There's only two weeks left until the retail release of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds and the game is ready to ship. With so short time left, we sat down with the retail build of the game and Capcom's Seth Killian to hear a little more about how the game came to be, why the characters you see made the cut, and what to expect when it all comes to a head.
The first thing you should do in the game, says Killian, is "pick your characters that you are gonna have fun with." He didn't recommend any in particular, because "every character in this game has juice." Seeing the game in action, and getting hands-on time with twelve different characters in it, that became abundantly clear from the start.
We played around in the training mode for awhile, something else Killian recommends to start with so you can "feel out" the characters and see which fighting styles you like best. A character like M.O.D.O.K. "isn't gonna be a big hand to hand guy," due to the, well, small limbs. "Characters like M.O.D.O.K. and Dormammu are more technical guys, like Dhalsim, to use a Street Fighter analogy."
As for who to expect in the game, the full starting character list has been revealed, but why did someone like Taskmaster make it in when Hawkeye (who Taskmaster borrows some moves from here) didn't?
"Taskmaster was actually a Marvel request!" Killian explained. "Capcom came with a list, Marvel came with a list, then my job, I was kinda the voice of the fans, kind of a third list."With so many to choose from, they had to narrow down based on practicality.
"When you look at characters like Ghost Rider, and Iron Fist, and Black Panther, those are great characters but it's the backstory that makes them. From a gameplay point of view they're all just punchy dudes. We didn't want you to be able to say, 'this guy is just another one of this guy but a little faster or with a different fireball'. So that was the final pass" that Capcom took off the Marvel list.
"So Taskmaster wound up pretty fun cause we could take a little from a lot of characters. Super Skrull was another that came up like that, we originally had all of the Fantastic Four on the roster, and coming up with gameplay for Invisible Woman was, you know…"
After they all argued about the characters, Marvel checked licenses and they went to work on the game. You have big characters like Captain America and Spider-Man, but also some surprises like the return of Shuma Gorath and the debut of Wolverine's female clone X-23.
X-23 was one of the big surprises gameplay wise, as she is way more than just a smaller, faster Wolverine. Her super moves in particular are much more vicious and "trained assassin" oriented. The first time you dive at an enemy and stab down from above, stabbing claws into his neck, you'll have no doubt why little Laura is on the roster.
Other Marvel characters like Phoenix have surprises up their sleeves as well; if you get low on health, Jean goes trademark crazy and turns into Dark Phoenix, unleashing stronger attacks on her foes. Thor is more resilient than Storm, though she unleashes a wider variety of elemental attacks. Sentinel is huge and hulking and Spider-Man is lithe and actually looks/plays like a human spider.
The gameplay is easy to jump into, just like the decade-old MVC2 was, but the depth in this is superior in every way. Five levels of the super bar, incredible tag-in-tag-out three character combos, new breaks, counters, and even some combos that are intimidating to think about. Dante from Capcom's Devil May Cry for example has a combo of 40-something supermoves, putting you into the 100s of hits. Those massive supermoves are one of the absolute highlights of the game; it's just so satisfying seeing Captain America strap his shield to his back and get in there down-and-dirty, taking these other "fighters" to school, or seeing Deadpool break the fourth wall, realising he's in a video game and attacking with the power bars on the screen.
As for the big bad? While it was leaked online, we won't exactly spoil that here, but when it's the "Fate of Two Worlds," you need a World-destroying threat. "The last game, you'd get to the end and just have 'thanks for playing' so we wanted this one to be bigger. We wanted an epic ending, an epic final battle, and we think we have it."
There is DLC on the way, but other than the already announced Jill Valentine in her Battlesuit costume (Killian cautions, she has "zero in common" with MVC2 Jill) and the aforementioned Shuma Gorath, Capcom is remaining silent on other future updates for the moment, while the development team takes a much-deserved vacation.
For those that might wonder what the point of hiring a comic book writer like Frank Tieri for a fighting game, Killian said it was mostly to "keep it real."
"Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was a legendary fighting game, with all these fantastic Marvel characters and the worst endings of all time."
After a brief distraction provided by M.O.D.O.K. being stomped on by a bunch of cat people (seriously), Killian continued.
"Frank basically has been coming up with good ideas for the story, and on the Marvel side really making sure we got the endings right. He also came up to speed on the Capcom side, and I think he got a kick out of having a bunch of new guys and a whole new universe of characters to play with."
The endings will feature comic book panels to finish off the story, but don't forget, that's after that big epic ending.
With only two weeks until release, we did get the last big question answered as well. Seth, is "Take you for a ride," the amazing theme from MVC2 in this game?
"Oh, it's in there. We have a bunch of remixes of it too."
Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds hits PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (and your social life ends) Feb 15, 2011