In the world of game development, many things can go awry, not the least of which are character animations, especially facial designs. Plenty of otherwise enjoyable titles in years past have been plagued by a few characters who look like the live in the Uncanny Valley. The most recent example of such is Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite‘s Chun-Li, whose noticeably strange-looking face has been the object of intense derision. After witnessing the onslaught of negative feedback in response to Chun-Li’s face, Capcom has announced it will make improvements to her model.
The announcement was made during San Diego Comic-Con this weekend at a Marvel vs. Capcom panel. Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono confirmed that the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite team is hard at work on fixing Chun-Li’s face. “The development team is hard at work finishing the game for the September 19 release date, and based off the feedback we heard, we are currently making improvements to Chun-Li,” Ono stated.
Additionally, Ono revealed that game developers are looking to improve a few other character models. Though the exact characters in question weren’t specified, Ono did state that they’re from the title’s Capcom roster. Progress photos to indicate what the updated version of Chun-Li will look like weren’t displayed either, as the team is still giving her face a little TLC. As Ono said, “Since the work is still in progress, we don’t have anything final to show you just yet, but stay tuned.”
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite fans noticed that something was up with Chun-Li’s face back in June, with many social media users finding fault with her too-wide eyes, blank expression, and uncharacteristically rounded jawline. Some said Chun-Li’s new look, which is strikingly different from the 2016 version of the character, was eerily similar to the design of a baby doll.
Others laughed at the fact that her eyebrows stop half-way across her forehead. Some even went so far as to create art that poked fun at the strange new Chun-Li. But nearly everyone was dissatisfied with the way she looks, hoping that her odd-looking face wouldn’t end up in the final version of the game.
This isn’t the first time an audience has ridiculed a game’s character design and facial animations. The most prevalent instance in recent memory was the debacle over Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s shoddy character animations, which were heavily mocked and criticized online. Unfortunately for developer BioWare, the situation didn’t just stop at a few mean tweets; it blew out into reports that Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s facial animations were outsourced to third-party studios.
And problem isn’t going away, as BioWare is still attempting to fix the sometimes off-kilter, sometimes horrifying facial animations with patches. In the case of Chun-Li, Capcom should see BioWare’s woes with Mass Effect: Andromeda as both a cautionary tale and as a motivation to nip this mockery and ridicule in the bud before it’s far too late.
Whether Capcom’s so-called “improvements” will return Chun-Li to her former glory remains to be seen. Hopefully, however, the company can scrub up her facial animations and character design enough to make her appear less odd and more battle-ready. After all, that is what Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is all about.
Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is set for release on September 19 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.