The fate of two worlds is once again threatened with the latest iteration of the venerable Versus series of fighting games in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. Siliconera was able to choose our dream team and duke it out hands on during this past E3. During our playtest we were able to try out Chun-Li, Mega Man X, and Ryu from the Capcom side and Hawkeye, Captain America, Iron Man, Rocket Raccoon, and Ultron from the Marvel side.
Right away, it felt like Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite was about pioneering a new but familiar path instead of just building upon what players were used to in previous iterations. Out of all the brand new mechanics, by far the most important changes to us boiled down to the 2v2 gameplay, Infinity Stones, and Assists.
The 3v3 format popularized by Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is gone with players instead choosing two characters and an Infinity Stone. Infinity Stones grant two global powers to any character in the form of an Infinity Surge that can be used anytime and a meter regulated Infinity Storm. The Time Stone Surge grants a short dash that passes through projectiles, with the Storm putting the player in a state similar to the V-ISM Custom Combos from Street Fighter Alpha 3. On the crazier side, the Space Stone will pull opponents closer to your player with Surge, and the Storm trap them in a cube, essentially creating a corner situation anywhere on the stage. While in previous Vs. games you only had to think about team combinations, each wildly different stone adds another layer of depth that will challenge advanced players to piece together really interesting combinations. You could think of the Infinity Stone as a third character that is always assisting your active character.
Where Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite gets really interesting though is in its new freeform tag system. Previous iterations would allow players to either call in their teammates temporarily and perform a set attack or tag them in to replace the active character. Gone now are assists, with only tags remaining, but what really makes this system interesting is that players can freely tag in their teammate at pretty much any time (tagging in while players are being hit will cost meter though). Why is this important? While in previous Marvel vs. Capcom games, you could think of the assist character as covering your active character, however, the freeform timing of the tag mechanic in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite means that the active character is protecting the incoming character instead.
Instead of selecting from the old system of three pre-selected assist moves per character, the player now chooses any move that best fits their current state, creating a lot more dynamic and unexpected offensive and defensive situations in matches. For those of you that have played Street Fighter X Tekken, you can think of this as a much upgraded version of their tag mechanic. By giving high level players a new tool to adapt on the fly in unorthodox ways during the middle of a match, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is all about breaking down the a rigid wall of previous iterations and focusing on creating dynamic gameplay that should be just as fun to watch as it is to play.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 19, 2017. A playable story demo is currently available to download now on PS4 and Xbox One.