Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite

REVIEWWith such a vibrant history in the fighting genre, and considering the fact that superhero movies now flood the movie industry to the point of oversaturation, one might think MVC: Infinite would be an instant hit with the fighting game community. That's what the developers were hoping for, anyway. The old school Marvel Vs. games are legendary for their heart, fan service, and timeless gameplay systems that lasted well beyond their "expiration date" competitively. Sadly, MVC: Infinite feels a bit "empty" when compared to the prequels and most 2017-2018 fighting games. And we must compare. This is the reason reviews exist, after all. Brace yourselves, because I'm not pulling any punches on this one.

Let's be real... the majority of content in MVC: Infinite looks rehashed and dated from the start. I think the character roster has disappointed even the most lenient fans. Let's count. Out of the entire launch roster, 24 out of the 30 launch characters were cut & pasted from MVC3, more or less. (I knew something was up when I had to create only 6 new TFG character profiles for MVC: Infinite.) I saw this coming.

In some fighting games, this format of bringing back many series veterans works. Some franchises also have smaller universes to work with, so many returning characters must come back... however, we're dealing with MARVEL and CAPCOM here, two companies with colorful backlogs of so many iconic characters. Apples and oranges. Whether or not MVCI's returning characters are "updated enough" is arguable, especially considering how they look visually and their actual... "function"... in gameplay. Worst of all is that most of the "new" characters (AKA the more appealing ones) are locked behind paid DLC. Yet again, Capcom made some major mistakes with handling character DLC.


MVCI Character Select Screen... and yes, it's lopsided (and hurts my OCD).


MVC: Infinite
got a pretty bad rap by the fighting game community from the start.... and it wasn't just one thing. There was Chun-Li's horrifying face in the E3 '17 trailer, Dante's "this is your face on drugs" meme, Rocket Racoon's nightmarish eyes & mangy fur, Chris Redfield and Frank West's painfully generic white dude syndrome, and the list goes on. Right along with the roster itself, the overall graphics and character renders are bland and uninspiring. It doesn't take a genius to see that Infinite could pass as a smartphone game.

There's a major visual flaw with how characters and backgrounds mesh together. The characters don't quite pop or take visual precedence, and sometimes are hard to see against some backgrounds - which seem weirdly rendered at the same resolution and vibrancy as the characters. Back in the day, Capcom's artists made sure that the 2D sprites stood out against backgrounds and looked amazing in every frame. This can be done in fully-3D games as well, as seen in the incredibly visually innovative Dragon Ball FighterZ. Also worth pointing out are generic-looking "2D elements" in MVCI's 3D backgrounds. The panther statue in Black panther's stage? The Asgardian soldier statues in Thor's stage? They are nothing but flat 2D sprites. They don't look terrible per se, but I haven't seen that level of "cutting corners" tech since the early PS2 days.

The blandness continues on the menus and the game's soundtrack. I can't remember a recent fighting game with such an uninspired, bare bones, cookie-cutter visual presentation. Is there a bright side? If you look for it. The best parts of the visuals are how some of the special move effects are animated. All of Jedah's attacks and his twirling blade projectiles look great, for example. Venom's dynamic attacks and specials are also animated particularly well. Sadly, great-looking characters like Jedah & Venom only make the other 80% of the roster look even more uninspired. Certain characters have some pretty unsightly, stiff animations that seem dated. Also, I can't tell if the "slowmo effect" during a K.O. is intentional or actual in-game slowdown, because the way the framerate stutters makes it look like the system can't keep up with the graphics (which is ridiculous). Story mode cutscenes are also locked at 30fps. Yuck.


Infinite adds a revamped Thanos, but a painfully rehashed Spencer.


Vs. Series has experimented with a wide variety of mechanics and formats over the years, including: 1-VS-1, 2-VS-2 and 3-VS-3 battles. The prior 3 installments of the series were known for their frantic 3-VS-3 gameplay. However, Infinite returns to the classic 2-vs-2 format - a formula that defined X-Men VS Street Fighter through Marvel VS Capcom (1)

MVC: Infinite's only saving grace is that the game is actually playable. The overhauled "Active Switch" tag system allows for a "quick tag" to your partner at any time for a continued combo, but no partner assist attacks. The game's combo trials mode has 10 combos to practice with each character, which definitely helps you learn the starting point of each character's combo potential. While the flow and speed of the game feels right, not having partner assist attacks makes Infinite feel like a different game... and not exactly the "Marvel" I've known and loved over the years. Dashing speeds for certain characters also feel a bit too heavily nerfed for my tastes. 

Returning from 1995's Marvel Super Heroes, "Infinity Stones" are back and play a huge role in gameplay. Players now choose one of the 6 Infinity Stones after selecting their team. Each stone grants additional strengths and techniques that fighters can utilize. Power Stone unleashes a strong attack that bounces the opponent of the wall, creating an opening for a combo or super move. Mind Stone's ability throws the opponent, rendering them immobile and open for attack. Soul Stone leeches vitality from the opponent. If the player's teammate is dead upon activating Soul Infinity Storm, the player's teammate will be revived with 20% Health bar. Time Stone enables teleport and repeatable / chainable moves on all normals and specials during Infinity Storm. Reality Stone launches a homing projectile attack and adds elemental attacks assigned to each button. Space Stone pulls opponents closer in, and during Infinity Storm will trap them inside of a box, unable to tag their partner in (unless they connect a crouching HP launcher).

One can make the case that Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite is a good fighting game in terms of gameplay... and I would listen (with my arms folded). Yeah, the core mechanics feel solid, and I'll admit there are some fun combo & team possibilities. However, I attribute a large part of the "fun" aspect of fighting games to the character roster. As fun as the gameplay may be, I would rather be using so many other Capcom and Marvel characters. This front line of overdone Marvel movie characters and overused Capcom characters just doesn't do it for me. In past Vs. Series games, I've always enjoyed the more obscure personalities, the underdogs if you will. There really aren't any characters like that in MVCI.


this screenshot lives in infamy... Chun-Li deserved better.

Offline modes for MVC: Infinite include: Story, Arcade, Mission, Training, Versus, Versus CPU, and Collection. Online modes and features include: Ranked Match, Casual Match, Beginners League, Lobby, Rankings, and Replay Settings.
Story serves as a basics Tutorial, which is always smart design for a fighting game story mode. If you remember correctly, back in 2011, Capcom promised an "epic story mode" for MVC3... but it never happened. Six years late and all, but we finally have a story mode in an MvC game. But judging by the forced interactions in MVC: Infinite's story mode, it all seems too little too late. Hollywood superhero movies have been yawn-fests this past couple of years, so it's not like I had high hopes for Infinite's story mode or anything. But damn, I was expecting better than this. The characters lack energy, personality, and the plot is so boring. Shoot the robots and say each other's names. Add in some cheap one-liners designed to make 6 year-olds laugh. It's bad. These characters
should've settled their differences in MVC3, because most of the match-ups aren't "new" anymore. The story mode trying to "force" excitement just makes it that much less appealing.

In Story, characters also act like they've "known each other for years". Well, I guess that makes sense... since most characters were indeed plucked from MVC3. However, this makes for very weak storytelling and stale onscreen interactions. The generic cinematography & camera angles don't help either... but hey, it's a story mode in a Marvel VS Capcom game. It's what every mall scrub in 2001 said that they wanted while eternally waiting on the sidelines to play MVC2. Are they happy now? I doubt it. I couldn't help but notice many characters in story scenes are awkwardly standing around... and don't seem to know why they're even there. Fun Fact: I made up better dialogue scenes with my Marvel action figures when I was 6 years old (1989). Long story short: Injustice 2, TEKKEN 7, and Dragon Ball FighterZ all did a much better job with their respective story modes (among other things).


At least some characters look good... Some.






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Page Updated: January 18th, 2024
Developer(s): Capcom
Publisher(s): Capcom
Designer(s): Yoshinori Ono         Executive Producer
Michael Evans
Peter Rosas
              Associate Producer
Platform(s): PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date(s): September 19th, 2017 
Characters Ryu, Mega Man X, Iron Man, Captain America, Morrigan, Captain Marvel, Thor, Chun-Li, Strider Hiryu, Hulk, Rocket Raccoon, Hawkeye, Chris Redfield, Nathan Spencer, Nova, Dante, Dr. Strange, Arthur, Zero, Thanos, Jedah, Spider-Man, Frank West, Haggar, Nemesis, Firebrand, Ghost Rider, Dormammu, Gamora, Ultron, Black Panther, Sigma, Venom, Monster Hunter, Winter Soldier, Black Widow, Ultron Sigma, Ultron Omega

Featured Video:

Related Games: Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Marvel Vs. Capcom, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Origins, Marvel Super Heroes, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter, Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom, Tatsunoko VS Capcom: UAS, Capcom Vs. SNK, Capcom Vs. SNK 2, Street Fighter 5, Darkstalkers, Injustice 2, Guilty Gear Xrd REV2, TEKKEN 7, Dragon Ball FighterZ, BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle, Fighting EX Layer, Dead or Alive 6

Gameplay Engine  7.0 / 10
Story / Theme  5.0 / 10
Overall Graphics  5.5 / 10
Animation  6.0 / 10
Music / Sound Effects  4.5 / 10
Innovation  4.0 / 10
Art Direction  3.0 / 10
Customization  4.0 / 10
Options / Extras  6.5 / 10
Intro / Presentation  6.5 / 10
Replayability / Fun  6.0 / 10
"Ouch" Factor  7.5 / 10
Characters  6.0 / 10


 5.9 / 10

 Review based on PS4 Pro version 


Final Words: As a Marvel fan since the late 80's... I'm sad to say that I was completely uninterested in MVC Infinite, from the start. I decided to rent and not buy this game (because I was rightfully skeptical), and I have no regrets. The game that could've been called "MVC3: Mobile Edition" just couldn't shake its poorly commercialized and Americanized look. This firection didn't have to be a bad thing, but the poor decisions with the roster, visuals, and overall experience ruined any chance for MVCI to shine in 2017-2018. 

Just compare this game with the excitement-level and vibrancy of X-Men Vs. Street Fighter in 1996, or the dynamic roster and limitless gameplay possibilities of MVC or MVC2. There is no comparison. MVC: Infinite is beyond stale. Even when compared with MVC3 - another game that mostly disappointed me. Infinite is a clear downgrade. Infinite actually makes MVC3 look pretty damn good... and that's saying a lot.

Random Analogy: If you follow UFC at all, you might remember when Ronda Roussey was on a win streak and started getting super cocky. Well, she quickly started loosing after that... bad. In retrospect, one could say it was her karma catching up with her. Sometimes "group karma" can be a thing, too. Remember "When's Mahvel?" What started as an acceptable joke / meme quickly spiraled into a catalyst for bad etiquette online, on livestreams, and even at tournaments. Of course I'm referring MVC3 bandwagoners who held up "When's Mahvel" signs during tournament finals for other fighting games - and the trolling stream monsters. (Welp. To answer their question now, we can confirm that Mahvel is not at EVO 2018.) Good job guys.

If you laughed at such jokes or spread around memes during the MVC3 days what that behavior was rampant, you're just as guilty as the players who were holding up the signs. Nobody and nothing stays on top forever, which is why one should be humble when times are good. (For the record, I'm not basing this opinion on heresy. I personally attended many major fighting game tournaments in the 2010's and witnessed disrespect from the MVC3 community towards other fighting games, including the one I was playing. I'm just saying... what goes around comes around.)

Of course, MVC: Infinite's flop is not actually the fault of the players or fans... but karma works in mysterious ways, and sometimes we all suffer because of it. I know mass marketing when I see it. I also know "assumed customer interest" and lack of effort when I see it. MVC: Infinite is a perfect example of pushing out a product and hoping that it sells well - based on name recognition and the "basic ingredients" that made it successful in the past. Well, I'm not someone who only enjoys basic ingredients. After 30-something years, I have a refined palette for fighting games... and I prefer things with dynamic flavors. Thankfully for me, there are many more fighting games to choose from in 2018. I feel lucky. However, if there weren't as many fighting games to choose from in 2018... no, I still wouldn't play MVC: Infinite.

For the ninth time, Infinite's roster is weak. Maybe the 09'ers / newer fighting game players don't get it, but old school MVC rosters had impact. They were exciting. They offered characters that hadn't been overused or even seen before. MVC Infinite's roster clearly isn't made for fighting game players, first and foremost. MVCI's roster is made for the suckers who waste 100's of dollars annually to see superhero movies in theaters. MVCI's roster is made for kids who sucker their parents into buying overpriced, cheap superhero movie toys at Wal-Mart, or buy crappy-looking collector's editions that come with Easter Eggs. (Really, you couldn't see that one coming?) Ironically, Infinite doesn't even seem like the "type of game" that casual gamers would buy or even play for more than 5 minutes. And judging by its poor sales, I was right from the beginning. A fighting game should be made for fighting game players... and so many elements of MVC: Infinite seem entirely directed towards a different audience.

Seriously. Why bring back characters like Chris Redfield (still in his 2009 RE5 attire) and Nathan Spencer (also in his 2009 Bionic Commando reboot attire)? I mean, really? Their inclusions in MVC3 made sense, given their respective games were new-ish back then, but this is 2017-2018. Nobody wanted these characters to return, not looking like that anyway. All MVC players I know wanted throwbacks to older MVC games, the return of classic characters, or something completely new. In any case, they definitely didn't want characters lazily recycled from 2009. Ohh, and everybody wanted X-Men. Everybody. This game should've been delayed until Capcom could obtain the rights to X-Men characters again. Sadly, it was too little too late for Capcom to even attempt to hit the emergency X-Men DLC button. That's how bad MVCI flopped.

MVC: Infinite is visually uninspiring, but the graphics could easily be overlooked if the roster or gameplay was something great. From its best angle, the gameplay is "halfway decent"... but the gameplay and gem system still doesn't draw me in. The mechanics seem oversaturated compared to the rest of the Vs. Series. The fact that over 75% of the roster is recycled, and the more appealing characters are locked behind paid DLC is unforgivable. I've forgiven Capcom's slip-ups in the recent past... but this one's a bridge too far. Capcom should just "take the L" on this one and start working on MVC4... and do it right next time. So when's Dragon Bahl?
~TFG Webmaster | @Fighters_Gen
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