Comics And XCOM Collide in Marvel’s Midnight Suns

Marvel’s Midnight Suns has an interesting history. It was originally released for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X back in December of 2022, as well as for the PC through Steam. A Nintendo Switch version was supposed to follow-up. Midnight Suns seems tailor-made for the Switch, and I was looking forward to its release since I enjoy superhero titles and play a lot on the Switch.

However, the problem was that despite getting some great reviews on its original platforms, it was pretty much a disappointment commercially. I am not sure why nobody bought the game because it has a lot of unique elements, solid gameplay, and a host of Marvel characters. But because of those negative economic factors, the Switch version of the game was forever canceled. And then in another strange move, the developer Firaxis Games and publisher 2K decided to release a new version of the title anyway. This time for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. I guess porting it over to the last-generation consoles when it was already on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X was easier than recoding everything for the Nintendo Switch.

So now, everyone other than purely Switch gamers can give this amazing title a try. And there is even better news because its commercial failure is in some ways a gain for players. On the Steam platform, you can pick up Midnight Suns for a fraction of its original cost. Where it was originally priced at $55 on Steam, it’s mostly now on sale for under $15, which is an incredible value. Even the deluxe and legendary versions of the game are going for under $20 and $25 respectively. So, with all that said, I am finally getting to check out Midnight Suns, and let me tell you, it’s a really fun title.

Getting Midnight Suns while it was on such a super sale was a no brainer. And from the start, I was happy that I did, right from character creation. Sure, by Balder’s Gate 3 standards, putting a character together in Midnight Suns was kind of stripped down, but good luck finding Baldur’s Gate 3 on sale.

So, Midnight Suns starts with players getting revived at a monastery that sort of exists between dimensions. You are joined by Doctor Strange (because of course he is there in an extra dimensional space), Iron Man, and someone called the Caretaker. They walk you through the basic situation that you have to resolve, which is an odd one. Your mother is possessed and trying to bring about the apocalypse with an army of possessed people and extra-dimensional threats. So, a typical Marvel plot.

Midnight Suns then introduces you to combat which is very much like XCOM, but it’s not surprising given that XCOM remains one of the best games that Firaxis ever made along with Civilization. Anyway, in addition to just turn-based combat, there are also cards, and you will need to build a good deck over time. It takes a little getting used to, especially when trying to balance each individual deck for maximum effect, but most gamers will pick it up in short order. The only negative is that the combat became tedious after a while as I needed to grind up to get better cards.

The plot is engaging, and it’s really cool to see characters from Marvel’s many properties like Blade, X-Men, the Avengers, and Marvel’s Runaways all together in one place. Side note, this game made me want to go watch the Marvel’s Runaways television series, but the episodes are only available for purchase on Amazon Prime instead of any of the thousand other streaming services I’m paying for.

My only other major issue with Marvel’s Midnight Suns is that it feels like some good characters appear way too late in the story. Maybe I was grinding too much, but by the time I got characters like Wolverine and Scarlet Witch, it was hard to rotate them in because they were dealing so little damage compared to the rest of my team that was fully leveled up at that point. I normally ran my preferred group of Avatar, Nico, and Illyana unless one of them was hurt, and then Blade would rotate in for a time.

When I finally earned Captain America, I was excited until the battle when he was dealing 36 damage while everyone else was dealing 80 to 130. It eventually started to cascade into more grinding as some of those weaker starting heroes were required for story missions. It would be better if Midnight Suns would add new characters that were somewhat on the same level of power as your other characters at the time of their arrival.

One nice thing about the title is that between battles you can explore the monastery grounds. It wasn’t as detailed as it could have been, but it absorbed time and provided a nice break between all the battle grinding.

Midnight Suns is one of those titles that really enthralled me initially, but then couldn’t hold my attention as it dragged on. The combat started out interestingly enough, but quickly turned into a chore. Story wise, it felt like it was dragging things out with repetitive quests that almost seemed like a waste of time or just filler content. In terms of story, there is also a system to use evil or good options in some of your choices. Other than the abilities you can earn, I don’t think the dialogue changes the story too much.

Overall, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is fun. However, it failed to do what Football Manager or Palworld were able to do, which was keep me coming back for more. Still, Marvel’s Midnight Suns earns 4 out of 5 GiN Gems. It also earns a recommendation from me, especially if you can find it at an incredible price like it’s being offered for on Steam.

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