It’s been more than five years since we’ve had a new Marvel vs. Capcom game. Sure, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is still relevant in the fighting game scene — just look at its fan-propelled addition to the EVO 2017 tournament lineup — but we’re ready for something new. We’ll finally get that something in 2017 — Capcom announced earlier this year that the next game in its franchise mash-up 2D fighting game series, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC on September 19. Here’s everything we know so far.
Out with the old mechanics, in with the new
From the gameplay trailer, we know we will return to the series’ staple of frantic and explosive combat, but not without some dramatic changes.
In the last two Marvel vs. Capcom games, players picked teams of three characters to swap between. As demonstrated by Mega Man X and Ryu versus Iron Man and Captain Marvel in the teaser trailer, Infinite will return to the two-versus-two combat of earlier “vs.” games. In the aforementioned Game Informer article, Mike Evans, Capcom director of production, said the change was implemented to make the franchise more accessible to casual gamers.
With the return to two-on-two combat, there will also be an interesting new mechanic. In addition to changing characters during any free moment, or at the end of an attack chain, you will be able to sub in your other teammate mid-combo. The goal, Evans said, is to promote a more “freeform” system of play. The conventional call-in assists and alpha/beta/gamma element types, which have been part of the franchise’s framework since its debut, have been removed, presumably to make way for the more expansive and seemingly versatile swapping feature.
Infinite will also see the return of the Infinity Stones from the Capcom’s Marvel-themed 1995 fighter, Marvel Super Heroes. According to a December, 2016, PlayStation Blog post, the six Infinity Stones — power, space, time, reality, soul, and mind — “can be implemented into players’ strategies as a way to influence the outcome of battle.” In the gameplay trailer, Ryu uses the power stone to up the damage in a lengthy combo, and Captain Marvel uses the time Infinity Stone to slow down time, allowing her to inflict a devastating combo. We don’t know exactly how the other four stones operate yet. Unlike Marvel Super Heroes, the stones will not be pick-ups strewn around the level; you will instead pick one ability before each fight.
Capcom has yet to say if the core six-button fighting control scheme will still be a fixture in Infinite, but with the number of structural changes already revealed, it wouldn’t be surprising if it deviates from the norm. In an interview with PlayStation after the Capcom Cup, Mike Jones, executive producer for Marvel games, said that in regards to performing combos, the team wants casual players to be able to “pick-up-and-play” the game with ease.
The prevailing mantra of all of the gameplay changes is to increase accessibility while also adding more depth for longtime fans of the franchise.
As for the sorts of stages you will use these refined abilities on, there were two clear-cut stages presented in the gameplay trailer. Capcom has also revealed that there will be “Avengers Tower” and “Throne Room” stages.
Who’s in it?
That’s the question on everyone’s mind. Roster is always a big point of speculation and excitement in upcoming fighting games, but it’s an especially big deal for a Marvel vs. Capcom game, where mixing and matching 2-3 fighters from beloved franchises is half the fun. Capcom showed off six playable characters in the reveal and extended gameplay trailers, and announced eight more via press release, bringing the total number of confirmed fighters thus far to 14. Another 13 appear to have leaked, with a user on NeoGAF listing a full roster that includes several unannounced Marvel and Capcom characters — one Capcom character is still missing from the list.
- Iron Man
- Captain Marvel
- Captain America
- Rocket Raccoon (possibly with Groot)
- Doctor Strange
- Mega Man X
- Morrigan (Darkstalkers)
- Strider Hiryu (Strider)
- Chris Redfield
- Sigma (post-launch DLC)
- Monster Hunter
When Capcom announced Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite at PlayStation Experience in December, 2016, it revealed four characters; Mega Man X, Ryu, Iron Man, and Captain Marvel. It’s a solid mix of veteran fighters and newcomers. Ryu and Iron Man have been in every “Vs.” game, going all the way to the 1996 crossover, X-Men vs. Street Fighter. Mega Man X has never appeared in a Marvel vs. Capcom title, but the original Mega Man was a playable character in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, and X’s partner, Zero, was in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Captain Marvel is a brand new addition to the series.
The first gameplay trailer, released shortly after the initial reveal during the 2016 Capcom Cup, revealed the return of Captain America and Morrigan, “Vs.” series staples.
Capcom has also revealed that series’ veterans Hulk, Thor, and Hawkeye will be included on the Marvel side, while Chun-Li, Strider Hyru, and Chris Redfield of Resident Evil 5 will once again be on the bill in Infinite.
Avengers nemesis Ultron is a brand new addition to the franchise, and along with the return of The Guardians of the Galaxy’s Rocket Raccoon confirms speculation that Capcom would introduce timely characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
According to an interview with Game Informer, creative director Bill Rosemann said Capcom is taking a “forward-thinking stance” with the characters in Infinite, which fans believe will lead to a Marvel roster comprising characters from the “Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
That concept, however, has led many to concerns that X-Men and Fantastic Four characters will not make the cut, since Marvel does not own the film rights to those franchises. X-Men characters, such as Wolverine, Magneto, the Sentinel, and Psylocke, have been longtime staples of the series. Rosemann didn’t specifically address these concerns, but he did ease concerns a bit by noting his desire to ensure all Marvel fans are happy.
“The heritage is not lost,” he said.
While they may not make final roster on release, rumor has it that some X-Men and Fantastic Four characters will be added to the game as DLC, according to NeoGAF user Ryce. Ryce didn’t reveal his or her source, but did successful predict that the game would be announced at PSX a week prior to the surprise reveal, which gives a measure of credibility.
In late December, Ryce also claimed that the game will allegedly include a Capcom villain who hasn’t appeared in the series as of yet.
Capcom has stated that more characters will be announced as we get closer to launch. Additionally, Sigma, of Mega Man X lore, will be one of at least six characters available as post-launch DLC.
Marvel-centric cinematic story
With the increased popularity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Capcom wants to ensure that Infinite does the Marvel name justice. “We want to make sure this game is dripping with Marvel,” Rosemann told Game Informer. To help accomplish this goal, the game include an expansive cinematic story mode.
Heroes and villains will work together to vanquish Ultron Sigma — an amalgamation of the Avengers supervillain and Mega Man X’s most prominent foe. Ultron Sigma is hell bent on spreading a cybernetic virus across all natural life. You can watch the formation of Ultron Sigma above in the new story trailer.
This will mark the first time for the series that we hear any information about how the two universes merged.
Single-player and online game modes
Infinite will still also have additional single-player arcade, mission, and training modes.
As for online functionality, Capcom is gearing up to promote Infinite as an eSport. The game will feature ranked matches, global leaderboards, and spectator modes, setting the stage for tournament play.
Casual matches will also be available in the online portion of the game. Although not confirmed, we expect for the game to feature local multiplayer, as most fighters, including previous entries in this franchise, do.
Get ready for an Unreal fight
Most Capcom games released over the better part of the last decade have relied on the company’s in-house MT Framework engine, including Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. For this generation of consoles, Capcom originally planned to use its new Panta Rhei engine. However, the recent use of a proprietary, custom engine in Resident Evil 7 suggested otherwise, and Infinite will continue this trend.
To get the most out of the cinematic experience, Capcom has opted with Unreal Engine 4 for Infinite, and from the two brief clips we’ve watched, it looks like a fine decision.
When can you form your new fighting duo?
Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite will launch on September 19 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A deluxe edition of the game will include the 2017 character pass, netting you Sigma and the other five currently-planned DLC characters post-launch. A $200 collector’s edition of the game will include the character pass as well as four character dioramas (Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Mega Man X, Chun-Li), six Infinity Stone replicas, and a SteelBook case.
If you pre-order the standard edition, you’ll receive Warrior Thor and Evil Ryu costumes, deluxe edition pre-orders grants you access to those as well as Gladiator Hulk and Command Mission X costumes.
In the meantime, Capcom recently ported Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC to tide you over.
Updated on 5-31-2017 by Gabe Gurwin: Added full character roster following leak on NeoGAF
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