Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Revealed: Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Is Coming!

If you thought that Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom represented a hardcore comeback for the ‘Versus’ series then you ain’t seen nothing yet, as for yesterday in the early hours, Capcom officially announced the arrival of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds. The game pretty much is the first proper instalment in the original ‘Versus’ series since Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 was released some ten years ago, and is one of the most exciting things to come out of Capcom’s Captivate 10 games event.

Like with Street Fighter IV and Tatsunoko, MvC3 is coming to both the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in all its 3D high definition glory, packing an estimated 30 or more characters – the amount depends on how much Capcom get done in the time limit they have – and all the series hallmark off-the-wall, hyper intense, super-combo busting action you’ve come to expect from a franchise with such larger than life icons.

So far Capcom haven’t disclosed the whole line up of characters that will make it into the game, although we do know that this bunch will at least be making an appearance. Confirmed via the trailer of the game and additional promotional art, faces shall include Ryu, Wolverine, Iron Man, Hulk, Morrigan and Chris Redfield. Whilst the artwork hints at the inclusion of Chun-Li, Captain America, Super Skrull, Deadpool, Felicia, Dante, Frank West, Mephisto, Black Widow and Doctor Doom. We have also been told to expect an end boss that Marvel says fans will appreciate.

With plenty of new franchises released between MvC2 and this game, it will be interesting to see how many new or unusual faces make an appearance in the game. Hopefully there will be some really cool surprises in the way of hidden characters, or supped up ‘evil’ versions so popular with fans with the ‘Versus SNK’ series of games. Perhaps we’ll find some of the lesser known, but far darkly and intense Marvel characters rarely seen outside the comic book universe. That would be an awesome treat for us 2D fighting fans.

MvC3 will see the return of the tried and tested system of ‘hyper combos’, ‘aerial raves’, and the return of the 3-on-3 tag-team mode that powered MvC2 all those years ago, along with new moves and another combo system. Capcom are calling it the "Evolved VS. Fighting System", although we think that its naturally par the course for a series such as this, and we expect some of the most successful elements from Tatsunoko to be included in this system as well. Capcom have also said that they haven’t quite decided on whether the main game will use and 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 system for the main game, and that way the assists work is still being tweaked.

Currently there’s no word on how simple or complicated the control set-up will be, how many buttons will be used, or whether a system similar to TvC will be in place. Seeing as this IS the next fully featured ‘main’ instalment of the original ‘versus’ series I would expect there to be a four or six button system of either light, medium and heavy, or light and heavy, punches and kicks, in additions to specials, hypers etc.

That game will fashioning the latest in Capcom 3D inspired 2D fighting, using what they are calling a "living comic-book" art style, which apparently will blur the lines between 3D and 2D graphics in a way which SFIV never could. From the trailer it looks like the series will feature a slightly more realistic and shiny look to the characters, stylised with the painted hand drawn effects used for SFIV. Different then, from both SFIV and Tatsunoko, whilst being a faithful re-envisioning of the franchise classic animated look, brought fully up to date.

The series will also mark the first time that a Capcom 2D fighting game has used their proprietary ‘MT Framework’ engine featured in Dead Rising and the original Lost Planet, and not the MT Framework 2 used in Resident Evil 5. The engine has been modified for use specifically for this game, and was no doubt chosen over the one used in Street Fighter IV in order to allow that ‘living comic-book’ style hinted at earlier on. I guess it would be easier to adapt an engine with certain features they are interested in using rather than to rework and incorporate them into the simpler one behind SFIV.

With regards to the artwork, it looks like the main cover-art for the game is being done by Shinkiro, which bares a striking resemblance to the one used for TvC, whilst the overall character art, which you can see on this page, is being done by the same artist responsible for SFIV and SFIII Third Strike. It’s not yet known just who will be providing the in-game artwork for the title, though I’d wager that the SFIV artist will be used for most of it, with perhaps Shinkiro being reserved for the box art and instruction manual work. At this point however, this is all speculation and we won’t really find out until the first playable build of the game, or gameplay trailer arrives.

All the music and sound effects are being updated, with the music in particular getting a full reworking, starting from scratch and avoiding the jazz-infused eclectic nature of the score behind MvC2. Taking you for a ride, not this time I’m afraid. Instead we’re hopeful that Capcom will take inspiration from the first three games in the series, bringing together that feel of Marvel, Street Fighter, and that uniquely stylised sound from hits such as Mega Man and Bionic Commando, all blended into one seamless ‘clash of the heroes’ type musical mash up.

Lastly, it is promsed that a more prominent storyline shall feature in MvC3 compared to previous games, which always were lacking in that department. We don’t for one minute expect a deep or epically driven narrative, but we are getting proper endings for all the characters in the game, along with SFIV style introductory cut-scenes.

Capcom will be showing off much more of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 at this years E3, which runs from 15 – 17 June at the Los Angeles Convention Center. We are expecting the first proper gameplay trailer, or hopefully an early playable build sampling the delights of the new engine.

IQGamer will be covering the event in as much detail we can, and of course will be bringing all the latest on MvC3 from the event.

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