Inside Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite: A Fighting Game For Everyone
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite had one of the bigger showings of E3 2017, delivering exciting 2-on-2 crossover battles that grabbed the attention of both casual comic fans and competitive fighting game players. If its developers have their way, both groups will be hooked for a long time to come.
I had the chance to speak to Capcom's Mike Evans and Peter Rosas about the upcoming tag-team brawler, which lets players duke it out as iconic characters such as Captain America, Thor and Mega Man X. The big takeaway? Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite wants to be a fighting game for everyone, whether you're a crazy combo scientist or just want to have fun mashing some buttons.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite finally gives the long-running fighting franchise a proper story mode, which is one of several features built to widen the game's appeal.
The setup is appropriately silly: Robotic bad guys Ultron (of Marvel fame) and Sigma (From Capcom's Mega Man X games) have fused together to wipe out all organic life, forcing folks from all over the Marvel and Capcom universes to join up and fight back. Based on the game's latest trailer, things get so desperate that our heroes call on the help of an unlikely ally: galactic mega-villain Thanos.
"It's been really great to see players who are typically intimidated by fighting games able to pick this up and do cool stuff" - Peter Rosas, associate producer at Capcom.
Capcom worked closely with Marvel on the game's narrative, which was penned by veteran games writer Paul Gardner with oversight from Marvel Games' creative director Bill Rosemann.
"We were going through script revisions, roundtable readings, we did storyboards... [Marvel's] been in the process from the beginning and it's been a pretty fantastic collaboration," said Evans.
A Fighter For Everyone
As a Marvel vs. Capcom veteran, I quickly got comfortable performing flashy air combos and powerful super moves in Infinite. But what impressed me more was the game's potential to appeal to folks who don't have years of experience playing Capcom's infamously chaotic fighting series.
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"It's been really great to see players who are typically intimidated by fighting games able to pick this up and do cool stuff," said Rosas, who was a prominent tournament competitor before joining Capcom. Speaking of competitors, fighting game pros such as Justin Wong and Michael "Yipes" Mendoza attended E3 to get their hands on the game, and Rosas says they like what they see.
"The more experienced players are coming up to me and saying, 'I'm seeing it. The Infinity Stones, the character combinations, the switch system. It's all crazy — I love it!'" Rosas said.
Capcom vs. Graphics
Fans are certainly having fun with Infinite's gameplay, but to say folks are split on the game's graphics would be an understatement. The internet is already flooded with tweets and memes criticizing the game's new look, which trades in the comic-book art style of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 for a more traditional 3D aesthetic.
"I know some people are partial to the comic book look, but we've gone in a more cinematic direction this time," said Evans. "We feel like what's important is that [the style] separates it as its own unique thing within the versus series history."
Evans also stressed the importance of keeping the game running smoothly amidst all the chaos, which, to the competitive scene, is far more important than making sure each character is brimming with detail.
"What you'll notice is that even though we're rendering four characters simultaneously with all these crazy effects, we haven't toned down any of that bombastic Capcom feel," Evans said. "It's still crazy over the top."
While I'd like to see Capcom polish up some of Infinite's rough edges, I'm absolutely sold on the way it plays — and seeing the company's commitment to both hardcore and casual audiences certainly helps.
Image Credits: Capcom
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