Marvel’s Midnight Suns Shines Very Brightly | Best Games of 2022

Midnight Suns
Midnight Suns

With 2022 winding down, we’re looking back on the games that have really connected with us the most over the past year. Next up: the most underrated superhero thing of the year, Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

There aren’t many games that allow you be a superhero matchmaker, a proud dog owner, and also a being who houses incredible Eldritchian power. Marvel’s Midnight Suns is many things and it’s easy to get bogged down in it many different genres and leanings, but if you’re still confused about exactly what it is, all you need to know is that it’s a damn good game and one of the most refreshing Marvel games in quite some time.

Probably the best way to sell Midnight Suns is to pitch is as a golden era BioWare RPG, except instead of shuffling down hallways and using telekinetic powers or trying to woo a giant lad with horns, you’re instead playing a CCG version of XCOM that’s nowhere near as punishing. Sure, you crank the difficulty dials up and really get battered if you feel like it, but Midnight Suns always feels challenging and like you have to work for a win, even on the default difficulties. It’s never just a case of playing your most powerful cards over and over again.

Midnight Suns
You can also pet a cat

There are moments when sequences come together in Midnight Suns that almost feel as good as pulling off a combo in a character action game. Pulling off a step-by-step plan that sees you using the environment, triggering card buffs, and playing synergised moves where each action feeds into the next is like a superpowered form of chess. For instance, a Ghost Rider card does massive damage but discards your entire hand after it’s played, so how can you maximise your hand before that? Figuring this all is incredibly involving and rewarding without ever feeling overwhelming or like you actually need to look up the rules for chess.

Of course, the actual cards are just a part of the overall Midnight Suns experience. In-between flinging Crossbones into barricades over and over again, players will spend most of their time chatting to other members of the Midnight Suns, learning more about their past, and cultivating friendships. While some of these conversations may feel a bit “young” for some (likely because a few of the Suns are, surprisingly, quite young themselves), it’s easy to get charmed by them the more you chat and the deeper their characters become.

This isn’t all just a glossy visual novel, though, as your friendships can actually help you out in battle, too. Maximising friendships unlocks powerful cards and other opportunities for extra content, while sometimes just being able to go on hangouts with these heroes is enough of a reward in of itself. Even exploring the grounds of the Abbey can be quite compelling, despite the clear drop-down in budget from the main action. Everything you do is in service of something else in Midnight Suns, so much so that there is little content for the sake of content. When so many AAA games of its kind are pulling right back on branching paths, alignments, and more RPG hallmarks of the seventh generation, it’s refreshing to see a game go fully ham on all of them.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns may not have been the easiest sell of the year for most, and the microtransactions and technical issues at launch were certainly disappointing, but even if you don’t like CCGs or turn-based tactics games, you might find something that you really take a shine to here. Give it a chance and then promptly say goodbye to 50 hours or more of your life without even realising.

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