Mar­vel vs Cap­com: In­fi­nite

Two’s com­pany, three’s a crowd

PCPOWERPLAY - - Game // Review - Mike Hag­gar knows that strength de­feats mind!

Thestory mode in Mar­vel vs Cap­com: In­fi­nite is aw­ful. None of the games have ever re­ally had any­thing par­tic­u­larly great when it comes to a plot, but at least fights were against other char­ac­ters. In the story mode of In­fi­nite, play­ers spend most of their time fight­ing against ei­ther Ul­tron drones or As­gar­dians in­fected with the Sigma virus. Long story short, Ul­tron in­vades Abel City, breach­ing the bar­rier be­tween the Mar­vel and Cap­com uni­verses, merges with Sigma to be­come Ul­tron Sigma and uses the power of the Re­al­ity and Space In­fin­ity Stones to merge the two uni­verses to­gether so as to be able to erad­i­cate all life and im­pose me­chan­i­cal or­der on every­thing. And force peo­ple to fight wave af­ter wave of Ul­tron drones.

The cul­mi­na­tion of the story mode does see play­ers fight­ing against a suit­ably ridicu­lous fi­nal foe, but up un­til then it’s more of a slog than any­thing else, de­signed to shoe­horn in all of the ros­ter and do lit­tle more than that. It’s kind of awk­ward, then, that the ros­ter seems so piece­meal and unin­spired, with 30 playable char­ac­ters at launch and more com­ing as DLC later. On the Mar­vel side there is not a sin­gle X-Man or X-ad­ja­cent char­ac­ter, or any­one from the Fan­tas­tic Four mak­ing the su­per’s side of the equa­tion feel empty. The de­vel­op­ers stated that the ros­ter was cho­sen on the char­ac­ters Mar­vel was ac­tively push­ing or had plans for, but it seems more likely that some kind of li­cens­ing deal couldn’t be worked out with Fox to get the rights to the X-Men, Mag­neto, and many of the other char­ac­ters that were sta­ples in the pre­vi­ous Mar­vel vs Cap­com games. On the Cap­com side of things, the ros­ter is a lit­tle bet­ter, but Nathan “Rad” Spencer, or at least the dread­locked ver­sion of him from the re­booted Bionic Com­mando should never ap­pear in any­thing ever again.

The lack­lus­tre ros­ter also has one other rather large prob­lem. Many of the char­ac­ter mod­els look ab­so­lutely terrible. The more car­toon­ish char­ac­ters like Fire­brand, Arthur, X and Zero look fine, but the hu­man char­ac­ters (ar at least par­tially hu­man char­ac­ters) ei­ther look like they come from a pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion or look un­fin­ished. Dante in par­tic­u­lar look like the de­vel­op­ers for­got some shad­ing and tex­tur­ing, and Tony Stark’s face is a bit of a hor­ror­show when he raises the Iron Man mask to emote. The over­all im­pres­sion the pre­sen­ta­tion gives is that the game was rushed, but con­sid­er­ing the re­lease doesn’t co­in­cide with any­thing, that doesn’t make much sense.

De­spite the prob­lems with the ros­ter, the sin­gle player story mode and the pre­sen­ta­tion, the core of Mar­vel vs Cap­com: In­fi­nite is good. Very good in fact. Rather than the three on three fights of Mar­vel vs Cap­com 3, In­fi­nite takes it back to two on two fights, so there is no rel­e­gat­ing a char­ac­ter to be­ing noth­ing

Tony Stark’s face is a bit of a hor­ror­show when he raises the Iron Man mask to emote

more than an as­sist. As­sist char­ac­ters have been re­placed with an In­fin­ity Stone, and the im­ple­men­ta­tion is fan­tas­tic. Each of the stones has an in­stant power that can be used at the touch of a but­ton, or a more pow­er­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion that can be used once its me­ter is filled. Each of the six stones com­mands a dif­fer­ent power. Time, for in­stance, gives play­ers a quick dash when used with­out charges (an In­fin­ity Surge), but a charged use, also known as an In­fin­ity Storm, al­lows for eas­ier chain­ing of com­bos and faster char­ac­ter switch­ing to con­tinue com­bos. The Space stone In­fin­ity Surge pulls en­e­mies closer, and the In­fin­ity Storm traps the op­po­nent in a box for a short while, es­sen­tially negat­ing their abil­ity to zone or dodge.

The four but­ton fight­ing en­gine seems sim­ple but al­lows for some very deep fight­ing me­chan­ics. A sim­ple string of light punches will launch a ba­sic six or so hit combo with a popup, and press­ing heavy punch and heavy kick to­gether will launch a level 1 su­per move for ev­ery char­ac­ter, but don’t let the ap­par­ent sim­plic­ity fool you. This level of ac­ces­si­bil­ity gives ev­ery­one an in for dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters, but un­less you dig deep you’ll never mas­ter a char­ac­ter with sim­ple but­ton mash­ing. Char­ac­ter switch­ing is ex­tremely fast and this plays a huge role in fights, as not only do char­ac­ters re­gen­er­ate health when they aren’t ac­tive, com­bos can ei­ther be ex­tended or re­set with char­ac­ter switches, mak­ing for some big dam­age teamups. One of the po­ten­tially most pow­er­ful moves in the game re­quires the Soul stone and a char­ac­ter switch, as the Soul In­fin­ity Storm res­ur­rects a fallen char­ac­ter and they fight along­side the other char­ac­ter for a short while.

With any luck there will be some kind of Ul­ti­mate ver­sion of MvC In­fi­nite some­where down the track, with a bet­ter ros­ter and some much im­proved char­ac­ter mod­els. The game as it stands has a great fight­ing core that is very en­joy­able, but the mess it is stuck in makes fight­ing less ap­peal­ing than it should be. To add in­sult to in­jury, six ad­di­tional char­ac­ters (three of whom ac­tu­ally are al­ready in the game but are un­playable) are avail­able for $29.99.

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