PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC
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Lilith, The Mother of All Demons, has risen from her slumber. The End of Days has come and it’s going take the combined efforts of both the Midnight Suns and the Avengers to resolve this crisis. But a series of setbacks and misunderstandings has firmly divided the two supposed allied factions. The Legendary Hunter needs to step up, cast all doubt away, and find a way to unite these powerful forces.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a tactical turn-based RPG that features past and current members of Marvel’s Midnight Suns and the Avengers. The game has deck-building mechanics at its core and is supported by a social link system that provides great benefits to all those closest to the player’s character.
When it comes to the game’s character creator, there’s really not much to talk about. You have a decent of preset options and a host of clothing options that you can unlock as you progress through the story. One can say it is lacking because it doesn’t have sliders for full customization. But in defense of the game, there are some heavy moments in the game, and having a fully customizable character could take too much away from those moments. And it all happens within the grounds of the Abbey.
The Abbey is where the Midnight Suns call home. It is a place of many mysteries and holds a lot of painful memories for the Hunter and the Caretaker. Ever since the Avengers moved in, however, it has felt less like home and more like an extension of Avengers Tower. There is constant friction underneath the surface and it would take time smooth things over. It’s good then that you have downtime between missions to get to know your team.
Daily life in the Abbey involves training in the mornings, doing missions in the afternoon, and taking part in extra activities after dark. The time before and after training is a chance to get close to the rest of the team. Believe it or not, being a legendary hunter carries weight even with Earth’s Mightiest Heroes as they’ll often defer judgment to you in all matters, be it professional or personal. In a way, it’s somewhat undeserved but at the same time, you get a sense that this is the only way it could make sense from a gameplay and narrative perspective.
The deck-building aspect is at the core of everything you are doing in the Abbey. Facilities like the Training Grounds and the Forge allow for the upgrade and development of new cards, respectively. They use materials that are acquired from missions and essences found on the ground. It is a well-thought-out system that ensures that every card is useful no matter the rarity.
Nocturnal activities like the EMO Kids and Shop Class clubs are gatherings of people who share a common interest. They were created as a way to blow off steam after missions but have changed in a way that will benefit the team in the long run. The EMO Kids are focused on unlocking the secrets pertaining to Lilith and moments before Hunter died the first time. Shop Class, on the other hand, creates combat items that are useful against unexpected boss encounters. Both activities are completely optional and aren’t essential to the story but somehow they’re fun activities to take part in, regardless.
Combat is absolutely amazing in the game. It resembles other tactical games Firaxis has worked on but is refined in a way that it’s almost recognizable from anything before it. It is most noticeable in the way units move on the battlefield. The grid system is still present but it has a loose visual implementation that makes fights more fluid than they actually are. This results in a more visually appealing experience with seamless fights.
From a tactical perspective, every hero is distinct in their fighting style. Nico is a powerful spell caster but most of her cards have an element of controlled randomness to them. Wolverine is a relentless attacker who doesn’t stop his onslaught as long as enemies keep falling. And there’s Spider-Man, his card set becomes near unstoppable in areas where there is plenty of environmental opportunities.
Even units that fill a similar role within a team feel distinct in their fighting styles. Take Captain America and Captain Marvel, for example, they both have similar brawler decks that gain shields the more they fight. The difference is Captain Marvel builds up power until bursting and Captain America remains consistent yet fights at a high level.
There is no denying that Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a visually impressive game. On PC, it runs very smoothly even on the highest of settings. Though it may cost a little bit of time on loading screens. The character models themselves retain much of the comic book likenesses while taking a few hints from the MCU counterparts.
The background music is very fitting with orchestras highlighting moments of intense action and softer music for the more melancholy moments. As for the voice work, it’s very good across the board with the exception of Tony Stank/Iron Man sounds a bit off. It’s really noticeable when compared to the stellar performances of the Caretaker but admittedly, Tony’s odd tone becomes more likable as time went on.
The best part about this game is that it feels like a season of the Avengers animated series. There are high points and low points for the team but in the end, they rally together for the greater good, and for each other. Especially when lost friends are involved. The rogues’ gallery of minibosses is especially entertaining as they keep coming back and giving everything they’ve got to make things difficult for the team.
Another thing that fans of all things Marvel are going to love is the fact that the game makes numerous references to various characters and moments from comic books and shows. There are even a few nods that might perk up the ears of anyone who has watched an Avengers film.
One of the things that really feel out of place in the entire game is the gathering aspect. The gift-giving aspect, is fine for the most part, but there’s no excusing a tacked-on feature that is only brought up in a handful of events. To a lesser extent, the social media part too.
Another thing that’s really noticeable is that outside of combat encounters, the life sim part can feel a bit disconnected at times. There are times when the air is heavy and everyone is feeling down but the next moment, you unlock a new friendship level, and suddenly someone is feeling good enough to celebrate their friendship with Hunter. It’s really strange.
Overall, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is an amazing game held back by a few inconsistencies. The feeling of being a superhero is bar none the best part of the experience but one can’t help but feel that the social aspect supporting the fantasy is shaky at best. If you suspend your disbelief for a moment, you will find a new perfect superhero game. But it’s certainly one of the best tactical RPGs that’s been released in quite some time.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns – Review
When the issues of a game are rolled and stomped by its greatness, then it’s something to invest on if you have some spare.