Marvel vs Capcom Infinite and all the images you see in this editorial are owned by Disney, Marvel, and Capcom
So earlier this month and without much warning, Capcom revealed to the world that they are working on the latest entry in their massively popular Marvel vs Capcom series with the release of a cinematic trailer and a short gameplay video. Now that we’ve had a bit of time to come down from the hype, what can we learn from the two clips released so far? Well first, let’s look at the history.
Back to a time long forgotten! All the way back in 2011!
We’re not gonna try to dissect this series going back to the first one because frankly I don’t know nearly enough to speak on the matter, but also because the last game came out at a very interesting time. A time that many of us have already forgotten existed! See, in 2011 the MCU was still in its early stages when all these films were more of an ambitious experiment than the omnipresent multimedia giant it is now (starting more or less with The Avengers in 2012), and when Marvel vs Capcom 3 came out we only had the first two Iron Man movies and the more or less non-canonical Incredible Hulk. Hell, the game began development ALL the way back in 2008 which was prior to Disney buying up Marvel! Basically, that game was released right before Marvel became the biggest thing in entertainment; begging the question of how that monumental shift is going to affect Infinite. Well it’s still fairly early but we can tell already that they’re going for the MCU costuming with Captain America looking much more like his counterpart in the movie than he did last time around (albeit still with completely cartoony proportions), and Captain Marvel looking very much like Brie Larson. Now whether or not the resemblance is due to Capcom (or Marvel or Disney) wanting to make Captain Marvel in this game look like the film actor or if Brie Larson was casted because of her resemblance to her, the larger point still stands that the MCU interpretation of the Marvel universe is already having an influence on this game. Remember what Thor looked like in Marvel vs Capcom 3, or Hawkeye? Maybe I’m inferring too much from these trailers, but to me it seems like a given that we’re gonna be seeing some serious redesigns as we learn more in the coming months.
Now a big hole in my theory here is that the voices in the trailers for Iron Man and Captain America don’t specifically sound like Robert Downy Jr and Chris Evans. Clearly there was almost no chance of getting RDJ to do something like this for what Capcom would be willing to pay, but sound alike aren’t that hard to find and yet they didn’t seem to go down that route either. Maybe there’s some weird clauses in the licensing contracts (as there always are) where they can only go so far in emulating the actors without paying for their likenesses as I believe a similar situation occurred with the Mortal Kombat vs DC game that was expressly forbidden from using Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker. Still, even if the look can only be THAT close to the actors, I’m still guessing that we’ll be seeing plenty of new characters and stages based off the multiple films and TV shows that have come out in the last few years. Now I’m not just extrapolating all this from two short trailers that barely show us stuff we wouldn’t already be expecting from one of these. The reason I’m saying all this is because it makes way too much sense for the game to go all in on the MCU; not just because of its own current popularity but because there is a GIANT elephant in the room that needs to be addressed.
Marvel vs who now?
Let’s face it. Capcom’s standing in the video game world has been in sharp decline since the last Marvel vs Capcom game came out. I’m guessing that we’ll still have a 50/50 split for the characters here as has been the case for the series so far, but my gut is telling me that seventy percent or higher of the sales are going to be because of the Marvel connection rather than if Mega Man X is in it. Now look, I’m glad that we’re FINALLY getting X to be in one of these, but other than that, who the hell does Capcom have to bring to the table? Looking at their release history since the third game, these are the only franchises with games released in that time period that have yet to be mined for characters in this series.
Lost Planet (though one of the robots was is Tatsunoko vs Capcom)
I’ll give them the last two as good places to get one or two new fighters and we’ll obviously be pulling from Street Fighter 5, but compare that to the neigh infinite (tee hee hee) possibilities there are for Marvel and there’s just no contest. I mean seriously, is there a single person out there clamoring to see Jake fucking Muller or someone from Umbrella Corps?
As much as I love these games and playing as characters like Dante, Albert Wesker, Viewtiful Joe, and Phoenix Wright, I wouldn’t want their presence (and the presence of far less interesting characters) to take resources away from what could be far more interesting content.
Oh, and one more thing
This is just a thought without much to back it up, but it is something I hope they clarify sooner rather than later. Now that Marvel and Fox have been in a pissing match for the half a decade now, is there a chance that we won’t get X-Men characters? Now I doubt there’s a clause in the Fox contracts that give them exclusive game rights, but Marvel and Disney aren’t ones to give free advertisement when they can get away with it. Hell, they pulled ALL the Fantastic Four books right before that movie came out last year, and no one was expecting that to be any good! Hell, just look at Lego Marvel’s Avengers (REALLY awkward title) which didn’t have Spider-Man, X-Men, Fantastic Four, or Deadpool. Gee. I wonder what ALL those characters have in common. Look, I doubt they’ll be crazy enough to not put in favorites like Magneto, Wolverine, and Doctor Doom, but it’ll at least be interesting to see if there will be any friction because of this and how fans will react if Marvel does try to pull something here.
Now of course, all this is just speculation and musings based on what little they showed us and how these companies have changed in the last few years. Maybe all my concerns are baseless and the game will be everything we’re hoping for! I mean, it’s not like Capcom has a history of poor business practices, especially when it comes to its recent fighting games… right?
If you want to know who I would add to the game, check out my top ten list below!