When it comes to licensed games, they could be more impressive. For one reason or another, Marvel and DC games are generally an exception. Marvel’s Spider-Man remains one of the best superhero games to date, with the recently released Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy capturing the charm of the beloved series. With memories of titles like Marvel’s Avengers still in players’ minds, is this another perfectly executed adventure, or is this an adventure you can safely ignore?
Marvel’s Midnight Suns start with Hydra resurrecting Lilith, a woman with unfathomable power, for their nefarious purposes. To help combat this threat, the player character was brought back to help fight these evil forces and deal with mundane problems.
Some Character Designs are Really Cool
Players will sometimes interact with beloved characters from the Marvel universe, Ghost Rider, Agatha, or mainstays like Spider-Man. These interactions can be fun, especially for comic or MCU fans. The more knowledge you have, the more these scenes add to the experience. It’s a lot of fun until you hit the mundane stuff.
There are a lot of character interactions of little importance. You could throw a party, play video games with Tony Stark, or learn about a character’s woes. While these can be ignored, they can still negatively impact your experience.
Dialogue choices can impact friendship levels, making certain unlocks harder. Having all the information makes ‘right’ options more apparent, along with having a better understanding of what you need to do. Occasionally tasks are communicated like this, making it extremely difficult if you skip them.
These aspects also dominate the first couple hours, with frequent tasks and tutorials. Most of these are straightforward, making the experience grind to a halt between missions. Even entering assignments involve an arguably needless running section that loses its charm after the second or third stage. Thankfully, combat is excellent.
Since Firaxis Games developed this, Marvel’s Midnight Suns have a lot of similarities to their other tactical RPG series, XCOM. Here players need to use cards to defeat enemies and complete objectives. Players will use a deck consisting of eight cards per hero. Additional cards must be unlocked through missions, with duplicates used to upgrade existing powers. Where things really come together is how many options players have.
On any given turn, players can move one character, use three cards, redraw two cards, and use whatever hero points they have to accomplish the task. Since characters will proceed to perform attacks, players are given a lot of options to control the battlefield. This is furthered by using knockback and other actions that impact enemies.
They Won’t Know What Hit Them
For instance, most stages have a couple interactive elements thrown around. This might be a couch, explosive barrel, malfunctioning generator, or something similar. The sofa helps to move a character so they can interact with it in the desired way. This might be controlling the direction or ensuring it hits a specific target. Other times I found it helpful to knock enemies into these objects to maximize damage. Using my whip to grab an enemy, throw them at an explosive barrel, and damage another enemy is far more efficient than merely blowing the barrel up.
Not only are these interactions a lot of fun, but characters are also given a lot of personalities. Spider-Man will swing to desired locations, Ghost Rider will hit people with a flaming car, to even Captain Marvel has some devastating power leading up to her Photon Beam. Everything about this makes these stages feel incredibly satisfying.
Sometimes Being Evil Pays Off
Occasionally things can go south, like having to collect a timed objective, defeat a shielded enemy to get to it, or fight multiple waves of reinforcements; players are given enough options to never feel like a hopeless situation. Bosses also add some much-needed variety, either by having a gimmick or hazard to deal with, which players can use to their advantage. It’s incredibly addicting, with new attacks, heroes, or situations giving players something to constantly work towards.
Another nice touch is the unlockable cosmetics. These unlock various waves, typically through chests or friendship levels, offering some variety. There are also costumes premium costumes if you prefer particular iconic looks. Besides the default costume, various colorways are used to personalize them a bit more.
While Marvel’s Midnight Suns typically play fine, there are occasional performance issues. These are mostly dropped frames, which aren’t massive but can be annoying. I noticed them more in the exploration area than combat, which is something to keep in mind if you like exploring.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns Review Verdict
For the most part, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a great game. Combat is incredibly engaging and filled with options to maximize your potential. Unfortunately, the early game includes far too many tutorials and other things that showcase some weaker points. If you are willing to invest a couple of hours, Marvel’s Midnight Suns will reward you with an enjoyable tactical RPG.
[Editor’s Note: Marvel’s Midnight Suns was reviewed on PC, and a copy was provided to us for review purposes.]