it. This comes alongside other modes such as Training and Arcade, which as you have likely guessed typically consists of several fights that are capped off with a final boss battle. There’s no shortage of content to soak up, with multiplayer support for both online and local play rounding the package off nicely.
Online play allows you to lobby up and enjoy casual or ranked matches against other players and although there were some long waiting times whilst seeking out a match, I fully suspect that this will be remedied once the game globally launches and the servers begin to populate. There’s an added mode that you can dive on to play against new players, which serves itself quite well at giving you the chance to ease into the swing of competitive online brawling. Group that with the simplified yet robust combat system that makes combos, chains and special moves all the more accessible, and there’s every chance that MvC: Infinite will stand alongside some of the finest fighting games available on current gen consoles.
The visuals aren’t anything to write home about but there’s no denying that it looks like a great fighter when all the action is kicking off. The design of the game on the other hand is an entirely different beast, dishing up some excellent stages that are captivating to the point of distraction. I cant fully commend the voice work but for the most part, many of the actors portray their characters with a solid performance. It’s the writing that doesn’t do the voice work much justice, and again, especially during the opening of the story. Regardless, in the face of everything that MvC: Infinite gets right, these small issues aren’t enough to pull the experience short of greatness.
MvC: Infinite is a solid entry that serves up a decent amount of content and fighters, but it doesn’t come without issues. The story opening is ridiculously cheesy and cringeworthy, which is a shame because much of what follows is well rounded and genuinely intriguing. The game is further hampered by excessive loading screens, but mercifully they don’t hang around too long at each given time. The visuals are upheld by some excellent level design, but they truly drop the jaw when action fills the screen with a plethora of colours and animations. Having played prior to release I cant confidently state that the online fields of play will hold up under the weight of a global player-base, but from what I tested out, online play seems steady and reliable. The combat is more accessible in this installation and the inclusion of the Infinity Stones makes for interesting somewhat tactical gameplay mechanics. This isn’t the best fighting game on the block, but it’s certainly high on the list and one that I fully recommend.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.