That Marvel train just keeps on rolling and now, with the newest iteration inbound, we’ve got another offering to unpack in Midnight Suns – the closest any game has come in a long while to the classic X-Men Legends of 2004.
This time, we’ve got a roster of playable superheroes that throws in the usual suspects, alongside some unexpected appearances from popular secondary characters familiar to comic readers (enter Sister Grimm and Magik). You’ll surely be happy to learn that Wolverine is also wearing his iconic yellow costume, replete with pointed black ears.
In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at what we know so far, unpacking gameplay insights, scheduled release, destination platforms and pretty much everything else we’ve learnt to date about Marvel’s Midnight Suns.
Who’s Behind This New Addition To The Marvel Franchise?
It’s the strategy genre whizzes at Firaxis Games – a development studio based in Baltimore – we can thank for this latest dive into the spandex-clad universe of Stan Lee and his cronies. All signs seem to point to this being one of the most popular and unique Marvel licensed games we’ve seen in years. Treading the less familiar territory of turn-based gameplay and character-driven combat to surprise gamers, who are likely more used to wading into ranks of bewildered AI enemies and bashing buttons.
What’s The Story?
This time, the central focus of gameplay will be a blend of RPG elements and deck building mechanics as you attempt to form the ultimate bad-guy-swatting team. Based loosely on the 1993-4 Marvel Midnight Sons series of comics – it combined the likes of Blade, Ghost Rider and Morbius – the story is expected to unfold in a darker and more ominous setting. So, don’t be surprised if there’s a little DC grime on this release when you get started and are locked in an apocalyptic battle with Hydra scientist, Doctor Faustus – backed by a few of the comics best super-villains, like Venom and Red Hulk.
Dark magic and the occult are prevalent themes in the series and the Mother of Demons, Lilith, will surely present a few big boss challenges along the way. Among the motley cast of heroes chosen to retaliate, players will assume the role of Hunter (a playable character conjured up specifically for the game). Then, of course, you’ll cross paths with the familiar cohort of caped (actually only one rocks a cape) crusaders: Wolverine, Spider-Man, Iron Man, Doctor Strange… There’s already a great showcase trailer released with a montage of Hunter gameplay if you want to check out the interloper in action.
How Will The RPG Elements Play Out?
What’s most interesting to us about this release is the somewhat unexpected reliance on turn-based strategising. In the game, cards are drawn each turn from a randomly generated deck. So, you won’t necessarily have a fixed set of actions to scan at the outset. From that deck you will then be gifted a series of both defensive and offensive commands. It will be up to you to channel your characters’ proclivities for combat, healing, support, or defence. Before you launch your flourish of special abilities and attempt to outmanoeuvre your opponents.
Think chess with digitalised pieces and more cutscenes. Plus, you’ll be able to hurl in a few fan-favourite game changers to disrupt the layered strategy and knock all the pieces off the board, like Iron Man’s repulsor blast.
It’s worth noting that character movement will not be locked onto a grid system, unlike chess. The chance-to-hit mechanic is absent here as well and the turn-based combat is decorated with elegant touches, changeable costumes and customisable outcomes. Close attention will undoubtedly be paid to the source material and those evocative settings we know from careworn comic pages. Not to mention the fully explorable Abbey, which doubles as a makeshift base in Salem Massachusetts – somewhere to craft and change your outfits, as well as a spot for Hunter to meet his teammates and dig into some dialogue trees.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is scheduled for release on December 2. It will be available to play on PS5, Xbox Series X/S and PC (via Steam or Epic Games Store). Release date for PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch has slid back into 2023…