Midnight Suns By Marvel Is The Best Superhero Game: There are many pleasant surprises in Marvel’s Midnight Suns, but none is more noteworthy than the different fighting system, which gives the game the sensation of a new entry in the Marvel game series.
Since the moment Marvel’s Midnight Suns was announced, I’ve had some reservations about it, and I don’t believe I’m alone in that. I found it difficult to imagine how to adapt the dynamic aspect of superhero fighting into a turn-based game despite the hours I’ve spent playing Firaxis’ earlier games like Civilization and XCOM.
It gives me great pleasure to say that I was mistaken, and Marvel’s Midnight Suns not only modifies the tactical RPG combat of its alien-battling lineage to its will but also creates an intriguing cast of Marvel characters that draws from a variety of sources rather than just the most well-known ones.
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Superheroes and Demons
Lilith, the mother of demons, makes a comeback in Marvel’s Midnight Suns. Even though she is a well-known member of the Marvel canon, she won’t likely be in the MCU any time soon, which is a prevalent trend throughout the entire hero roster.
After being awakened by those nefarious Hydra members, Lilith assaults the Sanctum Sanctorum and defeats the first team of Iron Man, Captain Marvel, and Doctor Strange. We won’t go too far into the introduction, but the game explains why this particular enemy cannot be defeated with a single Captain Marvel punch.
After the meeting, our heroes travel to a pocket universe searching for The Caretaker, Lilith’s sister, and her kidnapped child. The player character, The Hunter, who was in charge of placing Lilith on ice centuries earlier, is resurrected at this point, where the story starts.
Midnight Suns 🤝 Strike Force
Be a part of this amazing crossover event by adding Magik & her Midnight Suns costume to your @MarvelStrikeF squad today! https://t.co/cVX4JoE2JL pic.twitter.com/moeKC3UJ25
— Marvel’s Midnight Suns (@midnightsuns) November 17, 2022
Naturally, you’ve already seen all of this in the trailers. However, it’s still important to note that the campy absurdity of the Marvel universe rubbing elbows with what are essentially occult legends works incredibly well.
Blade grunts his way through in a way that feels infinitely more enjoyable than Gotham Knights’ similarly stoic Red Hood. The voice cast is self-aware to the point of being a little cheesy, but it works. Tony Stark is smarmy but out of his depth. Doctor Strange is frequently surprised by new developments he can’t predict.
The way Marvel’s Midnight Suns handles combat, though, maybe the biggest surprise. There is XCOM DNA there, no doubt, but the gameplay is more akin to the indie hits Slay the Spire or Fights in Tight Spaces.
Each turn begins with your team of heroes being dealt a hand of cards, each with a set of powers. Others can grant friends or enemies boosts or status effects, while some like to deal damage to an enemy.
The most cards you can play in turn are three. However, you can redraw cards if the ones you’ve already played don’t work for your circumstance. Knowing when to play and when to dig into your deck can give you an advantage, but it also introduces a random aspect that feels exciting in the early going — but we’ll see how things develop over the next few hours.
𝐓𝐎𝐌𝐎𝐑𝐑𝐎𝐖, the @Xbox team is hosting a special livestream on Marvel’s Midnight Suns. The legend @SolomonJake himself will be making a special appearance. You don’t wanna miss it!
Tune in at 𝟏𝟏𝐀𝐌 𝐏𝐓 ➡️ https://t.co/ihe5yzOLWD pic.twitter.com/5iP8mf9AQL
— Marvel’s Midnight Suns (@midnightsuns) November 17, 2022
Being given a new hand each round gives you the impression of being a superhero who continually adapts to the battlefield, which serves to add a little amount of risk because XCOM’s “hit percentages” are gone. Your team moves as they activate abilities, aside from playing and shuffling cards; however, each round, you are only allowed to make one move to change your position.
This let my Hunter get away from the boss during an early boss battle when he was near death, but you can also use the move to set up non-card environmental attacks. This means you can harm an enemy more by throwing furniture at them, exploding barrels at them, or leaping over a ledge.
Once everything is put together, which didn’t take long thanks to a thorough tutorial, the fighting feels less turn-based and more like a dance of overlapping actions, mainly when used in conjunction with “Quick” cards that return the chance to use a card if they defeat an adversary.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns’ metagame is entirely different from XCOM’s since there is no permadeath. A considerable part of the appeal of XCOM was constructing your team in the shape of people you knew and seeing who would live the longest.
You won’t find Iron Man being pulled from your playing after a terrible mission, but harder difficulty settings will raise the damage your foes deal and buff their health. It makes things different between tasks because you’re urged to eventually become friends with heroes to maximize their combat abilities.
I’m reviewing Marvel’s Midnight Suns from @FiraxisGames for @DigitalTrends! Ahead of that, I’ve previewed the game. If you were nervous about the switch to the card-based format, know that it works well! #DarknessFalls https://t.co/CXtxTOsF5I
— Tomas Franzese (@TomasFranzese) November 17, 2022
I’m interested to see how Midnight Suns expand the gameplay choices outside of merely adding new heroes to the roster and improving cards in the Yard. In the early going, it’s simple to see the draw, with relatively simple dialogue trees opening up some amusing interactions among the demon-slaying.
Even still, the cast is a genuinely entertaining mix of well-known figures, with household names like Iron Man teaming up with legendary X-Men characters like Wolverine and more ethereal heroes like Blade and Ghost Rider. With entertaining opening cutscenes, everyone has a chance to shine.
The abilities in your deck can extend to many of the classic party member types; for example, Blade is a damage dealer, and Dr Strange is a support type. I’m eager to continue playing to see how they can be altered.
Live Among Legends and watch the third @midnightsuns livestream NOW on Twitch and YouTube! Marvel’s #MidnightSuns developers are taking a deep dive into the RPG and combat layers, characters like the Hunter, and so much more: https://t.co/hh8TqLoE6Q https://t.co/shC25Vp86L
— Marvel Games (@MarvelGames) November 16, 2022
Marvel’s Midnight Suns appear to be on track to deliver some of the most enjoyable tactical fighting of 2022. This year has also been fantastic for it, thanks to Triangle Strategy and the impending Front Mission Remake.
But by fusing its well-known superpowered characters with a creative new fighting system, it delivers something as rich and varied as it is, and I’m looking forward to playing more of it before our review.