THERE are some standout Marvel-licensed games, like 2018’s Spider-Man or more recently Marvel Snap, but they still have a reputation for not being that hot.
Take Marvel’s Avengers, which is widely believed to exist, and not much beyond that.
However, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is different. It’s a strategy game developed by Firaxis, possibly the studio responsible for the best strategy games like XCOM and the Civilization series.
Midnight Suns isn’t just “XCOM but with Marvel characters”; Instead, consideration was given to bringing various strengths and superpowers together into a cohesive system.
It’s played more like a deck builder, which helps each hero shine in their own way.
Each hero is equipped with a deck of eight cards, and all hero cards are shuffled together before you choose three for your mission.
Building teams this way is much easier as each hero is useful in different ways.
With such a wide range of characters to choose from, you can feel overwhelmed. However, there is a system that attempts to negate this.
Unlike XCOM, these characters are not blank slates for you to shape, but already fully trained fighters.
This makes it feel more like Fire Emblem than Firaxis’ other strategy titles.
Their sympathies vary, Tony Stark is a pretty limp portrayal of his screen persona, but Blade and Nico Minoru are fun to be with.
It feels like there’s almost too much to do outside of combat; Research, craft new maps, open loot, train, spar, hang out, solo missions and more to unlock as you progress.
It tracks these things well, and you’ll get into the rhythm of doing it daily, every day.
Its centre, the abbey, has a surprising amount to discover. It’s packed with resources and collectibles, as well as hidden areas that require unique skills to unlock.
The Priory and Combat work together, with battles giving you more to do in the Priory and the Priory giving you more power in combat.
While you have three heroes in a deck, they cannot dominate the battlefield alone.
There are objectives other than the usual “defeat all enemies” which keeps each of the missions fresh.
Difficult decisions must be made in order to keep a hero alive and complete objectives, and even those familiar with the genre will be forced to face them on the more difficult difficulty levels.
Hopefully things will continue to expand as we play more, with more characters, facilities and abilities to unlock.
Midnight Suns is clearly a game made for squad-based strategy fans first and Marvel fans second, but given the range of games available now, it should be.
Written by Ryan Woodrow and Georgina Young on behalf of GOOD LUCK AND HAVE FUN.
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