Last week, Capcom released the single-player demo for the upcoming Marvel VS Capcom: Infinite which, after playing it, seems to have done more harm than good.
The 30-minute demo offers a sneak peek into the game’s single player campaign, which pits the heroes from the Marvel and Capcom universes against Ultron-Sigma – an unholy fusion of two major villains from both universes.
While the premise itself is pretty cool, the sloppy pacing and the completely charmless dialogue shown in the demo leave much to be desired. It did not help that we were only able to fight faceless, underpowered drones over and over, followed by a final match against a ludicrously overpowered Ultron-Sigma.
As for the visuals, while Marvel VS Capcom 3 went all-in on its vibrant cel-shaded comic book visual direction that gave it a very distinct and stylish look and feel, Infinite’s inability to decide between realism and comic books lands it awkwardly in the mediocre middle, with characters and settings that just do not gel well with one another visually. And I swear, some of the characters look and move as if they were ripped out of a dodgy mobile game.
I’m looking at you, cokehead Dante, dead-eyed Chris and chipmunk-face Chun Li.
While the gameplay itself does feel responsive and seem to retain some the series’ satisfying combo goodness, its bland visuals, awkward animations, poor writing and the switch from 3-fighter teams to 2-fighter makes it so that the gameplay only manages to elevate my enjoyment from boredom to slight amusement.
One can certainly argue that visuals don’t matter as much as the gameplay, but the embarrassingly poor quality of some of the character models and the bland visual direction will no doubt harm the game’s longevity, especially in the face of recent fighting games such as Tekken 7, Injustice 2, and even the upcoming Dragon Ball Fighter Z, which seems to boast the speed and intensity MVC was known for.
Of course, this is just a demo, so there’s still hope of these issues being ironed out before release, or that the actual game is actually much better. But even that seems like a long shot as it would take more than the few months Capcom has left to revise labor-intensive aspects such as the character models/animation and the scriptwriting.
Until then, I’d recommend holding back on pre-ordering.