Play enough games, and you start to develop an eye for the ones that are going to demand a lot of your time and focus. Within minutes, I knew Firaxis’ comic book-powered adventure with the Marvel superheroes would be one of those games, filled as it is with numerous currencies, cosmetics, and gameplay systems. Midnight Suns is a strategy/RPG of tremendous depth, character development in both storytelling and upgrades, and many dozens of hours of gameplay to uncover.
While the repetitive nature of the storytelling structure is sometimes a chore, the combat is top-notch. It injects the slow-paced XCOM tactical experience Firaxis is known for with a gamma-powered boost, leading to rewarding battles that stay fresh even after you’ve sunk countless hours into the experience.
An ancient evil has awoken, threatening to plunge the world into the darkness of an Elder God’s malice. Familiar heroes like Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, and Captain Marvel have no choice but to resurrect the long-dead Hunter who once defeated the threat hundreds of years earlier. You control this revived hero as they lead Earth’s mightiest against this danger.
Combat follows the turn-based tactical loop of Firaxis’ XCOM games but abandons giant battlefields and cover points for tighter arenas and a card-based action selection inspired by deck-building gameplay. Each character has an array of card attacks, skills, and heroic abilities that leverage their unique talents, and it’s tremendously fun to stack each character deck to greater heights of dominance.
While there’s plenty of time to consider each move carefully, the action feels more bombastic and faster moving than most tactical games. Every card has a special animation accentuating the character’s uniqueness, and the battles look beautiful as they play out. Wolverine surges back from a KO with renewed power.
Magik’s portals send enemies hurtling across the field. Captain America flings his shield to bounce between hapless Hydra forces, taunting them to take him on. And everyone leaps over barriers, hurling boulders and blasting explosive barrels to add to the chaos – just like any good cinematic superhero fight.