Over the years, many Marvel video games have allowed players to control their favorite heroes in action-packed battles, providing a glimpse of what it would be like to fly in one of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suits or wield the force of the Captain America super soldier. Marvel’s Midnight Suns is taking a unique approach. While iconic characters like Wolverine and Spider-Man are present, their stories take a backseat to the Hunter, an original and customizable character whose powers may be the key to defeating Lilith, the Mother of Demons.
Allowing fans to create and shape their own hero is novel enough for a Marvel game, but midnight suns takes things further with a new turn-based battle system that combines tactics, deck-building, and RPG elements, plus enough socializing and team-building options to put some modern-life sims to shame. All of that sounds like a lot for any game to try to pull off, but after spending about 20 hours with Marvel’s Midnight Suns so far, it really seems to deliver on its promises. In fact, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of this massive game packed with secrets to unlock, characters to befriend, and references to understand, especially for comic book fans.
Hunter from Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a hero like no other
midnight suns‘ opens with the resurrection of the villainous Lilith, Mother of Demons by Doctor Faustus of Hydra. To combat the threat he represents, Doctor Strange searches for the Hunter, the son of Lilith who died sealing her three centuries before. The Hunter wakes up to see how much the Abbey they once called home has changed. While Caretaker (Lilith’s estranged sister and the woman who raised the Hunter) is still around alongside Charlie the hellhound (who is a very, very good girl), new denizens roam the halls, calling themselves the Suns of Midnight. On top of that, the Avengers are also present, the Abbey now has Wi-Fi, and no one seems to want to talk about what happened to Agatha Harkness.
Players don’t have to wait long to learn Agatha’s fate, but that’s just one of the many mysteries they’ll uncover as they explore the Abbey and meet the heroes who live within it. The Abbey is huge and full of secrets and collectibles to discover, with more grounds opening up as the game progresses. This is where players will spend most of their time as they train, unlock new abilities, spend time with different heroes, and more.
What makes Hunter so interesting is the freedom the game gives players to shape them. Creating the Hunter is more than just choosing his face, hair, and outfits; Through their interactions with other characters and by selecting which abilities to bring into battle, players can decide who their Hunter is. Weather midnight suns has received many comparisons to fire emblem Thanks to their tactical battles and social mechanics, their dialogue choices and the way they shape the character are more reminiscent of mass effect.
The Hunter has the potential to dive deeper into his Light or Dark sides, unlocking different powers on each path. The options here give the game a lot of replayability and make the game more immersive, and the player’s choices have real consequences in the game. Almost everything the player does, from spending time with the EMO KIDS, helping Peter Parker with a moral dilemma, and even petting the hellhound, has some impact on combat, encouraging players to explore and talk to everybody.
Midnight’s Suns match is exciting and unique
Then of course there is midnight suns‘ Unique approach to turn-based tactical battles, which sees players build an eight-card deck for each hero and use various attacks, abilities, and heroics to take on various enemies and major bosses. Each hero comes with their own specialties, and the starter decks give you a good idea of how they operate. From there, players can unlock and upgrade cards, shaping the decks to suit their play style.
However, combat is about more than just the hero’s abilities; it’s just as important to pay attention to the battlefield itself and use the environment and even other enemies to your advantage. Few things feel as satisfying as using knockback to push an enemy into one of their allies or using an explosive container to take out a group of enemies huddled in one place. The different heroes also interact with the environment in unique ways. For example, while Captain America might throw an object at his enemy, Magik will create a portal under the same object and drop it on his head.
All of these systems can make the combat system sound bloated or overly complex, but it’s all incredibly fun and engaging in practice. While it can take time to learn how each aspect of the battles works, the system is fairly simple to learn, with plenty of challenges and additional difficulty levels offering greater rewards to keep players on their toes as they improve.
Midnight Suns is the funniest Marvel game to date
Although many of the heroes on the game’s roster will be instantly recognizable even to those only familiar with Marvel, this is likely the first interaction most casual fans will have with this particular team. Although the game’s story is original, it draws a lot of inspiration from the children of midnight comics from the ’90s, which brought together heroes like Blade, Ghost Rider, and Morbius to tell stories centered on the supernatural side of the Marvel universe. The team has reappeared many times over the years with various lineups, but has never been a household name along the lines of the Avengers, X-Men, or even the Guardians of the Galaxy.
This in itself does Marvel’s Midnight Suns a fresh and unique experience. Recent Marvel games have largely focused on teams, heroes, and villains that fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will recognize, but while the Avengers are a factor in the story, the mystical side of the world is at the center here. midnight suns delves into the massive roster of characters from the franchise, and it’s great to see lesser-known characters like Nico Minoru and the Caretaker incarnation of Sister Sara in such prominent roles alongside some of the most famous characters ever created.
The game also features plenty of other references to its heroes’ massive histories and legacies, both obvious and subtle. Completing missions also presents players with a comic book cover featuring the heroes who fought in the battle, which players can customize if they wish. It almost feels like players are creating and shaping their own series, with each mission a problem in their career. All in all, Marvel’s Midnight Suns It’s a celebration of the franchise that honors its legacy with nods to canon that die-hard fans will appreciate, and it accomplishes this without leaving casual fans behind.