Marvel’s Midnight Suns find success by balancing the creative insanity and darker twist of Firaxis while donning a fresh coat of Marvel paint that weaves a sense of balance in crafting a familiar yet nostalgic template. Midnight Suns can be perfectly summed up from its experience and replayability, which is the RPG gameplay and the card turn-based combat, which to note both shine at moments. At other points, the story does feel a tad stale, which trudges and creates a path of repetition. However, it’s still worth a pickup and a ton of fun.
Crafting Your Marvel Legacy
One element of praise is how simple Midnight Suns comes off from a background and story perspective; Midnight Suns feel like an animated straight-to-DVD movie or a nostalgia-filled easter egg basket that showcases a sense of humanity and emotion to our favorite heroes. It’s a common trait and skill that Marvel Games and other past projects have relied on. And it feels that this trend of giving these fictional icons a dose of human recognition is akin to the Persona series. For example, a friendship meter and a morality system allow and challenge the player to weave a sense of narrative, connect with their allies, and see what makes them tick.
RELATED: DEADPOOL BRINGS THE MAYHEM IN NEW MARVEL’S MIDNIGHT SUNS DLC TRAILER; ARRIVES JANUARY 26
Though that’s not a bad thing when you step back and think about the fact your choices matter, and the Hunter, in this case, is a blank slate for gamers and Marvel fans. The purpose of the Hunter does come at first a bit hollow, but as the story progresses, a stroke genius begins to take form and shape. The act and consequences of choice are most notable and felt between missions.
Friendships Are Crucial
It’s the little moments that flesh out the story to note. I remember Iron Man confessed to my character while we were playing cards. Then he opened up about his depression and the infringement of imposter syndrome that keeps him from being the man everyone else sees. It’s crazy to admit that Tony’s grief only scratches the surface of how broken and human these heroes are. This led to moments where I felt like a superhero therapist during gameplay.
Still, it works because Hunter’s role and how you interact with the team are interesting. After all, the dialogue can sometimes come off cliche, but for others, it’s organic. Once you buy into the RPG elements of this title, your character and gameplay experience will change for the better, and that’s where the card system comes into play.
The Heart of The Cards
Now the card combat system is not flawed as many were making it out to be. It’s pretty simple, primarily once you practice and mechanics are presented. And then the gameplay evolves from a simple Marvel RPG. with the various heroes and dive into their abilities which will grow, increase and retool along with more potent attacks to an MMO RPG. Other elements to remember are multiple cards, ranging from environmental, buffs, attack, and combo cards. One thing to keep in mind is utilizing the camera and learning the terrain of each level and the character bonuses.
A prime example of planning for a tough fight is knowing Doctor Strange can give the player an extra card to use, or Spider-Man can move with ease, has a great variety of attack cards, and becomes a favorite to main after a few levels. At the same time, Blade incorporates a bleed ability on enemies while he’s best suited for being a tank and absorbing damage while waiting for the enemy’s life to drain over the duration of a turn.
RELATED: MARVEL’S MIDNIGHT SUNS, 2K AND FIRAXIS GAMES’ MAGICAL MARVEL ADVENTURE, IS OUT NOW
The combat system rewards customization and player input, and the roster of heroes does lead to different pairings. Then the choice of partnering up, and gaining experience, goes into effect with the friendship system.
All of which are foundational and tethered to the use of the friendship system. Though the friendship system is quite complex and rewarding because the secret to getting the patent gold suits is you need to max out friendship levels. Which, when worn at endgame, feels symbolic of your team growing and resembling a big old Marvel family, but one crafted and pieced together by your choice and actions.
On the surface, Midnight Suns come off as feeling confined regarding missions, but you would be mistaken because once the story progresses, you find out the Abbey is enormous.
Make Sure To Explore The Abbey
The Abbey is the central hub for the player to explore, and it always feels full. Instead of being designated to one place. The abbey rewards exploration and helps give a sense of unity, from meeting up with your teammates, joining various clubs, or just watching a movie, and count on the fact every option has a purpose regardless of how big or small.
One of the best exploration parts is locating the missing pieces of the story’s lore and, at the same time, being treated to an easter egg hunt of monumental proportions. The collectibles that the player can discover range from Marvel-stylized tarot cards to completing Hunter’s diary and even learning new spells that help you open new areas, not to mention Midnight Suns rewards and welcomes backtracking. It’s also built upon the realm of the supernatural, and various locations through the Abbey’s Map will be a bit familiar to hardcore Marvel fans. The hidden dialogue through friendship options reinforces a motive of worldbuilding and connectivity to the source material.
Marvel’s Top Voice Cast
Of course, one of the best parts and main factors of Midnight Suns is the range and talent of voice actors that were employed and tasked to bring these heroes to life. From fan favorites such as Yuri Lowenthal, the voice of Spider-Man in the Insomniac Spider-Man games. Also filling out the ranks is Josh Keaton as Iron Man, Erica Lindbeck as Captain Marvel, and Micahel Jai White, who finally gets to suit up in some capacity as Blade the Day Walker.
Even Lyrica Okano, known for Nico Minoru’s role on the live-action Hulu Marvel Series “Runaways,” reprises the part and gives a new layer to the character while paying homage to the series, where it feels like this is Nico from that story. It’s a reminder and a sense of respect to the fans and how Marvel looks to innovate and connects to the broader multiverse at play.
Execution and Substance
Of course, heroes are nothing without villains, and this is where the story falls a little short because bosses range from the giant guardian, Crossbones, Scarlet Witch, Hulk, and Venom. The problem wasn’t the substance. It was the execution. The fights were great, but I wish more iconic villains had been available. And I felt that the Deadpool DLC recently dropped was zany as ever, but it felt like the character was shoehorned and rushed, especially with only about three missions and a lackluster boss fight.
To close, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a small test and sample of broadening the Marvel license by utilizing the talent and precision of other studios. The story feels very animated cartoon, but it works, and the gameplay is crafted upon the pros and cons of an MMO RPG; count in some other level beats that feel pulled straight from famous comic panels while leaving a twist is quite genius.
RELATED: MARVEL’S MIDNIGHT SUNS PREMIERES 1ST HAUNTING PREQUEL AND RELEASE SEASON PASS DETAILS
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a worthy placeholder for the Marvel Games title and get an 8/10 due to the creative input and solid card-based combat, but it does tend to feel stale at moments, but still enjoyable.
All that’s left is to create your Marvel Destiny one choice at a time.
ABOUT MARVEL’S MIDNIGHT SUNS
Release Date: December 2, 2022
Developer: Firaxis Games
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
Genre: Tactical RPG
After centuries of sleep, Lilith, Mother of Demons, has been revived by Hydra through a twist of dark magic and science. Lilith stops at nothing to complete an ancient prophecy and bring back her evil Master, Chthon. Pushed to the brink, the Avengers desperately look to fight fire with Hellfire and enlist the help of the Midnight Suns – Nico Minoru, Blade, Magik and Ghost Rider – young heroes with powers deeply rooted in the supernatural, formed to prevent the very prophecy Lilith aims to fulfill.
Together, they resurrect an ancient warrior – the Hunter, Lilith’s forsaken child and the only hero known to have ever defeated her. In the face of fallen allies and the fate of the world at stake, it will be up to you to rise up against the darkness!
Did you pick up Midnight Suns? What Marvel heroes was on your team? Do you think a sequel is in the works?
As always, post a comment, drop a like, and follow us on all social media.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is now available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC.
KEEP READING: FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S CELEBRATES PRODUCTION WITH FIRST SET PHOTO