Monday, June 17, 2024

Honestly, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a Blueprint for Future Titles.

( Back in late 2022, 2K released Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a tactical RPG developed by Firaxis Games—best known for the XCOM and Civilization games. Now, this should’ve been an indication of how sales would likely go because of the kinds of games Firaxis puts out. Their titles have a very dedicated, particular fanbase that loves their strategy and micromanagement.

These are elements that tend not to hit it off on a mainstream stage. I don’t want to say those are elements and a genre of gaming for your hardcore gamers but the hardcores tend to hold that corner of gaming down. It’s not a genre that casual gamers set up camp in regularly.

That means long-running series such as XCOM, Shadowrun, Final Fantasy Tactics, Ogre Battle, Fire Emblem, and the early Fallout games tend to be loved more by those very familiar with the gameplay and progression.

Hell, Fallout had to evolve and go 3D first-person to get over on a larger stage. Now look at the franchise: several award-winning entries, an MMORPG, a mobile offering, merchandise, and an Amazon series. I’m not saying XCOM should do the same but it’s going to be a crawl before it becomes a runaway phenomenon like Fallout while sticking to its roots.

Honestly, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a Blueprint for Future Titles.

Enter Marvel’s Midnight Suns

So, we’ve gathered that Firaxis Games is very good at a particular genre of games but they need that something extra to really pop beyond its loyal fanbase. One thing that will do that is work with Marvel. The entertainment powerhouse has enough IPs to work with for many gaming companies to do a variety of games—the same with DC Comics.

It was an interesting project to see what Firaxis would cook up with a Marvel property and they were given a low-risk one to work with in The Midnight Suns. Now, I’ll admit I was very excited about it because I like the gameplay of XCOM 2 although the loading at the time I played it on PS4 was egregious.

Also, in playing Marvel’s Midnight Suns, it was more mobile hero RPG like Star Wars Galaxies when Jr came to combat—and I was good with that. If anything it was basically Firaxis’ tactical RPG approach sped up, something I hope they utilize in another XCOM series. The battles in XCOM can be a grind for even the most seasoned player. Unless you’re marathoning or no-lifing the game, you’re not going to get a ton of battles in a couple of hours sitting.

In Midnight Suns, you could get a couple of battles in because of the smaller stages. Replacing the large stages of XCOM are waves of enemies. However, the core of running an organization or group of fighters and assigning missions are still there. I’d say it’s better done in Midnight Suns but that’s because there’s a focus on the characters with stories as opposed to just leveling up recruits.

One thing that did slow things down was needed to interact with characters regularly because there are bonuses tied to befriending them and giving gifts. Personally, I loved this part but I can see how it would turn off some players who just want to slam. I felt it added to the game a lot. Another thing I enjoyed but I could see being an issue is the whole exploration of the Abbey. Lots of mysteries to unlock but some of it is so lore-heavy that I found myself skipping some journal entries and the like frequently.

Hell, I found myself doing more of the hero-tied missions and collecting artifacts and the like than really getting into the main story missions. It’s just a well-designed experience.

This is the Formula and Firaxis Should Get Another Crack at It

Honestly, I felt this was a breath of fresh air for Marvel games. I love the open-world action games and the exploration that comes with the usually fluid battles and transversal of these well-crafted cities but we’ve been getting those for roughly 20 years via the Spider-Man games.

It’s for good reason because it’s a formula that sells. Unfortunately, Firaxis’ formula didn’t so it but I believe it would be great for a larger group like The Avengers or the X-Men. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be that much different from Marvel’s Midnight Suns: just larger names and more heroes to play with.

What were your thoughts and experiences with Midnight Suns? Let us know in the comments!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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