HOW DARE YOU MIDNIGHT SUNS? Seriously. How dare you be this good? You have no right!
For those of you that don’t know, Marvel: Midnight Suns is a card based Strategy game from the developers of Xcom that features lots of relationship building mechanics similar to those found in games like Persona and Fire Emblem… I know I know On paper the game sounds really really bad, SO WHY CAN’T I PUT IT DOWN!?
Let’s get into looking at my time with Midnight Suns so far from the very beginning.
The character creator is very limited to avout 10 hair pieces, 4 faces of each gender and some skin tone options. But i don’t care as I’m not playing this game for a random non character… though I do adore my Character known as the Hunter, its a very nice way for me to interact with each of the heroes and to be fair forced me to become a lot more invested in the story but let’s be honest we play a Marvel game so that we can go to battle as our heroes.
Speaking of the heroes, these get dropped into your team throughout the story at relevant intervals and I really like the character intros, I genuinely found myself laughing at each of them. Particularly when Jonny Blaze calls Tony, Roboman and it introduces him as “Roboman, supposedly famous” right at the beginning.
I know I mentioned before about not caring about this random Non-hero character in the game, though I do appreciate that you need this character in order to allow for the relationship management section of the game which will take up quite a lot of your time and to be honest the relationship management sim side to things actually intrigued me really early on and I wanted to make all the Marvel characters like me so that I could finally make someone appreciate me for me because that’s all I wanted from my father and he just left one night and never came back and what… is that Blade? COOL!
Jokes aside, the Character interaction is one of the many highlights of the game. Watching each of the heroes interact with one a other is fantastic. Not once in my current run of 30 hours has seeing these guys speak to me and each other become a task or annoying.
In fact, most of the time in Video games, I actually hate having to listen to characters tell me their stories; something I regularly skip. With midnight suns however I have found myself hunting down every dialogue option available, forever looking at the fire emblem/persona relationship building experiences.
I really like how the original team of the Midnight Suns, find the avengers like Iron Man really pretentious and annoying. Even the Midnight Suns caretaker finds Dr Strange rally pretentious. With this in mind as well, I think Firaxis have done an incredible job at realising the Marvel characters and their attitudes, as well as their power and how they all participate within the bigger fights, something the Avengers game tried, and failed, to do.
Watching my favourite heroes interact with one another is a marvel fanboys dream and I do love unlocking each hero and hearing them become part of my ragtag crew, however this is where my issue lies with Midnight Suns lies: There’s just not enough heroes. For a 60 hour game 14 heroes just simply isn’t enough. MAYBE this would have been fixed by not having me see 10 within the first hour of the game, but only having 4 unknown heroes (all of which were in trailers) to unlock is just a crying shame and a cry for DLC. However…
Unless the story expansions are MASSIVE, I don’t understand how the game can even REMOTELY justify 39.99 for the season pass, especially as it seems that you only get some characters… like Venom and Deadpool which should have been main game anyway… like Venom is the games first boss as he fell to Lilith so he should literally have been a hero once we beat him. That did annoy me.
However. If there is actual big story expansion that I’ve come to expect from Firaxis they can have my money tomorrow. (For full disclosure… Since I wrote this review I ended up buying the season Pass).
The gameplay is another thing that had no right being this fun, being a card based Xcom-like I thought I wouldn’t rate the combat as Card games don’t do a lot for me but I really like it.
Let me break it down, whilst you are doing the relationship management stuff, you can also send your team on missions on their own – this coupled with the missions you do has the potential to unlock character cards. You can then use these to flesh out each of your character decks they take into the battles. These will then be randomly drawn each turn and you have 3 moves to pick cards to attack your enemies.
The amount of tactics this forced me to employ was surprisingly deep, moving Captain Marvel into a position behind a sofa and then using Spider-Man to kick an enemy into it’s path so I can then utilise Captain Marvel to boot the sofa at an enemy to get an extra attack in gave me so much satisfaction and these moments in battle look really great.
In battle is where the game looking great ends though, The graphics on the characters back at base are PS3 era emotionless and you would be forgiven for thinking the game came out in 2012 with the original game. Whilst not a dealbreaker, watching a movie with an emotionless Peter Parker took me out of some of the games more poignant moments.
All of the above has made for a game that I have been absolutely adoring in my 30 hours with it so far… though I do think the game might suffer a bit from being too long. If the reported 90 hours of gametime is correct then I think I will grow very tired of this game, but as it stands this has not happened as of yet so I will score Marvels Midnight Suns:
So there we have it, my experience with Marvel’s Midnight Suns. What did you think of the game? Let me know in the comments below.