For those that weren’t able to attend the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year (like a few of us), Capcom was more than ready to provide a little taste of its forthcoming beat-em-up Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. During the Sony E3 press conference, the company announced the release of a new Story Demo for the game, giving you an idea of what’s to come with the extraordinary battle between the Marvel?Capcom elite and the unstoppable Sigma Ultron.
Surprisingly enough, the demo provides ample opportunity to get hands-on with several characters from the series. You’ll be able to test drive a number of characters that will be in the final cast, including Nathan Spencer from Bionic Commando (the new remake), Thor, Chun-Li, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Mega Man (in X form), Sir Arthur (from Ghouls n’ Ghosts), the Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon, and a handful of others. In each scenario, you’ll find yourself fighting against a slew of Sigma Ultron’s robotic minions, before getting a chance to show your stuff against the big guy (guys?) himself – only to be easily outmatched.
The demo does a good job of presenting the scope of the cast from Infinite, as it begins to tell the story of Sigma Ultron’s domination over the world, with his many robot forces trying to dismantle enemies. This forces Captain America and his crew of heroes – including Marvel and Capcom characters alike – to try and formulate a plan to stop him. That includes sending Resident Evil’s Chris Redfield, with Rocket Raccoon by his side, off to another dimension (with help from Doctor Strange) to find a new recruit. They do – and it’s none other than Thanos.
Still Work To Be Done Visually
Story-wise, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite moves at a pretty brisk pace, between a series of fights that get you caught up to speed on just how powerful Sigma Ultron is. That said, it ends way too soon, with the demo indicating that the heroes have run for cover in a hiding place, leaving this new villain free reign over what’s left in the world – and that could spell bad news for the journey ahead.
One thing that some folks couldn’t help point out was the new art style that Infinite has, whether it was how “bad” Chun-Li looked compared to her appearance in Street Fighter V, or the odd stares that characters like Chris Redfield and Dante from Devil May Cry give in some cases. It’s true, it could use a little more work, but keep in mind that the demo is a work in progress, and Capcom still has a few months to polish things over before the game’s release in September.
That said, the fighting action still looks good, moving at a brisk pace of 60 frames per second, and packed with some great animations, especially when you launch into your super attack (by pressing both of the shoulder buttons at the same time, once you have the proper energy). The backdrops also look like something ripped out of a Marvel comic book, whether you’re fighting in a torn-apart cityscape (no doubt the work of Sigma Ultron) or in an underground catacomb, where Chris and Rocket find themselves nearly outmatched by robotic forces. (Of course, guns do well to even the odds, as you might expect.)prevnext
The Gameplay's The Thing
As for the gameplay, it’s gone through a few slight changes to make the game more approachable for casual games, as it’s fairly easy to put together combos by tapping the light punch and kick buttons. That means going into an attack, and then launching into the air for even more hits. It’s also pretty easy to block and set up proper counters, thanks to the new Infinity strike button, which is situated on the left shoulder button. You’ll want to use it sparingly enough so that your regular attacks are effective, but it’s neat to launch either a counter or a dash attack that can help you out of a jam.
That said, there are sure to be options in the final game where it’s more of a challenge to the Marvel vs. Capcom veterans that have grown accustomed to how the gameplay was before. Capcom hasn’t clarified what options will be available, but they have to be there. This wouldn’t be a definitive game in the series if it was too easy, after all.
Most of the mechanics work just fine. Launching a cool Infinity gem technique is rather cool, whether you’re slowing down time to lay a pounding on your opponents, or trapping them in a box (like Sigma Ultron is prone to do) and hitting them with attacks from the ground or above. Also, did we mention he’s a pain in the ass? Because he is.prevnext
A Ride Worth Taking -- It's Free, After All
As for character swap-outs, they feel more natural than ever before. With a trap of the right shoulder button, you can call in your partner almost anytime (when they have the OK signal), either mid-combo or if you need a quick defensive counter to an enemy’s attack. It’s easier than hitting two buttons at once, though veteran players might need to get used to its new placement.0comments
Overall, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite could use a little touching up, like with options for more experienced players and with some of the character designs (Dante from Devil May Cry has become quite the meme joke as of late), but there’s a stable enough fighting system here that’s worth checking out. It still feels like a Marvel vs. Capcom game, and there are gameplay techniques that rookie players will easily enjoy. Plus, the scope of characters thus far is fascinating, especially with characters that haven’t seen their own game in years, like Ghouls n’ Ghosts’ Arthur and Bionic Commando’s Spencer. When are they coming back again?
We’ll see how the final game fares when Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite comes to kick butt on September 19th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. You can check out the free Story Demo on consoles now.prev