It is worth saying that superhero games are having a new breath in the industry with exponents such as Marvel’s Spider-Man/ Miles Morales, Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy, the fiasco of Marvel’s Avengers, Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3, etc. Many have tackled different genres, but basically they prefer action with RPG touches. Well, it’s surprising that the guys from Firaxis (X-COM 1 and 2) bring us one of the best exponents of turn-based strategy, Marvel’s Midnight Suns.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a title that, despite what we might think a priori, has some very interesting mechanics and a friendship system that makes us share with heroes like Blade, Venom, Wolverine, among others. It also has a very customizable brand new hero, which we build as the story progresses.
the children of midnight
The main theme of the plot of Midnight Suns is loosely based on the story arc Rise of the Midnight Sons, after the events of this. Although it is based on that comic, this is a new plot in which many well-known characters are introduced. It has a plot that brings together the Avengers, X-Men, Midnight Suns and other groups from the Marvel universe.
Now, the antagonist Lilith the Mother of Demons has been resurrected by the Hydra organization, as always playing with forces they don’t know. After an opening introduction, in which we see heroes like Iron Man, Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider, we are introduced to the main hero, Hunter.
Hunter is the hero originally created for the game, possessing his own personality and set of magic-based powers. He can be male or female. However, she approaches her story as if players already know her, something that can confuse players. To complement fragments of her story, documents scattered around our operations center that we must discover are used.
Where the game really stands out is in how it handles the relationships between characters. We will not only have interactions with well-known heroes, but also with less famous ones. Hunter will have to befriend each member of the team, and this translates into advantages in combat while allowing us to learn more about each other’s background.
Atlus, is that you?
One of the aspects of the game is life in the Abbey, our base of operations where we can manage missions, befriend the heroes, explore its most secret corners and learn from the story before the game. In addition, we will have several stays that serve to improve statistical attributes, research for new advantages and improve our friendship in exchange for passive skills.
The game has a social component very similar to Persona 5, each day that passes we will have certain activities that we can do with our allies to strengthen our friendship. However, carrying the thread of each of the heroes can be overwhelming while not all the dialogues have the same plot weight.
The activities of the Abbey include talking with the different heroes, sharing interests, giving them gifts, doing particular missions, making decisions to questions that they ask us. The activities are so many that it will be difficult to know how we are doing with each ally.
cards, and movements
Something that in the first days of the official announcement of the game did not convince much (including me), was undoubtedly the turn-based tactical combat system. I must say that we were wrong because it is possibly one of the most entertaining systems in the genre. It’s still turn-based, but unlike X-COM, it’s a system that makes use of different types of cards for actions. The scenarios do not have movement grids, and instead we will have an overview to know what movements and actions to take.
Basically, we will have a team of three heroes in which we must fulfill an objective per game, whether it is protecting an object, eliminating all the enemies, destroying vehicles or defeating a boss. The stages are small compared to X-Com, but they offer a lot of fun and this will not hinder you from enjoying the game. The percentage system of the studio’s games is left behind, and if a card says that it will do something, then it does that itself.
Each hero has a set of 8 individual cards, which represent their innate abilities and powers. In addition, we will have a specific number for each action, be it movements, drawing cards, using objects. This forces you to think through each movement very well in order to do the most and take the least damage possible, which is where the strategic component of Midnight Suns comes in. In each turn, several cards will be taken from the general deck to build our strategy based on the ones we have in hand. Cards that do not suit us at that moment can be discarded for others that are more suitable.
There are three categories of cards: Attack for what the name says, Technique that serve to empower and Heroic that are powerful versions of each hero’s attacks. Attack and Technique cards grant Hero Points, while Heroics consume them, depending on how powerful the cards are. The aforementioned Heroic Points are used for many useful things in combat, such as using objects on the stage to cause damage that, depending on our level, will consume more or less.
An alternate Marvel universe
Visually, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a game that looks spectacular, the modeling of the characters, especially the heroes, are quite detailed. Effects such as explosions, games of light and shadow, representation of powers, etc., are well achieved. However, it does have some minor glitches like lip sync in conversations (especially in Spanish), some late textures, and weird transparency. A minor detail is the Photo Mode that once activated increases the brightness too much by default and I couldn’t find a way to correct it. For the rest the game runs perfectly, without slowdowns in times of stress.
As for the music, they opted for epic and heroic themes that are very reminiscent of the MCU movies. As for the dubbing, it comes in English and Spanish, the latter decent although with voices for some heroes that don’t suit them. As I already said, the desynchronization of lips and voices is sometimes evident but in general it does not prevent us from enjoying the conversations.
For those who like both strategy and superhero games, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is one of the best representatives of the genre. He has an unprecedented story with an original character for the game, which is based on the relationships that we cultivate with allied characters. It has a social component that will make us know more about each hero that makes an appearance, while giving us playable advantages. Where the game shines the most is in its combat system, which makes us pay attention to every detail, from the position of each member, to the movements we must make to be victorious. It will easily keep us an average of 60 hours of play, and more if we want to reveal all the secrets of it.
Note: This review was made on the PS5 version and the code was provided thanks to 2K Games.