After Thursday’s round table of Marvel projects from around gaming; it was Capcom’s turn in the spotlight as their Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite panel tried to approach all the recent reveals from a new angle. Bill Rosemann, creative director from Marvel was joined by Marvel producer Danny Koo, and Capcom’s Bret Elston and writer Paul Gardner.
In a mostly conversational session, Capcom producers talked with Rosemann about having a heavier Marvel style of storytelling in this new chapter of the popular fighting franchise. Previous games in the series mostly focused on combat and narrative took a back seat. Infinite is aiming to change that, as the group talked about how the Infinity Gauntlet event shaped the way Capcom would look at their project. As opposed to the Marvel Super Heroes fighting game of the 90’s, Infinity Gems would not just pop out of a character after you hit them, here Infinity Stones act as a supporting character of sorts.
In the story, players will travel to different lands to acquire the stones in order to fix this smashed universe created by the game’s big boss Ultron Sigma. As the story goes, Avengers villain Ultron has melded together with Megaman baddie Sigma Prime. Both set on purifying humanity in the image of machine in doing so have wiped the Capcom and Marvel Universe into one reality.
The panel showed off some new footage of character interaction scenes between Spider-Man and Resident Evil’s Chris Redfield, along with one scene where Hulk and Street Fighter’s Ryu battle a giant mountain creature from the Monster Hunter universe. It’s an epic cut scene and something you wish you’ll be able to play in the game but at the moment it doesn’t look likely.
What the panel really dove into is the blending of these two universes. Stages you’ll battle against friends and the CPU are mashups of some iconic Marvel locations and Capcom game worlds. Valkanda is what you get when you take the Black Panther’s home of Wakanda and combine it with Monster Hunters’ Val Habar. A.I.Mbrella is in fact the union of the nefarious A.I.M with the evil Umbrella corporation. The stage features a giant M.O.D.O.K in possession of the Mind Stone on his forehead.
Even the generic henchmen acting as canon fodder to your fighting skills are combinations of these worlds. Asgardian soldiers are corrupted by Ultron Sigma. The AIMbrella stage has AIM foot soldiers infected by T-Virus.
Both the Marvel and Capcom side mentioned not wanting one side to be more represented than the other. The goal was having a character who could be balanced out by one from the other side. Hulk and Ryu were the examples given as the green goliath always has to keep his anger from consuming him while the world warrior has his own darkness he must keep in check at all times. You see them let loose in cut scenes shown during the panel and it makes complete sense as to how similar the two are beside having to wear torn clothing that looks as though it’s about to burst.
We got a bit of hands-on time with the game on the show floor and the latest build of versus mode shows some nice progression and just how powerful the use of Infinity Stones can be in a fight. Where you can’t execute a team up hyper combo, the stones will substitute for that. When you reach the right level of super meter you can activate a team up ability. While playing as Gamora I activated the stone at level 4 and it kept refilling my super meter along with letting my partner character come in and execute special moves of his own.
Perhaps what we noticed more than anything this time around were the little details unlike other fighting games when you beat a character it simply lays there unconscious on the ground till the match is over. It’s a level of polish these games have never had before. While I’m still a bit weary on the roster of characters being repetitive of every chapter in the MvC series, the message becoming clearer on how expanded the game’s story mode is quickly winning me over though. Capcom also promised more character announcements would be on the way.
Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite comes to PS4 and Xbox One on September 19, 2017.