MARVEL’S game reception has been a bit of a hit-and-miss over the past few years. Some people have really liked the games and others not so much. Now the question being is, has Marvel’s Midnight Suns broken that stigma of not quite being all there?
Developed by Firaxis Games, best known for the Sid Meier’s Civilization games and XCOM games, and published by 2K Games, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is available on PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch and PC.
A note: This review assumes you’re somewhat familiar with the various Marvel characters.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns starts with Hydra awakening Lilith. You get to start the tutorial stage with Doctor Strange and Iron Man. Lilith attacks the Sanctum Sanctorum and, after fending her off. Doctor Strange, Iron Man and Captain Marvel go to a pocket dimension where the home of the Midnight Sun resides. After a small introduction, Doctor Strange goes to work reviving The Hunter. The child of Lilith and the chosen one of her demise.
As Doctor Strange revives The Hunter, you get taken to the character creation screen.
The Hunter’s character creation is quite limited. You get the usual options of picking between male or female, though the game refers to it as body type and will always use the gender-neutral terms of They/Them. You only have four face options to pick from and no ability to do the additional facial tweaking. Hairstyle and facial hair are the same across both body types.
I don’t believe character creation would take many people longer than 5-10 minutes which is good because it means you can dive right into the game.
This game plays differently from most Marvel games, which isn’t bad. This is a turn-based tactical role-playing game. The combat system is not for everyone, but I admit I thoroughly enjoyed it, as it really does make you try to think tactically. At the start of each round, you are given a selection of cards and a limit of three card plays per round and a movement round.
You can redraw cards several times if your current hand doesn’t meet your expectations. You really need to think, which keeps the game fresh. Thinking tactically is a key factor, as you will have more enemy reinforcements each round, as well as an occasional mini-boss. So you want to take out as many as you can.
If you enjoy environmental damage, you’ll be happy with Marvel’s Midnight Suns, as some of the best tactics in the game will have you whipping enemies into other enemies or items around the battleground.
For me, the best part of the game itself was isn’t the gameplay or the many well-known or even obscure Marvel characters but the sound design.
You start the game, and that inspirational music hits. Yes, some of the dialogue is cheese, but that is classic comic style. So it fits perfectly. During the cutscenes and battles, the explosions and sounds of the boxes and other items in your environment are crisp, making me feel like I was there. All that was missing was heat from the explosions.
For all the positives that Marvel’s Midnight Suns garnered, it does have its shortcomings. Unfortunately, if you don’t fair so well in a battle and end up with all three characters in your party KO’d, the game doesn’t give you the option to go back before the battle and try to change out your card deck or even pick different characters.
You can restart the battle and try again or return to the main menu. Luckily if you go back to the main menu, you can load from an auto-save file before the battle, but the game doesn’t hint at this, and a poor frustrated gamer may be inclined to rage quit before looking into this option.
Overall, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a very enjoyable game. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but It’s a game I recommend that you give a chance.