Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Review
Combining the worlds of Marvel and Capcom once more, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite tries its hand at creating something different. The fleshed out Story Mode and Infinity Stone mechanic might be new to the series, but are they enough to make this fighter stand out?
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Review
Those who have been throwing down to 2011’s Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be shocked at how much Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite dials things back. The health management, Advancing Guard, and basic combat are similar, but a number of cuts were made. The three-on-three bouts are now down to two people a side, the game-changing X-Factor system is out, the launching button is no longer present, and there are even fewer fighters to choose from. The more you play, the more you see stripped out – there are no character specific endings for each character, there is no opening video, and even the menus have basic text that makes everything look cheap.
Even the stylized comic-book look has been taken out in lieu of a bland look that is devoid of personality. It makes things considerably worse when looking at each character – the cartoony Arthur looks out of place when placed alongside heroes like Captain America. Not much detail was paid to faces or hair either – Captain Marvel’s flowing locks look plastered on, and Frank West took a few hard knocks. There are mobile games that look better than the early PlayStation 3-era graphics here.
Gameplay is more or less what you’d expect from a Capcom fighter. Players are given two punches and two kicks to do as they will, and can use quarter-circle and other motions to do special moves. Things move at a swift pace with multi-hit combos being the norm, though the game can be a little uneven if somebody gets the first strike.
Things are varied up a little bit with its new Infinity Stone mechanic. Before battle, players can choose from one of six different stones, each with a different ability. With these stones, players can use Infinity Surge and Infinity Storm attacks, both of which are powered by a dedicated meter. Infinity Surge attacks are one-off moves that allow you to do things like launch attacks or move quickly, while the more robust Infinity Storm attacks allow you to do things like up your attack power or box your opponent in. Put simply, these abilities are cheap. It feels like a handicap, and can often feel like the equivalent of somebody using cheat codes. Sure, both sides have access to these abilities, but it does not make for a balanced game.
It is easy to see that the majority of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’s development went into its Story Mode, but it plays out like bad fanfiction. The Convergence brings the worlds of Marvel and Capcom together, and both sides must team up to fight the evil Ultron Sigma, find the Infinity Stones, and put an end to the Sigma Virus. Locales are mostly made up of two different locations mixed together, like “A.I.M.brella” or “Xgard,” and feel half-hearted. There is no originality to speak of here, and all relations between the cast and crew play out like fanbait. Lasting around three hours, it mostly consists of you wandering into a new area, fighting off the drones or one of the bad guys (or doing some in-fighting), and then doing the same thing again elsewhere. This is the stuff tight deadlines are made of.
Outside of the Story Mode, there’s not much else to do. There is a Battle Mode that has you fighting against a friend or the CPU for a set amount of battles. A Mission Mode is also available, tasking you with specific things to do. Online has your typical Ranked and Casual modes, along with a ranking system powered by Rank Points you can use. Unfortunately, it is laggy and finding a match is difficult.
There are some bugs present in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite as well. The pause menu would hang around in combat on more than one occasion, blocking the view of the fight. The only way to get out of this is to reset the game, which can get annoying.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is by far the weakest entry of the series. Everything from the roster to the mechanics to even the graphics are a huge step back, making it an easy pass for all but the most diehard fighting game fan.