Marvel’s Midnight Suns have been in my backlog for some time now. The main reason was that I wasn’t entirely sure where to play it. On my Xbox or my PC. Luckily it became playable on the Steam Deck, and that was all I needed for this turn-based deck-building brawler.
Midnight Suns is developed by Fire Axis, the same people who have done the XCOM games, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the structure of the game seems to have a great foundation.
In Midnight Suns you play as The Hunter. A hero from hundreds (thousands? I forget) of years old is awakened by Doctor Strange and a few other well-known, and not so well known heroes. You are awakened because your evil mom has come back from the dead (I think?) and is beginning to wreak havoc. You stopped her once before, and now you have to do it again.
It’s not the most interesting premise for a game, but it does seem to be in line with comic book shenanigans, so it works for me. Customizing your Hunter character is not super in-depth, but it’s good enough that I haven’t seen many that look similar to each other. When it comes to choosing powers though, you’re hard stuck into melee magic-type stuff. So you have a specific character that you can just reskin essentially. I think this is fine and with the interesting combat mechanics, I’m hoping the further along I go I can get a little more diverse with some stuff.
Combat is enjoyable. I like being strategic about where I want my heroes to go and planning out combo moves this early into the game already is a staple. I never got deep into any of the XCOM games, but it makes me think about going back to them at some point. The biggest change between them is the Midnight Suns has an interesting deck-building mechanic for combat.
The cards you collect allow you to choose what abilities you want to use during your phase in combat. Like, choose Blade’s sword abilities, Captain Marvel and her photon blasts, and Doctor Strange with whatever magic he wields. Cards can buff and heal others, debuff enemies, and can even be that massive power card that can take out numerous enemies at once. It’s all about placement, timing, and combos! I’m not great at strategic stuff like this, but it’s a super easy system to learn and I feel like there’s a lot under the surface.
Outside of combat, you will be in an area called The Abbey. This small map houses collectibles, combat training, The Forge, and a bunch of Marvel characters to talk to. I ran around the area for a bit and found a few things, but it felt pretty empty. The main focus I think is the relationships you can build with the other heroes. It doesn’t feel like you can just walk up to anyone at any time and start having a conversation with them, though. So far, it seems to just follow along with the main story. I’m curious how deep this system goes, or if it really is just surface level and you gain small perks when fighting alongside them.
I have played the game entirely on the Steam Deck so far and it runs really well. I didn’t change any settings, which I’m sure I could make so that the batter doesn’t drain as quickly or whatnot. So far though zero issues, runs smooth, and controls just fine as well.
After about 4 hours into the game, I’m 50/50 on it. The combat and mechanics are cool. I like talking with other characters at the Abbey and building relationships so far. I genuinely can’t stand some of the big main characters though. Both Iron Man and Doctor Strange suck ass. They are so insanely annoying. Zero charisma. And maybe this is because, in all honesty, we have been spoiled by the movies and those actors who I think do a genuinely great job. The writing for the characters in the game is such a bummer. I’ll keep going with it since the gameplay is solid, but man, I would be alright if Iron Man went the same way he did in the movies.
Have you played Midnight Suns yet? Let me know what you thought of it!