For most of the past two decades, Capcom's Marvel fighting games have been the pinnacle of video game comic book combat. Filled with dizzying combos and special moves, games like 1994's X-Men: Children of the Atom and 1995's Marvel Super-Heroes gave fans the opportunity to really let loose as their favorite Marvel heroes for the first time. When those heroes crossed over with characters from Street Fighter and Capcom's other franchises in titles like 1999's Marvel vs. Capcom, Capcom found an unlikely combination of exciting fighters that helped define an era of fighting games.
Thanks to the inner machinations of Marvel's parent company, Disney, 2011's Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 went without a sequel for years until some licensing issues could be sorted out. Although DC Comics' heroes took over the superhero fighting game world with NetherRealm Studios' Injustice franchise, Marvel's heroes are looking to reclaim their crown with the highly-anticipated Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Now, CBR takes a closer look at Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. In this list, we'll be looking back at what we know about the game from Capcom's official statements and examining some rumors that hint at the game's future, before and after its release across platforms on September 19th.
15 STORY MODE
One of the biggest differences between Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and its predecessors is the addition of Story Mode. Over the past few years, features like this have become a big part of well-received fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Injustice: Gods Among Us. In these modes, players use a rotating cast of specific fighters to play a pre-determined set of matches that unveil a game's official story.
While Capcom's fighting games have never really been plot-driven, this new game will feature a robust Story Mode with two hours of cinematic cut scenes. In MvC: Infinite's story mode, players will take control of tag teams of fighters and face off against other AI-controlled fighters and nameless, unplayable drones. According to Marvel Games Creative Director Bill Rosemann, this emphasis on story is part of a larger effort to make the game appeal to casual fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
14 MARVEL AND CAPCOM MERGE
In Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite's actual story, the worlds of Marvel and Capcom will come together in a way that they never have before. The game's primary antagonist will be Ultron Sigma, an amalgam of Sigma, the robotic villain of Capcom's Mega Man X, and Ultron, the Avengers cybernetic foe. Using the Infinity Stones, the villains will try to merge their two universes into one dimension where they'll try to assimilate all organic life.
That dimensional convergence will also be reflected in MvC: Infinite's combined fighting stages. Instead of taking place in famous locations from each universe, most of the game's fights will take in mashed-up stages like Xgard, a combination of Marvel's Asgard and Mega Man X's Abel City. The game will also feature A.I.M.Brella headquarters, where Marvel's mad scientist group A.I.M. and Resident Evil's Umbrella Corporation have been combined into a mad scientist super-group.
13 THE MARVEL ROSTER
Upon release, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will feature about 30 playable characters. As usual, the roster will be evenly split between Marvel and Capcom's fighters. Marvel's cast of fighters will draw almost exclusively on characters who are related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the exception of the returning Nova, Richard Rider, every playable Marvel character has already appeared or is set to appear in one of Marvel's live-action productions.
Along with returning icons like Spider-Man, Dr. Strange and Iron Man, MvC: Infinite marks the debut of a few newer Marvel favorites. Before Captain Marvel hits theaters in 2019, Carol Danvers' cosmic hero will make her Capcom debut as a major force in the fighting game. Guardians of the Galaxy's Gamora will also make her Capcom debut, along with one of the game's main villains, Ultron. Black Panther will also join the fray as a downloadable character in 2017.
12 THE CAPCOM ROSTER
Capcom's side of the roster features a mix of returning favorites alongside some more obscure characters who haven't appeared in years. Even though the last Mega Man X game was released in 2004, the futuristic Blue Bomber and his mythology play a major role in the game's narrative. While Mega Man X's ally Zero is one of the game's returning fighters, Mega Man X is one of the game's new fighters, along with his arch-nemesis Sigma, who will be released as DLC later in 2017.
Street Fighter's Ryu and Chun-Li will continue their streak as the only characters to appear in every Marvel and Capcom crossover game. Many of Capcom's other MvC regulars like Strider Hiryu, Darkstalkers' Morrigan and Devil May Cry's Date are also set to appear. The only other new fighter set to make his franchise debut is Jedah Dohma, the relatively obscure antagonist of 1997's Darkstalkers 3.
11 WHO'S NOT IN THE GAME
While Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite might be launching with over two dozen characters, none of them are X-Men. In a controversial decision that made headlines, franchise regulars like Wolverine and fan-favorites like the mutant-hunting Sentinel don't make an appearance in the game. The game also doesn't include other Marvel fighters like Dr. Doom, She-Hulk and Shumah-Gorath, who haven't been introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet.
While both sides suffer from a limited number of villains and female fighters, Capcom's roster is made up of a relatively motley crew that's light on recognizable icons. There are only two Street Fighters in MvC: Infinite, and franchise veterans like Akuma, M. Bison and Zangief. While other characters from their respective franchises are included in the game, the original Mega Man and Resident Evil's Jill Valentine also didn't make the cut.
10 NEW COMBAT MECHANICS
In an effort to appeal to a wider audience, Capcom has created a simplified new combat system for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Instead of the three-fighter teams the franchise's previous entries have used, players will use two characters in MvC: Infinite. Traditionally, players could call on one of their other characters to help out with a quick assist. This mechanic has been removed in favor of an "active switch" feature, which allows players to toggle their primary fighters and allows for tag team combos.
MvC: Infinite will also feature a simplified way to trigger the franchise's trademark air combos and dizzying hyper combos. "Auto combos" can be triggered by repeated button mashing. Furthermore, players can sacrifice part of the special meter that powers their hyper combos to break free of an enemy's attack. Even with these changes, early demos have shown the franchise's frenzied fighting action remains recognizably intact.
9 INFINITY STONES
Although he's one of the most feared characters in the Marvel Universe and the villain of 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos will be helping Marvel's heroes in Marvel vs. Capcom: Ultimate. While he'll play a role in the game's central narrative, Thanos' favorite objects of power, the Infinity Stones, will play an even more important role during gameplay.
In a nod to a similar mechanic in Capcom's 1996 fighter, Marvel Super-Heroes, players will be able to use the Infinity Stones to give their fighters a temporary boost on the battlefield. After selecting one of six Infinity Stones, players will be able to use an Infinity Surge attack based on the Stone's abilities at any time. After filling up the Infinity Meter, players can use the more powerful "Infinity Storm," where, for example, the Space Gem limits the movement of the player's opponent.
8 MARVEL VARIANT COVERS
Even though Marvel and Capcom have been working together off and on for decades, it's always been a fairly one-sided partnership. While Capcom has made games with Marvel characters, Marvel hasn't really published comic books with Capcom characters. The first official Marvel vs. Capcom comic book, Frank Tieri and Kevin Sharpe's Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, was only available with a special edition of that 2011 video game.
For Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Marvel is releasing a batch of variant covers featuring the game's fighters in August. The 20 covers will feature work from a mix of Marvel and Capcom-affiliated artists including Dale Keown, Todd Nauck, Will Sliney and Edwin Huang. Along with a set of Iron Man and Mega Man X action figures from Hasbro, there will be more Marvel vs. Capcom merchandise on store shelves than there's been in years.
7 PRE-ORDER EXCLUSIVES
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will be released in a few different editions with various pre-order exclusives. The Standard Edition, which retails for $59.99, will feature two "premium" alternate costumes, Evil Ryu and Warrior Thor. The Deluxe Edition, which retails for $89.99, offers early access to Sigma, Black Panther and four other DLC characters and adds another two premium costumes, Mission Command Mega Man X and the Thor: Ragnarok-esque Gladiator Hulk.
For the truly extravagant player, there's also the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite Collector's Edition, which retails at a whopping $199.99. Along with all of the Deluxe Edition's exclusives, this edition comes with a "premium character diorama" that features Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Mega Man X and Chun-Li in combat. It also comes with a light-up replica of all six Infinity Stones for the amateur universe conqueror. The PlayStation 4 version of the game also has an exclusive Captain Marvel costume.
6 THE SHADOW OF STREET FIGHTER V
Back in 2016, Capcom's Street Fighter V received moderately positive reviews, but its release didn't exactly go off without a hitch. The game's story mode was unplayable until five months after its initial release. Online play was plagued by server issues, and the game was criticized for a relatively small roster. While addressing all of these issues, Capcom CEO Kenzo Tsujimoto even apologized for putting out an "incomplete" game.
With the release of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, Capcom is determined not to repeat the same mistakes. Capcom has already showed off the game's Story Mode in a widely-released demo, and has assured players that there will be plenty of single-player content on day one. They've also cut out cross-platform multiplayer play to help ensure smooth interactions online, according to producer Mike Evans.
5 NEGATIVE BUZZ
After Sony's presentation about Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite at the 2017 E3 conference, Capcom released a free demo of the game's Story Mode. While this move initially surprised and excited players, it generated more than a little bit of negative buzz for the upcoming title. Even in its unfinished state, players criticized the game's excessive loading times, off-model character designs, awkward animations and a thin plot that didn't measure up to contemporary titles like Injustice 2.
Although it was a demo, players still criticized the limited selection of characters and features that allegedly hid the game's finer points. While demo players were limited to the playing the Story Mode's first few fights against weak opponents, other players had the chance to play a more polished version of the game at various conventions throughout the summer. Some of these players left with considerably more optimistic takes on the game.
4 THE DAY ONE PATCH
One of the more frustrating aspects of modern gaming is the dreaded day one patch, where games must download occasionally massive updates as soon as they're placed in a console for the first time. While they may be a supreme inconvenience, they give developers a chance to tweak their games until the last possible minute. At 2017's San Diego Comic-Con, Capcom announced that it would be releasing a day one patch for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite to address some lingering issues with the title.
As it stands, the main problems with MvC: Infinite have to do with character designs, specifically, Chun-Li, Dante and some of the other Capcom fighters. As many players have pointed out, some characters have dead-eyed, unnatural faces that look worse than the same characters did in games that were released a decade ago.
3 RUMOR: JANE FOSTER AND MILES MORALES
As one might expect, almost every character featured on one of the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite variant covers is set to appear in the game. As of this writing, those covers depict two prominent Marvel characters that haven't been mentioned in relation to the game at all, Jane Foster's Thor and Miles Morales' Spider-Man.
NetherRealm Studios' Injustice 2 featured several DC Comics characters who were only in the game as premium skins for the game's existing fighters. For example, Captain Cold is one of that game's main fighters, but a Mr. Freeze premium skin transforms that Flash villain into Batman's icy foe. Since the original Thor and Spider-Man are already in MvC: Infinite, some players are wondering whether Jane Foster and Miles Morales could be included as premium skins for those characters. Alternatively, others are wondering if Jane and Miles could eventually be included as DLC characters.
2 RUMOR: WHY THE X-MEN ARE GONE
According to producer Mike Evans, the official reason that the X-Men aren't included in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is that modern players "don't remember" the X-Men. Considering the X-Men's continuing multimedia success and lasting cultural footprint, that explanation didn't hold water for most fans. Within the comic book community, a popular rumor suggests that Marvel limited the number of licensed X-Men and Fantastic Four products since they don't hold the movie rights to those characters.
Before the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, producer Ryota Niitsuma insinuated that Marvel didn't let Capcom include the X-Man Cyclops in that game. With all of these factors in mind, some fans have wondered if Marvel kept the X-Men from appearing in MvC: Infinite. Since a number of licensed products featuring the X-Men have been released over the past year, some are now wondering if the X-Men might be released later as DLC characters.
1 RUMOR: DLC CHARACTERS
As with any modern fighting game, the Internet has been filled with baseless speculation about who might appear in the game's final roster. While these lists have ranged from completely wrong to eerily accurate so far, a consensus seems to have formed around the belief that Venom will be one of the game's DLC characters. Characters like Ant-Man, Captain Commando and Winter Solider have also been rumored to be possible fighters.
Another rumor suggests that MvC: Infinite will feature themed DLC packs of characters. One batch of this DLC would supposedly feature Darkstalkers and Fantastic Four characters like Dr. Doom, Felicia or She-Hulk. That same rumor suggests that the next group of DLC characters would feature Street Fighters and X-Men like Cyclops, Wolverine and Deadpool. Only time will tell whether there's any merit to these rumors or if they simply took readers for a ride.
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