I got to give the Marvel vs Capcom Infinite Story Demo a spin yesterday. Arcade stick in hand, I walked blindly in to the chaos.
That isn’t entirely true, while I am by no means a veteran of the MvC series I can certainly hold my own and actually know what is going on. I took Marvel vs Capcom 2 for a ride back on PS2 and then took that very same ride online on Xbox 360 and PS3, I played MvC3 a lot when it came out but that has been it really, if you don’t count other games in the versus series.
Marvel vs Capcom is a fighting game series featuring heroes from both companies in team battles. It can be 3v3 but this game is 2v2 (bar some story sections), the game is much faster paced than something like Street Fighter and you are able to call in your team mate to assist you or to swap places with your character, allowing your original character to heal. Once you are both dead it is game over. Simple (in theory)
So on to Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, the latest game in the chaotic series. The demo itself is pretty straight forward, throwing you in to the start of the Story mode and making you fight 6/7 fights in a row against the braindead AI. This is good and bad, the AI being braindead means you basically have a training dummy to play around with, but unfortunately they can be KO’d.
Once I got in to the first game I instantly went back in to MvC2 mode and went for a fast combo followed by a launcher to a mid air combo then slamming them back to the ground, which worked exactly as I expected. This was a nice surprise but unfortunately took away 80% of my opponents health, a couple of accidental hits as I worked out my characters specials and they were dead. On to the next fight.
This changes the character again but I was quite quickly back in to the swing of things, calling in Assists and setting up specials to hit characters that were jumping in. Each characters Super attacks were suitably noisy and flashy but some of them were identical to MvC3, which is quite lame. Considering the huge amount of backstory and worlds these characters come from you’d think they’d be able to come up with something new.
The game feels snappy and familiar to anyone that has played MvC before, although quite simplified. I couldn’t tell if it was the lack of the third character or maybe I was missing something crucial but it definitely felt like there was a layer of complexity missing. The other element that was absent from my game time is a human opponent, but I don’t know how much that will change up how I feel.
Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite features auto-combos in the form of just mashing Light Attack. As you mash light attack a string of different attacks come out in a barrage. For the uninitiated, if you mashed light punch in Street Fighter, you could get the same punch animation and attack over and over. In MvC:I it will change up to be a varied combo every time, as long as the first hit lands. I’ve read online that these auto-combos don’t do optimal damage and level the playing field which is ok, but I can’t shake the feeling that they detract from the depth a bit.
So in conclusion (on the technical side of things) the game is fast and fun, but feels like it will get old quickly. It seems to lack a bit of depth that made the series fun.
The demo itself is story heavy, like really story heavy. I probably spent around 80% of my time with it watching cutscenes. The matches themselves would last about 30 seconds followed by 2 minutes of cutscenes. The story itself is pretty wank (to the surprise of nobody) and while I watched the entire thing all I can remember is Rocket Raccoon using Dante’s pistols because they showed that bit twice.
Most of the story consists of characters from either side saying each others names and that is about it. As you can imagine there is not really any reason for all these characters coming together and they don’t try to explain it. I don’t want to get nit picky over the story in a bloody fighting game but it seems weird to me that the whole game is about two universes coming together, despite Capcom’s properties existing entirely separate from each other usually. I’d be happy with no story mode if the versus mode was up to scratch but that is just me.
There are a lot of opinions online about the actual graphics/look of the game so I may as well through my two cents in. The performance is perfect, there is no slow down and you can see everything that is going on clearly. The UI is basic but it does the job, nothing more to say on that.
The actual art style is really weird, when the game is in motion it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad as it does online. It doesn’t look absolutely terrible just a little outdated and the vaseline smear filter over everything doesn’t help (the screenshot below is a good example of this). The stages themselves look nice, the colours are pretty muted but it helps the characters pop out more. The VS Demo at E3 uses a different lighting engine to the Story Demo, so the graphics are still being worked on.
Most of the characters look ok but a few look pretty weird. There are two in particular that look weird as fuck, Chun-Li and Captain America. They look like otherworldly husks, Chun-Li looks like a doll of herself. Like she is shrinking in to her own body. Captain America has like these weird bulbous features that looks like all his clothes are on too tight, like so tight any other person would be dead.
So all in all the game is probably too basic for the hardcore, but just right for the average player. The average player won’t enjoy how the game looks though. It is an odd one for sure but it appears to be a work in progress, I just hope it sees huge improvements before release.
If you’d like to form your own opinion, you can download the demo from PSN right now.