Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Review

Richard Walker

Whoever had to come up with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite's story had a fairly thankless task ahead of them. Each character needs to be given its due time and attention, and how in the hell do you convincingly put Hulk in a world with Ryu? Traditionally, the Marvel and Capcom universes have needed only the most perfunctory of excuses to have a fight, but Infinite not only sees the brands coming together and interacting in a proper narrative for the first time, but the two worlds have also been mashed up. So Asgard becomes Xgard, Umbrella becomes A.I.M.brella, Wakanda becomes Valkanda, get the picture. The resulting narrative is a decent distraction, but it's not exactly a valid reason to get involved with the latest entry in the Marvel vs. Capcom saga.

As it is, the story is a fairly standard procession of fights as Ultron Sigma (the fusion of Avengers villain Ultron and Mega Man baddie Sigma) seeks to seize all six Infinity Stones and infect all biological life with the 'Sigma virus'. Your job as a subsection of Earth's Mightiest Heroes and a bunch of Capcom icons like Ryu, Chun-Li, Morrigan, Mega Man X, Dante, Frank West, Arthur from Ghosts n' Goblins and a host of others, is to stop this from happening at all costs. Obviously. While presenting a mostly enjoyable, if slightly silly and throwaway few hours of entertainment, MvC's story mode presents no real longevity. As ever, it's in the staple modes that you'll find the real meat of the game.

Mega Man X shows some Ultron drones who's boss.

Therefore the best argument for picking up Infinite is to enjoy another fireworks-laden ruckus, a simplified but no less deep and frenetic fighting game that welcomes all-comers with new shortcuts that mean anyone can pick up a controller and bust out some combos. Taking its cue from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the art style is slightly more realistic (or rather, about as realistic as a Marvel vs. Capcom game can be), eschewing the riotous comic books stylings of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for something more grounded, though still remarkably colourful and pretty to look at. And the game itself is all about accessibility, Easy Hyper Combos mapped to two face buttons pushed together, while Auto Combos can be performed by mashing a single button.

Infinite's roster might also be smaller too, sticking to characters from the MCU, which means no X-Men (that means you too, Deadpool), no Fantastic Four, and none of the best villains like Doctor Doom, Magneto, Super Skrull and Taskmaster. New additions like Marvel big bads Ultron and Thanos, alongside Jedah from Darkstalkers, Captain Marvel and Guardians of the Galaxy's Gamora help flesh out the ranks a bit, yet there's no escaping the fact that despite there being 30 characters to choose from, it feels somewhat lacking next to the all-encompassing rosters of past MvC titles. Of course, you can expect the roster to grow when DLC starts coming out – Black Panther and Monster Hunter already feature in the game in non-playable form.

Add to that the scaling back of 3v3 tag fighting in favour of 2v2, bereft of the numerous crossover combos and team-up abilities that you could call upon in MvC 3 (save for Active Switch combos, which aren't really the same), and again, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite could have felt like a pale imitation. But the truth is, the game stands on its two feet as something different, and there's a reason it's not called Marvel vs. Capcom 4. It simply isn't. Clearly Infinite is a spin-off that's aimed primarily at fans of the Marvel movies rather than the comics, and there's still the beating heart of a great Capcom fighting game under the hood that offers plenty of new stuff to experiment with.

Infinity Stones are the primary 'new thing', introducing a fresh mechanic to get to grips with, and they're nothing that muddies the waters when it comes to that all-important accessibility. Choosing from Power, Reality, Soul, Space, Time and Mind, each stone has its own properties that can come in handy during a bout, be it trapping your opponent in a box using the Space Infinity Storm, or filling the screen with deadly projectiles when unleashing a Reality Storm. Tapping L1/left trigger prompts an Infinity Surge, which is often a quick attack that knocks your rival back, or in the case of the Time stone, you can zip across the stage in a blur of green light. You can spam Infinity Surge as much as you like too.

The Soul Infinity Storm allows you to bring both fighters on-screen at once, resurrecting the other if they've been downed, which also allows for double the Hyper Combos if you've enough bars stored up (to a maximum of 4). All of this applies across Infinite's various modes, including the multi-stage Arcade mode – no story, just fights and then a boss – Training and Mission mode, where there are dozens of objectives to complete from a simple Tutorial to character-specific tasks. Then there's local and online multiplayer, the latter offering ranked or casual matches with leaderboards, spectator mode, replays and such.

Thanos + Infinity Stones = bad.

At time of writing this review, we were unable to get an online game going, however. So unfortunately, we can't tell you whether the online bit is actually any good just yet. As soon as we've managed to connect to an online fight, we'll let you know all about it. But as you'd expect, all of the usual modes are present and correct. We'll update this review as soon as we've delved in and had a poke around all of the various online bits.

Feeling more like a stop-gap than a true sequel, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is nonetheless an enjoyably deep and engaging fighter that also embraces newbies with accessible Auto Combo and Easy Hyper Combo options. The story is a nice addition, but not exactly essential, and the introduction of Infinity Stones brings something unique to the party. But it's the core fighting experience here that will keep you coming back for more, and thankfully, it's in this department that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite manages to deliver once more.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

With Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 still the bigger and arguably better game, you might wonder why MvC: Infinite exists at all. After extended play, the reason is clear. Fans of the MCU ought to get a kick out of it, while fight fans of all skill levels will find something to like too. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is a fun and accessible fighter that still has hidden depths to be mastered. It's good.

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A who's-who of video game voice actors provide solid performances, while the music fits the bill. You know what to expect: repetitive one-liners, lots of noises. It's a fighting game.


Some of the characters might look slightly odd (although Chun-Li's wonky face from older builds has been fixed, thankfully), but overall the visuals are pleasingly chunky and colourful, while the various backdrops are also suitably nice to look at.


Some might baulk at the simplification of some of Marvel vs. Capcom's key game mechanics, put as a 'come-on-come-all' fighting game, they don't come much more welcoming than Infinite. Besides, the onus on accessibility doesn't mean it's necessarily any easier to master.


While the roster has been pared down compared to Marvel vs. Capcom et al., 30 characters is still a lot, and the suite of modes covers all of the bases. The presentation is superb too. You could argue that it makes more sense to just buy Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 instead, though.


A fairly predictable list that cribs from MvC 3 and adds in a few new objectives involving the story and Infinity Stones. There's a good spread here, however, and just the right amount of challenge and grind. Not bad.

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