It's been a few years, but it's finally time for the biggest stars of the Marvel and Capcom universes to beat the snot out each other again.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is the latest installment of Capcom's beloved crossover fighting game series, promising a cinematic story mode, crazy combo possibilities and a host of fan favorite characters from both sides. Whether you're new to the series or just can't wait to pair up Ryu and Captain America again, here's everything you need to know about Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite before it hits PS4, Xbox One and PC on Sept. 19.
What's Marvel vs. Capcom?
Marvel vs. Capcom's roots date all the way back to 1994's X-Men: Children of the Atom and 1995's Marvel Super Heroes. These were Capcom's first Marvel-flavored fighting games and were distinctly more over-the-top than Street Fighter, creating a new gameplay style that was defined by hyper-fast action and long, stylish combos.
Those games led to a series of tag-team fighters that evolved the formula even further, including X-Men vs. Street Fighter (1996), Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter (1997), Marvel vs. Capcom (1998), Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (2000) and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (2011). The newest "versus" game is Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which was recently re-released for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
What's new in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite?
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite aims to bring the series to a new, mainstream audience while still catering to the competitive Marvel scene that's been around for decades. The game marks a return to the 2-on-2 action of the first Marvel vs. Capcom (later games were 3-on-3), while its visual style and cast of characters seems largely pulled from the more modern Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
The biggest new addition to Infinite is a cinematic story mode — a first for the series. In the game's story, Avengers big bad Ultron and Mega Man villain Sigma have teamed up to eradicate all organic life on Earth, forcing the likes of Thor, Iron Man, Mega Man X and Chun-Li to team up and stop them. No pressure, right?
Infinite's gameplay borrows elements of several previous titles while adding some new stuff. In addition to picking two characters, you'll also pick an Infinity Stone (yep, those same ones you see in the Marvel movies), which unlocks new abilities for your team. For example, picking the Power stone allows you to dish out more damage, while the Time stone lets you easily slip past enemy attacks.
You won't be able to call in teammates for assists like in previous Marvel vs. Capcom games, but you can tag your partner in mid-combo to do extra big damage. Considering the amount of ways you'll be able to combine characters and Infinity stones, we're expecting pro players to come up with some pretty wild combos and tricks. If you're interested in the nitty-gritty detail of the game's fighting mechanics, Game Informer has a great breakdown.
Which characters can I play as?
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite's confirmed roster currently consists of 15 characters. On the Marvel side, there's Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Hulk, Ultron, Thor, Hawkeye and Rocket Raccoon. Capcom fans can look forward to Ryu, Chun-Li, Mega Man X, Morrigan, Chris Redfield and Strider Hiryu.
Infinite will be getting six downloadable characters post-release, which you'll be able to buy individually or as part of a "2017 Character Pass." All we know so far is that Mega Man baddie Sigma is one of those six characters.
Wait, where are the X-Men?
You've probably noticed that the likes of Wolverine, Storm and Magneto are conspicuously absent from MvC: Infinite's roster. Sadly for X-Men fans, Marvel has been putting its Marvel Cinematic Universe characters (i.e. Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy) front and center in most media, and video games are no exception.
However, there's still hope. In an interview with Game Informer last year, Marvel Games creative director Bill Rosemann said "that heritage is not lost" when asked if the game would include the X-Men characters that have defined the versus franchise for decades. Our guess? X-Men are coming as DLC down the line.
Are there any crazy collectors editions?
You bet there are. The $90 Deluxe Edition includes the 2017 Character Pass, so you'll get all the new fighters as soon as they arrive.
Want to go all out? The $200 Collector's Edition includes four detailed statues of Mega Man X, Chun-Li, Captain Marvel and Iron Man, as well as a box of Infinity Stone replicas that you can carry around if you want to feel like Thanos. You also get a nice steelbook case for the game.
Pre-ordering the standard $60 game will get you Warrior Thor and Evil Ryu costumes, while doing the same for the $90 Deluxe Edition gets you Gladiator Hulk and Mega Man's Command Mission X on top of the other two skins.
Should I be worried about Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite?
You wouldn't be blamed for being a bit skeptical about Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. The game's graphics look pretty underwhelming, especially compared to the insane level of polish found in Injustice 2 and Tekken 7 — two other huge fighting games that are right around the corner. Capcom's Street Fighter V launched with a disappointingly thin amount of content last year, and while it's evolved quite a bit since then, it's still suffering from balance issues and isn't delivering new characters as consistently as the company promised.
Still, there are a few reasons to be hopeful. For one, MvC: Infinite is launching with a ton of single-player modes right out of the gate, something that was a big sticking point for more casual Street Fighter V fans. Secondly, despite its so-so graphics, it looks beautiful in motion. This is still very much a Marvel vs. Capcom game, meaning the action is fluid and fast, and the combo possibilities are endless. And if it gives us more iconic Marvel vs. Capcom moments like this, what more could we ask for?
Image Credits: Capcom