Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a game a lot of people probably didn’t see coming. It takes a relatively unknown comic run ( don’t hate me, die-hard Marvel fans ) and combines it with a pretty niche style of gameplay ( don’t hate me, die-hard Xcom fans ) to create a game that’s hard to compare if nothing else.
This is not at all to say that it’s a bad game. Right off the bat, I’d say that if you are a big Xcom fan, you are going to like Midnight Sons, and there’s probably not a lot I can say in this review that will change your mind on that.
This game is developed by the same company that made Xcom, and takes the unique gameplay from the franchise and only improves on it. The frustrating hit percentage mechanic that has become infamous in the Xcom franchise is gone, meaning when your heroes attack they will always hit something. As I write this, I can hear thousands of Xcom fans clicking over to the Steam store and adding Midnight Suns to their shopping cart. The promise of Xcom-style gameplay without luck mechanics is enough to sell many on this game.
If that isn’t enough for you, I also have to give praise to the game’s roster of characters. There are a ton of unique heroes in Midnight suns, and each of them feels strong and useful with plenty of room to experiment with builds. There is no perfect team that’s going to be held back because you didn’t unlock one hero or you found one early that you really like, which is a great feeling for fans looking to make a team of their comic book favorites.
Not only that, but you get a good selection of heroes really early on, with some constant progression and unlocks. Not only does the game feed you new faces at a steady pace, but brand-new cards for the characters you already have keeps them fresh.
That’s right, cards. The game uses a deck-building system, with each character being able to bring in a deck of 10 cards to enhance or change their gameplay. Sticking to your favorite heroes never gets boring, because there are plenty of new builds to try to keep them fresh.
Your characters can be injured during battles, which incentivizes swapping out your teams on occasion which further helps to keep the game from getting repetitive. You don’t have to worry about your favorites missing out on experience doing this though, as they still gain levels when you let them hang back and heal from their harrowing missions.
Between said missions, you have the opportunity to spend time with your heroes and get to know them. The RPG elements of the game really push you to befriend your cast of characters, and in time you’ll learn to appreciate every single member of your team beyond their combat stats.
Your character, The Hunter, has an ever-changing morality spectrum that slides between Light and Dark depending on how you play. This can be changed through combat actions as well as dialogue, allowing you to play the kind of person you feel like being in your current playthrough. Characters in the game also fit somewhere along this spectrum (spoilers: Captain America is about as far Light as you get.)
That was a lot of praise for Midnight Suns, and it was deserved, but the game is certainly not without its flaws. The biggest and most blaring issue lies behind the game’s microtransactions and season pass.
That’s right, this $60 game has a $50 season pass as well as purchasable in-game currency. These microtransactions can be used to purchase new heroes, skins for existing heroes, and more. This means that you cannot get everything in the game without additional purchases.
This is a big problem that Marvel games in particular seem to have and is a reflection of some of the worst parts of the current Video Game industry. This alone is a huge put-off for many potential buyers of the game.
The game is also slow. The first few hours feel like a drag, and not much really kicks off until you sludge through it. When it does pick up, it REALLY picks up, but a lot of players can expect not to be sold on the game until the mid-game point.
The story also is a bit generic and Marvel-y, with not much changed from the comic series it was inspired by. Character interaction outside of the main story itself tends to be more interesting than the game’s plot, but this probably won’t be a turn-off for most players and doesn’t distract from the game’s gameplay.
The game also has some performance issues, notably with ray tracing. It has been known to stutter even on higher-end machines, and it seems to be a problem with the game itself and not the hardware it runs on. Interested players may find it worthwhile to wait for a performance patch before buying.
The Final Word
Midnight Suns is a truly unique game that, for the right player, will scratch a very specific itch that they’ve been missing out on. The target audience for this game will appreciate it, and find a lot of replayability and enjoyment in the title. That being said, it’s a hard game to sell to everyone, and if you aren’t sure on it I would recommend checking out some gameplay videos before sinking the steep $60 (or more) investment on this title.
Our Marvel’s Midnight Suns review was written based on the PC version of the game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!