The fighting genre has long been a staple of comic book-based video games, having seen a recent revival with the DC Comics-centric Injustice: Gods Among Us and its follow-up, Injustice 2. Well, it's possible Marvel finally has a worthy competitor in its latest entry in the genre, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite. The most recent installment in the decades-long collaborative video game series with Capcom got the spotlight at a panel during Comic-Con International in San Diego -- and based on what was shown, it looks to give Injustice a run for its money.
While Injustice opted for a new story outside of comics continuity, game producer Mike Evans hammered home that Infinite will be rooted in the Marvel Comics mythos, as much as possible. "The most important thing to us is story," he said. Evans pointed out that at the beginning of the franchise in the '90s, the games relied on the Marvel Comics event of the day. "The Infinity Gauntlet had such a huge impact on comics. I loved that series...that was the first comic that showed me all these heroes lived together in the same universe..."
"This really starts twenty-five years ago, that's how long Marvel and Capcom have had this history. And go back to 1991-1992, the Infinity Gauntlet story...that really influenced Capcom and they wanted to make a fighting game about it, and Thanos is the final boss of the game, and there's even some panels from the game." On the giant view screens they projected a still of a cut scene from the original arcade game that showed Thanos revelling in his victory of obtaining the Infinity Gauntlet. "Just to see that ending, as a kid in the arcades, to see that panel brought to life, and the Infinity Stones and all those characters brought to life."
But of course, there's plenty of non-Marvel content in the game as well, since half of it is from the worlds of Capcom. And for Infinite, the creators decided to take a similar approach that evokes the old Amalgam Comics that meshed Marvel with DC, so the game has merged certain Marvel and Capcom characters and locales from their respective universes. For example, Marvel's iconic Rainbow Bridge (as seen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe version) is merged with the equally-iconic highway level from the classic Mega Man X.
Creative Director of Marvel Games Bill Roseman said there was a high priority to make the melding technique feel organic to the story. "We really thought about 'how does this happen?, what brought these worlds together? And what made this happen? How are they try and save the day, even though it seems defeat is all around them?' So from the beginning we just sat down and said 'what's the story?'"
Another location is Knowmoon, a combination of Knowhere (the hollowed-out head of a Celestial featured in Guardians of the Galaxy), and The Third Moon from Strider. Evans also highlighted the inclusion of NPC characters, one of which is from Strider. "That is a first for us, the addition of NPC characters."
Along with the locations, the villains are also amalgamations of characters from the two disparate properties, and the primary boss is Ultron Sigma, a merging of Marvel's Ultron and Mega Man X villain Sigma. And in typical fashion for maniacal A.I., he plans on improving all life by eliminating it and replacing it with robotics. This led to one of Evans' recount of his favorite story detail from the game, when "Gamora confronts Thanos to get an Infinity Stone," and she woos him "by saying 'if Ultron converts everyone to robots, you can't impress Death, there'll be no one left to kill.'"
The panel also showed off some new gameplay footage and cinematics from the game, including a team-up with Mega Man and Rocket Raccoon, in addition to footage of Devil May Cry's Dante getting pummelled by Ultron Sigma.
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite releases September 19 on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.