A modder is beautifying Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite with cel-shaded visuals

Crossover fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite first sauntered onto various videogaming mechanisms back in 2017. We forgot to review it. Oops. But others did, sometimes complaining about the art style, which was a chunky and plastic-looking departure from previous games in the series. It’s now almost seven years later but at least one person has not forgotten this missed opportunity. A fighting game modder has been tinkering with shaders to bring the comic book style of previous games to Infinite. Looks cool.

Modder Ryn (or “WistfulHopes” on Xitter) has been posting her work so far and a few fans of the genre have been getting excited. You can see a good side-by-side comparison of the game with and without the shader in this tweet from “MarrowOchi”.

The shader is looking swish, with lots of pop art dithering and deep, thick outlines. “Here there’s contrasting highlights on the brighter tones compared to the shadow tones,” says Ryn, explaining the header image above. You can also see it in action in this short video of Ryu knocking seven shades of sense out of Spiderman. This art style is popular in the much-respected 2D fighting games by Arc System Works, so it’s no surprise the fighting game community would want to see similar visuals applied to a broadly Marvel-themed fighter.

Case in point: fighting game streamer Maximilian Dood has also pledged support to the mod, saying he has commissioned the modder to continue work on the project. “We’re in the early stages, with only a couple days of tinkering, but already the results are absolutely incredible,” he said recently.

The same code-wrangler working on this also put Sonic into Guilty Gear: Strive, and Cloud Strife in Multiversus. Excellent. I don’t know if those previous efforts are publicly available to download or simply fun antics the modder enjoys posting online. Either way, I appreciate it.

Back when cel-shading was first being used in games like Jet Set Radio, the art style was not so universally appreciated. I vaguely remember complaints about The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker as looking childish. It’s nice that we can now enjoy the possibilities afforded by all types of art styles. Maybe someday the plastic look of MvC: Infinite will be fashionable. Thanks to IGN for first noticing the mod.

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