Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a tactical RPG with a new story that delves into the supernatural and mystical elements of the Marvel superhero universe. It launched on December 2, 2022 on Windows PC via Steam and Epic Games Store, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Versions of the game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch are still in development and will be available at a later date. Firaxis Games, those geniuses behind one of my most all-time favourite game series, X-COM, are the developers of Midnight Suns.
Midnight Suns is not the usual Marvel game you would expect to be released – this is not a straight X-COM clone and that’s a good thing. Ordinarily you would be in control of a superhero and mash a variety of buttons on your controller or keyboard to execute super moves on your enemies. However, Marvel’s Midnight Sun utilises turn-based combat and ability cards to take down the bad guys, and it is addictive as hell! The story is based on Marvel Comics Midnight Suns series and players are put into the shoes of a character known only as The Hunter.
The Hunter is considered the ultimate warrior, the chosen one that is desperately needed to fight the new evil threat that is Lilith, Hunter’s mother. Leading a collection of other superheroes, you set out from your secret base called “The Abbey” to take on Lilith and her demonic minions. You can customise the physical and cosmetic look of The Hunter in the beginning of the game to put your stamp on the Marvel universe and give you your own unique game experience. As you progress through the game, players can earn new cosmetic suits for not only The Hunter, but for other superheroes as well.
You can team up with a variety of well-known and not so well-known superheroes. Dr. Strange, Iron Man, Blade and Ghost Rider are but a few of Hunter’s team. Throughout the game there are many more heroes you can recruit to your team such as Wolverine, Morbius, Deadpool, Spider-Man and Captain America. Each superhero has their own set of abilities to use in combat. You can boost your combat cards through collecting upgrade modules during missions or combining double ups of the same card.
The turn-based card system of combat is an interesting one. Planning out your strategy and using specific cards at various times really gets you thinking about how you are going to play your round. Use the wrong cards and it could cost you. But use the right cards together can produce a beautiful but deadly combo of attacks that annihilate your enemies. Once you use a character’s ability card, an animation plays where you see in all its glory how the superhero executes that ability, hopefully achieving a knockout. I found the animations of the hits and bumps can make you feel the enemies’ pain as Captain Marvel power blasts you in the face with her fist.
Players can also use environment objects like boxes and rocks to fling against enemies as an attack. Another aspect of the combat I love is the ability to be able to move and position a superhero so their attack can cause flow on damage to whatever is behind it, hopefully another HYDRA minion. The way Firaxis have developed this particular combat engine is fantastic and adds a really enjoyable tactical experience for the player than just mashing buttons as hard as you can to execute a super move.
The game offers a lot more than just the turn-based combat. In between missions you can upgrade The Abbey, get to know your team mates better to forge better friendships with them. During these parts of the game, players control The Hunter from a third person perspective allowing you to explore your base and interact with your superhero team mates. Exploring The Abbey also lets the player find secrets, treasure chests to open and learning more about the history of this particular superhero group.
The conversations and getting to know each other can start to get a little tedious, even in the beginning of the game, but still enjoyable enough to work your way through each conversation and learn more about the story and the superheroes themselves. Another interesting aspect of the dialogue options with the other superheroes is the ability to make light and dark choices. This will affect how some heroes interact with you during the game. I’ve always enjoyed games that add an element of good and bad choices in games as it creates a more unique gaming experience, like the Mass Effect series as an example.
Overall, the game’s storyline has been enjoyable and progresses at a good pace to keep you wanting to get to the next part to find out what happens next. I think Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a well put together game by Firaxis Games. All the different game mechanics work very well with each other to give the player a thoroughly enjoyable game experience in the Marvel universe. With the various difficulty level options, it allows any player to jump right in and not get weighed down by too heavy learning curve.
This review utilised a Steam key provided by 2K ANZ and Marvel’s Midnight Suns is available now on Windows PC via Steam and Epic Games Store, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S. Versions of the game for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch are still in development and will be available at a later date.