All it takes is checking out a few YouTube reaction videos to see how excited—and shocked—fans were to see Capcom announce Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite at PlayStation Experience 2016. Of course, once the excitement died down, the terrible truth sank in: We would now have an excruciating wait until the game’s release. To help pass a little of the time until that fateful day, we’ve dug through all of the information released since the game’s reveal to give you a clearer picture of what to expect when the game hits this year.
What we know we know
What are the basics of the gameplay? By far the biggest change here is the switch from 3-versus-3 to a 2-versus-2 format, harkening back to the original Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes. Tagging in and out between your characters will be instantaneous, in part to facilitate the stringing together of combos (in similar fashion to Street Fighter X Tekken). Meanwhile, the Delayed Hyper Combos last seen in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will be making a return. What won’t be returning, however, are assists. Control-wise, Eurogamer recently confirmed that the game will utilize a six-button layout, consisting of light punch, heavy punch, light kick, heavy kick, a button for triggering your current Infinity Stone, and a button for tagging in your other character.
But will I be able to play it? If you’ve ever watched any of the Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 tournaments that have taken place in recent years, you’ll know that the game can seem fast, chaotic, complex, and decidedly newbie-unfriendly. In an interview last March with Gamesindustry.biz, however, Capcom Europe COO Stuart Turner called Marvel vs. Capcom a “great introduction to the genre,” one that’s “far more simplistic and technically easier to pick up and play.” While Turner didn’t specify Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite by name in that statement, those and other comments he made do hint that Capcom wants the game to be accessible for a wide segment of fans—including those who love the Marvel universe—and not just fighting game die-hards.
That echoes what Marvel Games executive producer Mike Jones said about MvC: Infinite late last year, when he noted that the game would be “more elegant and simplified” while remaining as “complex and hardcore” as previous titles in the franchise. Plus, we’ve already seen the publisher try to ease the barrier for entry in Street Fighter V, so continuing that mentality of making a fighter that’s easy to learn but hard to master with Infinite wouldn’t at all be surprising.
In a decision that may end up being somewhat controversial to more hardcore fans, players will be able to unleash a combo string simply by mashing light punch, which will then knock your opponent into the air and continue the combo there if you keep hitting the button. As well, you’ll be able to press light punch, light kick, heavy kick, and heavy punch (one after the other in order) to unleash a universal combo string, or hit heavy punch + heavy kick to trigger your level one hyper combo. While some fans may argue that this makes the game too easy for lesser-skilled players, we expect that—like other fighting games such as The King of Fighters XIV that have employed auto-combo systems in recent years—these types of shortcuts will produce far less damage than doing things the more traditional way. And, don’t worry: all of these shortcuts will be options, so longtime players can still rely on more traditional techniques for unleashing moves or combos.
What Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite cast members are known so far? At the game’s reveal during PlayStation Experience 2016, we saw the reveal of four characters: Iron Man and Captain Marvel on the Marvel side, and Ryu and Mega Man X on the Capcom side. Right after that, we got the announcement of two additional characters: Captain America and Morrigan. Then, in April of this year, nine more characters were unveiled: Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, Rocket Raccoon, and Ultron for Marvel, and Chun-Li, Strider Hiryu, Chris Redfield, and Sigma (from the Mega Man X series) for Capcom.
Will there be a season pass? As part of the April information update, Capcom announced that the game will be launching with a 2017 Character Pass. While no price nor exact launch date has been revealed for the pass just yet, we do know that it’ll give players the ability to play as Sigma and five other yet-to-be-named characters following MvC: Infinite‘s launch.
What modes will be available in the game? It seems Capcom has learned their lesson from the release of Street Fighter V, as MvC: Infinite will have a variety of both single-player and multiplayer content on the disc from day one. At launch, players will have access to full Arcade and VS CPU modes, a cinematic story campaign, Mission Mode (a collection of smaller objectives that’ll act as tutorials as sorts for the game’s fighting engine and individual characters), a database about both the Marvel and Capcom universes (which unlocks as you play), Ranked and Casual online modes, and online lobbies with the ability to spectate matches.
What are the basics of the game’s storyline? While the finer details of what players can expect as they make their way through the cinematic storyline is still shrouded in mystery, we at least know the core of the story: after forming an alliance in their quest to purge all biological life, Ultron and Sigma use the Infinity Stones to merge together into “Ultron Sigma.” As this reborn villain looks to forge a new universe, heroes from both dimensions must band together to put an end to those plans.
What tech is being used for the game? Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will be running on Unreal Engine 4, the same engine used for Street Fighter V. Also similar to Capcom’s currently-running fighter, MvC: Infinite will feature ranked and casual matches, online lobbies with spectator mode, and global leaderboards.
What do we know about Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite‘s release date, platforms, and special editions? Unlike Street Fighter V, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite isn’t going for any sort of exclusivity, so it’ll be hitting the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 19th, 2017. Along with a standard edition, you’ll also be able to snag two special editions of the game: a Deluxe Edition that will pack together the game plus 2017 Character Pass for $89.99, and the $199.99 Collector’s Edition, which gives you everything in the Deluxe Edition plus four “premium character dioramas” of Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Mega Man X, and Chun-Li, as well as six LED-powered Infinity Stone replicas, all in a premium package.
What we think we know
What’s the situation with X-Men and Fantastic Four characters? Well, there’s good news and bad news on this one based on what we know at this point. On the bad side, while Marvel has the right to use characters from both of those franchises in games, the company has an internal ban on doing so for any releases coming after 2014’s Marvel: Contest of Champions. The reason is simple: the company is still engaged in a feud with 20th Century Fox, and they don’t want to help promote any characters that are still under the rights of the movie production company. So, this means that beloved MvC characters such as Magneto, Wolverine, Dr. Doom, and Sentinel are probably off of the table—at least in the beginning. NeoGAF user Ryce—one of the people to leak MvC: Infinite in the first place—claims that both X-Men and Fantastic Four characters have been cleared to come later as DLC. Who exactly that’ll include if it happens, however, remains to be seen.
Who is being rumored to be in the game beyond the announced characters? There are a few rumors currently floating around about who might be showing up in the game. Polygon had “multiple sources” confirm to them that a new Marvel vs. Capcom title was coming—though they were calling it “Marvel vs. Capcom 4” as of that point—which included talk of Ant-Man and Groot. While they didn’t really clarify why they believe so, Eurogamer seemed certain that Rocket Raccoon and Doctor Strange will also be showing up in the game (and, so far, one of those two picks has indeed been added). Going back to NeoGAF for a moment, member SaikyoBro said they “know for a fact” that Nathan “Rad” Spencer from Bionic Commando will show up—but, again, we aren’t clear on the legitimacy of their source.
What’s up with the Infinity Stones? The Infinity Stones will be a new system that replaces X-Factor from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. In Capcom’s 1995 fighting game Marvel Super Heroes, Infinity Gems were part of the game, granting players temporary boosts based around Power, Time, Space, Reality, Soul, and Mind. While MvC: Infinite‘s Infinity Stones may work similarly to MSH‘s version, there are at least small differences between the two from what we know as of now—such as the older Gems and new Stones not matching up color-wise. (They do, however, match up to the current canonical color choices in the MCU.) So far, Capcom has revealed three of the Stones: Power (purple), which seems to boost the strength of attacks; Time (green), which looks to increase the speed at which characters can move or unleash combos; and Space (blue), which traps opponents in a force shield-like box, making it easier for players to then employ either offensive or defensive tactics.
What we still want to know
Who’s the rest of the cast? Really, that’s the biggest question that exists at this point on the mind of every fan out there. On the Marvel side, we can at least assume that particular characters that are being pushed currently in comics and movies will have a strong chance of being candidates. The previous games tended to also include some more lesser-known choices as well, though, so will we see that trend return here? The bigger unknown may actually be on the Capcom side, as there’s a lot more freedom in what choices can be made—especially when it comes to the unexpected and downright bizarre possibilities. We can all assume at least a few of the familiar faces will be showing up, but how far and wide might Capcom dip into their vast legacy of characters beyond those two? Will they go for choices that help promote their current slate of games, or will they do some serious digging into their archives?
What is the game going to look like? While the visuals shown for the game’s reveal certainly aren’t bad, they definitely are somewhat plain compared to the more comic book-style graphics that were implemented for Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Of course, the visuals for a game are often one of the latter things to be polished up before release, and Capcom’s most recently fighting game, Street Fighter V, went through obvious changes between when it was first shown off and when the final game hit. So, is the graphical style that we’ve seen so far how the game is going to look? Or could there potentially been some cool visual gimmick that’s not to be revealed until a later date?