Preview: ‘Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’ slowly coming together

Preview: ‘Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite’ slowly coming together

Since its inception, the story seemed inconsequential to the “Marvel vs. Capcom” series. All players had to know was that a slew of characters from the Marvel universe got mixed up in a fight with figures from Capcom’s most well-known games.

The mix was a heady concoction of high-level game design and over-the-top fighting. While that formula has worked in the past, the developers decided to change things up with “Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.” The latest chapter in the series doesn’t bear a number because the team sees it more like a reboot. First off, the biggest difference between the games of the past and the upcoming one is the lack of X-Men. One could chalk that up to the longstanding dispute between Disney and Fox over mutants.

The lack of characters from the X-Men universe could be seen as a detriment, but seen another way, it allows Capcom to work with Disney for a more cohesive universe, one that incorporates the Infinity stones. These powerful objects are tied deeply into the lore of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and as the “Avengers: Infinity War” draws closer, it makes sense to incorporate the MCU mythology more tightly into “Marvel vs. Capcom.”

This impacts the story mode the most and improves it by telling a more compelling narrative. I had a chance to go through the story mode, and it was surprisingly well done as players are immediately drawn into an epic conflict. Ultron and Sigma, two villains from the Marvel and Capcom universe respectively, have joined forces and have grown powerful because they possess both the reality and space stones. With it, they are able to mash together elements of Capcom and Marvel universe.

That’s how stages such as Valkanda come to be. It’s a combination of Val Habar from “Monster Hunter” and Wakanda from “Black Panther.” It’s also how the megaconglomerate A.I.M.brella comes to be. The stage full of bioweapons is a combination of Umbrella from “Resident Evil” universe and A.I.M. from the Marvel universe. The stages are full of fascinating combinations that rewards those who are familiar with either Capcom or Marvel properties.

In the campaign, the heroes are at a disadvantage. They are debating on whether to release Thanos to help them locate the remaining four Infinity stones. The argument escalates and the heroes fight among each other. It’s Chun Li and Iron Man against Dante and Captain America. Think of it as a Civil War 1.5. The confrontation comes to a head when the good guys realize someone has turned against them. That leads to another fight and the realization that the heroes have to release one of the worst big bads in order to survive.

The next parts of the campaign takes players to Valkanda and A.I.M.brella. That’s where the more intriguing parts of “Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite” lie. The developers take a page from NetherRealm Studios and mix up the rules for the Story Mode. In Valkanda, Ryu and Hulk have to defend the city after Ultra Sigma discovers it. They have to defeat a series of minions before the wall falls. In this battle, the walls is the ultimate health bar and players can see it dip down as more minions attack it in the background. Players will have to use a lot of damaging combos to make quick work of the adversaries.

Capcom takes a similar approach at A.I.M.brella. MODOK is busy making bioweapons and these zombie soldiers relentless come at players. It’s part of a boss fight where players have to defeat Nemesis and the endless bioweapon zombies it summons. Along the way, characters such as “Dead Rising’s” Frank West, Spider-Man and Haggar from “Final Fight” make an appearance and give players a taste of their moveset. Frank West and Spidey are particularly intriguing with the moves that essentially lets them stun opponents.

Along with the Story Mode, I had a chance to check out Mission Mode, which is a tutorial that teaches players most of the mechanics. It’s similar to the Trial Mode in “Street Fighter IV.” Players are given a certain set of moves and combos and they have to perform them to advance to the next one. It’s a good way for beginners to learn the basics.

From what I played, it seems as though Capcom learned from the release of “Street Fighter V.“”Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” gives players a complete experience with all the bells and whistles that they’ve come to expect. The release looks to challenge “Injustice 2” as the best superhero-themed fighting game this year.

“Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite” is scheduled for release Sept. 19 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.

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Published at Sat, 26 Aug 2017 04:28:45 +0000