Marvel's Midnight Sun Review

Marvel’s Midnight Sun Review

Marvel’s Midnight Sun Review


need to know

what is it? A Marvel friendship simulator masquerading as something like turn-based XCOM.

Expect to pay: $59.99 / £49.99

release date: December 2, 2022

Developer: Firaxis games

Publisher: 2K

commented on: Windows 10, AMD Ryzen 5 5600X Hexa-Core CPU, 16GB RAM, Nvidia Geforce RTX 3060

multiplayer game? Do not

Association: Official Website(opens in a new tab)

The team behind XCOM gave me my next mission objective. This isn’t about destroying alien relay stations, rescuing VIPs from hot zones, or boarding crashed UFOs. Instead, I’m going to watch a movie from the Marvel movie “Midnight Sun” with my friends. A western would be acceptable if Eastwood-esque characters flashed across the TV, though the details of the film’s plot proved unimportant.

Movie night is just an excuse to have a deep conversation with new teammate Nico. We have bonded with wicked mothers: her mother was a benevolent child-killing witch, and mine was a demon goddess who banished me to a cold tomb at the end of the 17th century. Nico’s superpowers seem to be joy in the face of trauma, and he’s determined to make me understand the entire history of cinema: “The first thing you need to know — the glowing briefcase is a metaphor.”

(Image source: 2K)

The same was true of my first night at the monastery, the picturesque fortress around which all the action of the midnight sun unfolded. I had settled in, hung classic paintings on the austere walls of my room, made a sumptuous bed for Charlie the Cerberus, and cleaned the spooky manor grounds of reagents into the library cauldron. And yet, dozens of hours later, I never stopped unpacking with my various magical, radiant, or vampire roommates. Surprisingly, I still haven’t forgotten, and haven’t stopped admiring: Firaxis’ big-budget contribution to the Marvel universe is as much a downtime simulator as it is a turn-based tactics game. While the studio’s expertise has historically leaned toward the latter, Midnight Sun achieves equally in both areas.

In retrospect, you can go from Jake Solomon’s last project, XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, to this one. Back then, Firaxis emphasized the bond between your soldiers through shared moves and introduced three taunting supervillains–who, in their reptilian sublime stance, bore an uncanny resemblance to Midnight Suns big bad Lilith. place. The developer’s new effort represents a doubling, possibly even quadrupling, of those elements. It’s all about merging more closely with your teammates in an attempt to fight enemies that refuse to stay despite being repeatedly hit in rooftop arena fights. Hydra’s minions are simply clothed in these ongoing relationship dramas – a handy object nearby to pick up and use to crush Sabretooth or Crossbones.

former committee

When I interviewed Solomon late last year, he described the battles in Midnight Sun as the antithesis of XCOM. That’s not to say the conflict was resolved a cappella, but the studio rejected its previous reliance on probability as a tool for tense and bursty storytelling. There’s only one instance of a percentage number appearing onscreen – when you’re trying to crash an enemy into a New York sinkhole or abyssal vortex for an instant kill (bonus points for the way Firaxis’ animators teeter on the edge), hands flailing but not giving up result). Every once in a while, Midnight Suns tackles the deterministic math in Into the Breach – demystifying and showing you exactly which of your heroes will be crushed by the debris thrown by Venom on the next turn, and where they will be in the process.

(Image source: 2K)

Upfront numbers allow you to calculate the outcome of the entire round before you start, and are actually advisable. If your team of three heroes can knock out all enemies on the board before your game runs out, it’s game over – an early victory and rewarded with Gloss, the currency used to buy gifts for comrades and renovate the Monastery . If not, you can expect more mobs to flood the screen on your next turn and the ones after that.

This potential to weaponize the environment in prolonged, bloodless beatings in cramped arenas gave the Midnight Sun a hardcore WWE feel.

However, you rarely feel like you’re drowning. Since this is a Marvel fantasy, every hero in your roster can effortlessly one-shot a minion – every new Hydra body is an opportunity to flex with Ghost Rider’s burning chain Toss your opponents into explosive barrels, or knock them down with a stack of New York newspapers over their heads. All the while, you’ll take every opportunity to tip your lampposts on more important followers, nerfing their health bars until you can finish the final game-ending knockout. This potential to weaponize the environment in prolonged, bloodless beatings in cramped arenas gave the Midnight Sun a hardcore WWE feel. Firaxis clearly invested hours to convey the impact of each collision – delivering the bright red audio-visual equivalent of THWACK in Golden Age comics.

Despite the welcome clarity, immediacy, and satisfaction of this setup, combat in Midnight Suns still isn’t as intuitive as it should be. Much of this comes down to the confusing relationship between the arena, a tangible space in which all battles take place, and your action players—drawn from a pre-selected deck containing your three heroes Every ability that can be exerted. Whenever you play an attack card, like Spider-Man’s web throw, your character automatically handles the movement for you–jogging or drifting to the best vantage point on the map to deliver their particular brand of strike. However, if you’re not careful, that new location could also put you within range of the next explosion, say, an AOE explosion. These nasty consequences are always apparent when choosing cards, but it takes a while to understand the importance of getting your character right – in a game that otherwise encourages you to think in more abstract ways.

(Image source: 2K)

Still, the battle never ends. This is thanks in part to the various combat objectives and sub-bosses, but mostly because — and this can’t be stressed enough — you’ll likely spend far less than half the game’s time in combat. For every climactic encounter atop the Avengers’ tower, there’s an evening spent decompressing and picking through the interpersonal ramifications of the latest episode’s revelations.

The Abbey functions a lot like Normandy in Mass Effect, if it were placed in the mansion’s garden. You can often find certain characters in specific areas related to their specialties: Raising Swords in the Yard, overseeing weapons training; Tony Stark and Doctor Strange in the Furnace, working on splicing magic and metallurgy; Peter Parker and Ghost Rider hiding In the shop, it’s a cave garage so they can tinker without the elf looking over their shoulder and telling them what they should do. But every character on your roster appears on your map, scattered around the monastery–ready to be stalked for a Bioware-style conversation, or invited to the ground for mushrooms.

Sanctuary for Sociopaths

As Carol Danver said, “All work and no play, that’s why we finally have Ultron.” But there’s a strategy to your social life, too. Patrick Bateman can’t be bothered about that, but every chat is an opportunity to put the stats in your favour. Researching your peers, you can find out which activities might suit them and which responses would appeal to them in the right way. Parker likes to have peace of mind and keep his hands busy. Stark loves lavish gifts and some resistance to his prodding. Gather enough love through dialogue breadcrumbs — and free applications of praise — and you’ll unlock team combos that give you easy access to the most powerful attacks on the battlefield. Or you could ditch the chitchat and focus on stacking up “light” or “dark” aligned dialogue options, and build up combat rewards that way.

(Image source: 2K)

Where Midnight Suns is most similar to XCOM is in the interplay between its combat and base layers. Train with Ghost Rider in the yard and he’ll draw extra cards for the next fight; take him on a mission when he feels left out and your friendship might improve. Strange gadgets bring back from the battlefield, which in turn bring new cards to your deck and breakthroughs in research, allowing you to keep up with increasingly powerful enemies. If the tone is different, it’s that you’ll never be afraid to fall seriously behind the power curve–because here, the challenge automatically adjusts to match the level of the heroes you have on the field. By subtracting the heart-pounding horrors of XCOM, Firaxis found a new warm and approachable space.

That’s fitting for a game that’s fundamentally about friendship. As sentimental as it sounds, few things serve the Marvel cast better than The Abbey’s after-school clubs and mandatory entertainment. These characters—some all too familiar, some obscure—are not bantering each other hollowly in a burning skyscraper, but correlating and comparing notes. In times of trouble, they find solace in each other’s company, or complain about the state-of-the-art coffee machine Tony installed in his haunted hideout.

(Image source: 2K)

The monastery scene is searched a lot, and it’s pretty silly. In what other game can you say you’ve been stargazing with Stephen Strange? In those two minutes, I learned more about this man’s values ​​and regrets than a dozen multiverse adventures. In quiet surroundings, the contradictory mess of each Marvel character’s personal history is allowed to sit down — investigated for commonality, or sent off for comedic effect.

Like Nico, Midnight Suns want to burst into your room, grab your arm and join the party. Whether this is what every strategy chief wants remains to be determined. But if you can see it in Firaxis’ own way, you’ll be dazzled.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.