Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite (PlayStation 4) Review

By Az Elias 13.11.2017

Review for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite on PlayStation 4

All sorts of rumours and claims cropped up before and after the release of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, suggesting a short development time and tiny budget resulting in the end product that was put out last month. Either way, the almost non-existent marketing meant some fans of the highly-regarded Marvel vs. Capcom 3 didn't even know this game was coming out just weeks before it was due to. It is probably a good thing the developers opted not to label this "Marvel vs. Capcom 4," because Infinite, whilst fun in parts, is a low point for the crossover fighting franchise.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite doesn't even try to impress or excite players for what's contained within from the very first moment. No flashy cinematic intro movie; just an unwelcoming, plain, black title screen with the game's logo slapped in front of it. The main menu itself is even worse, with randomly-placed character art in front of a still background that any pre-teen could have slapped together, the load times are long, and there is even lag on the character selection screen and before a match begins. It is this weak presentation that stands out throughout the entire game.

Gone is the comic book style of past entries, which fit perfectly for this crossover that features such iconic Marvel superheroes as Spider-Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk. In place is a generic and unimaginative Unreal Engine 4 "modern" style that makes characters seem out of place in the battle arena. Some fighters made a poor transition over to the new engine, most notably Chun-Li and Dante, whose faces needed major work and were only updated due to fan backlash. Even now, they aren't fixed, but have been improved from the original awful designs.

Screenshot for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite on PlayStation 4

The reusing of assets is extremely apparent, and this even extends into entire moves. If it wasn't for the art style, the average viewer wouldn't be able to tell the difference between the specials of characters like Dante over their MVC3 versions, since they're almost exactly the same. The art direction is a big miss, and in trying to go for a more realistic approach designed to target the masses, the game loses all the charm and appeal of past iterations.

What of the character roster? Bad. Thirty characters might not sound poor on the face of it - it's more than many fighting games launch with, actually - but given the huge selection on offer in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (read our PC and Xbox One reviews), it's a disappointing showing. Disputes about rights has seemingly led to the astonishing absence of any X-Men characters, but there is a total lack of stepping it up to compensate. No Viewtiful Joe, Amaterasu, Albert Wesker, Vergil, Trish or Phoenix Wright on Capcom's side? Just four female characters in total in the entire base roster? Come on.

Screenshot for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite on PlayStation 4

It's shocking, really, and it only gets worse when taking into account that it is quite clear that characters were held back from the starting line-up to be released as download content only a matter of weeks later. Black Panther, Monster Hunter and Sigma all appear in the story mode, yet all three have since come out as DLC. It's a business practice that spits in the face of fans, and while other fighting games are collaborating and bringing high-profile guest characters into the fray to strengthen and prolong their lives (Noctis in Tekken 7, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Injustice 2), Capcom is failing to even put their own big names in this latest MVC entry, or chops them out to be resold for extra cash.

This all sounds pretty negative, but that's because it is. MVC: Infinite puts out a confusing message as to who exactly this is designed for. Things have been really stripped back to draw in newcomers, such as the fact this opts for a two-team approach over the previous three-character one, and allowing easy combos to be pulled off with simple button mashes - and that's not really a bad idea at all. The game plays pretty fun for the most part, and the Infinity Stones add an extra layer to even the playing field a little, allowing a player to pick a stone that makes up for where a character lacks. The real issue is in how there is almost nothing to do.

Screenshot for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite on PlayStation 4

Hardcore fighting fans will naturally find the online and training modes to be all they need, but even for them, there is a distinct lack of modes on offer. To say this is meant to appeal more to the casual crowd, it won't hold their attention for long when all they can do is play the arcade mode over and over with not a single character ending as a reward. The story mode is laughable (in a bad way), as its seriousness and repetitive fight after fight against the same old robot drones and possessed Vikings grows boring fast. Where is the survival mode, or an option to turn off Infinity Stones, or just any other mode to add a bit of variety?

The results are telling in this unfortunate example of a game that never looked like giving back to the fans that have been supporting and clamouring for the fourth title for so long. MVCI shouldn't be overlooked entirely for what it can deliver, but only for the right price (a bargain price) and only if keeping expectations well in check.

Screenshot for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

For some hardcore fans and for some casual players, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will do the job. The online and training modes are there for the former, whilst the arcade and accessible gameplay is there for the latter, but it doesn't make an effort to go all out and do all it can for both sets of players. Add to this the inexcusable locking out of characters as DLC, the weak overall roster, and rubbish presentation, and it is clear Capcom didn't want to put the effort into what could have been a great revival for the series. No doubt Infinite will still have appeal when it comes to the esports scene, but in the face of stiff competition, this one is likely to fall by the wayside before too long.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

Genre

Fighting

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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