In the aftermath of Cyberpunk 2077, any game that leads solely with PC reviews is right to arouse suspicion. We only received PS5 review code for Marvel’s Midnight Suns today, and have been eager to put the release through its paces in order to bring you some early hands-on impressions. The good news is, so far, we’ve had no issues with the console release – in fact, based on some of the stories we’ve heard about the PC version, it may actually be the more stable build right now.
From developer Firaxis, you’d be forgiven for thinking this is an XCOM-style strategy title with a superhero skin. You’d be wrong. This unusual outing actually shares more in common with collectible card games like Slay the Spire, as each character – Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Ghost Rider, and Blade to name a few – has their own deck. You then draw cards in battle and use these for either attacks or team-boosting abilities.
That’s the long and short of it, but there’s much more depth beneath the surface. For example, as you play cards you’ll earn Heroism, which allows you to use some of the more potent cards in your deck. In addition, you can also invest this currency into environmental attacks, such as leaping off surfaces and the like. You’ll even get additional turns if you knockout an enemy with a specific type of card.
Needless to say, after several hours of play we’ve barely scratched the surface, but as more moves are introduced and additional superheroes join the party, we’re looking forward to the potential that the game’s many systems afford.
While positioning isn’t quite as important as it is in a game like XCOM – there’s no cover system that we’ve encountered thus far, for instance – you do need to find good angles to attack from, in order to inflict as much damage as possible. An example of this is when Captain Marvel is in your party. She has a card that fires a proton blast in a straight line. So, if you can position her in such a way where you can blast through several enemies at once, you’re going to get a lot of mileage out of that move.
The decks are relatively small for each character, so the game’s not overwhelming – at least not yet. However, some systems that we’re just discovering allow you to merge multiple duplicates of the same card in order to permanently enhance its potency. In some of the instances we’ve seen thus far, this reduces the Heroism required to play a card, as well as increases its damage output – although, we’re sure there’ll be cards that deviate from this fairly obvious formula.
We should note, there are two phases to the gameplay. Playing as your own created superhero – a legendary warrior brought back from the dead to defeat an ancient threat – a good chunk of the action takes place in a hub named The Abbey. This is where you’ll spend time with your fellow superheroes and build relationships, with social activities increasing bonds and unlocking new combat opportunities. A good point of reference here is Fire Emblem: Three Houses.
It's a strange cocktail for a Marvel game, but it’s interesting to experience something a little different. Our biggest criticism thus far is that, while the game does run and perform fairly well, it looks ugly – both technically and artistically. There’s no two ways about it: the art style is outright awful, and it’s not exactly helped by the outdated lighting. To be honest, there are moments playing this where it looks like a PS4 remaster of a PS3 game – not exactly a glowing endorsement, considering we’re playing the PS5 version.
As so much time is spent in conversation during the aforementioned social sequences, the game is leaning heavily on its characters, cutscenes, and writing. And the cinematics look like they’re straight out of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, while the script hasn’t exactly hooked us thus far – in fact, Tony Stark’s witty snipes are outright infuriating us already.
The gameplay is the strongest part so far, then, and we’re looking forward to returning to that card-based combat system. It’s interesting, isn’t it? Marvel Snap has taken the mobile gaming arena by storm over the past couple of months, and now here’s another superhero-themed collectible card game – albeit a completely different type of experience.
Have you had a chance to try Marvel’s Midnight Suns yet, and what are your thoughts thus far? Is this game on your radar at all? Show your hand in the comments section below, and look out for our full review over the coming days.
Huh guess it wasn't the stinker I thought it would be on ps5.
I’m happy to hear the positive press this is getting, since it’s sitting on my home screen waiting for me to get to it. Sounds like artistically it’s more of an Al Milgrom fill in issue than a John Byrne jam, but that’s ok. Fun is fun, even when it’s not very handsome.
Bought it on the series x today for £52 digital (shopto).... Haven't tried it yet as I don't want to start untill I have finished god of war Ragnarok
I tried to watch a bit on YouTube, I did not make it through the first fight. Characters stood still breathing heavily waiting to be attacked just doesn't seem good in any way for a marvel game on console. Mobile, maybe you get away with it? A franchise known for big cinematic action sequences, on consoles known for big cinematic action games... Not so much
And the dialogue? 🤮 and the 'story'???
And then it's how it looks like a PS3 game?
I genuinely can't work out how they are charging £64.99 for it.
Blade looks great, Tony Stark looks like that photo of overly airbrushed Adam Sandler.
Wasn't sure what to think of this at first when I heard it was going to feature a card turn based combat system but after watching some gameplay of it I liked what I saw, in fact I liked it a lot.
@Ravix Thats how strategy games work. Marvel is just diversifying it’s lineup to avoid stagnation. People like strategy games and will pay $70 even if you don’t
From the little I've seen the graphics looked awful, animations appeared janky, the script seemed diabolical and the voice acting terrible. Yet scores have been sky high. The gameplay must be mind-blowingly amazing to warrant those scores.
I'm a big marvel fan but i'm not a fan of these card/turn based games and when you said the cinematics look like they are straight out of skyrim i lost all hope i'd like this game. I hope everybody who likes these games enjoys this but i'll give this a pass even in a sale..
Why is the standard edition of this game called the Enhanced Edition?
@ChrisDeku If its for the new gen of console (PS5 or Series X) - its called the Enhanced Edition
@Ev3X yeah that's not a real thing.
Thanks for giving me my nightmare tonight.
I wonder if this was originally designed to be a mobile game and was subsequently changed later in development.
The enhanced edition is the current gen version of the standard edition.
The difference is that you get premium skins, where as the standard edition gets you just the game and costs £10 less.
@SolaceCreed How do you buy the standard edition, it doesnt show up on PS app at all for me. Is it there on the console?
@ChrisDeku The PS4 and X1 versions are not out yet, they delayed them into ‘23
@EaglyTheKawaiiShika oh, I know. But I don't think it fits with the brand, because marvel is known for fast paced cinematic combat, so it looks awkward as hell especially for console.
It's just really shocked me seeing how bad it looked, I'll get over it though 😅😅
It's only PS4 I believe.
Didn't know it was a deck builder. Has more of my interest now. Hopefully it comes to one of the platform services at some point.
When you think about it, the combat isn't that different to X-Com. Your available abilities in mission are chosen at random instead. Firaxis does deserve credit for mixing up their games instead of reusing everything.
Id love to try the gameplay, but having watched some cut scenes and character interactions, I cannot and will not sit through half a game of that tat to get to the good part. I have more respect for my time, and the real characters, than to watch that... What a shame.
I hope they sort out the graphics, the rest looks ok
It is a card game, so no interest at all. I feel being a card game- fps does not matter. Shame they could not even make it good-looking for such a static game.
This weekend I am playing nothing. I’m getting married today and I can’t wait.
On a side note, I did manage to beat God of War Ragnarok (PS5) on Monday. Since I had several days to spare before my wedding and honeymoon, I decided to download Vampire Survivors via Xbox Game Pass since it’s not narrative heavy. Oh, boy - I shouldn’t have.
This game is quite possibly one of, if not the most addicting game I’ve played in years. It’s mind boggling to me how a game can be so simple, able to be played with one hand, and yet provide some the most adrenaline fueled moments in recent memory. I’m excited to really dig deep into this game whenever I have more time.
My December money is already going to Crisis Core's remaster, so sadly will be buying Midnight Suns PS5 instead in a future sale when it's $30 New or cheaper.
@BlackMayge I think you clicked on the wrong article... 😅
Happy marriage though! Sounds like you'll have a great time.
@GreenTea You are right. My anxiety level this morning is through the roof. Lol.
@BlackMayge Have a great day!
@Ravix your definitely right about the graphics though it’s looks like a polished ps3 game
Games fantastic. I appreciate the fact Firaxis didn't just reskin Xcom. Once you get the flow of the combat down and understand the approach they've taken with the deckbuilding aspect, it really starts to shine. Blade is so damn cool in this game!
So the only edition you can buy on PlayStation is the Enhanced Edition(enhanced from what?) which is £65, and there’s a £40 season pass for the full roster of heroes, and it still has microtransactions. Oh and it looks like a premium phone game.
I don’t like to complain about pricing but this one seems to be taking the whole pack of biscuits.
I’m sure I’ll enjoy it but probably not for 6-12 months.
If you are fan of XCOM-ish games, you'll love it. People talk about graphics, story, etc... but when this sort of games have got such of features?. It's more a strategy game and it's very good on that. I'm enjoying it very much, the use of the controller is fine. Only recommended if you love XCOM, otherwise is crap.
@cassiel except they seem to have replaced any strategy layer with bland endless small talk and walking around.
The tactical action looks fun ofc, and nice enough.
@Jtheripper Indeed, but that happened since Chimera Squad, talking no sense in order to get a bond, better squad skills, abilities, etc... that's the hard life of a strategist, haha
@cassiel but coming from xcom devs and the publisher, it's disappointing.
There's some good tactical turn-based games on ps, and pc, many with a basic strategy layer at least.
Makes it a wait until a good sale as it is now.
This game was in my target for year and must say I hoped for more like Xcom. But card collection (Slay the Spire) is great to. On the other hand what is not good is price, especially when game hasn't much value without Complete Edition (or season pass). It is ridiculously expensive and disc version is pushed to january. Even if I really want to put my hands on it, not for this price.
@Jtheripper I've forgotten to mention that the there's no faulty accuracy loss, I've got Phoenix Point in PS5, PC and Mac, but that mental thing that you've got your best weapon and you cannot hit or when you hit you just make 1 hit point is not normal, as if those "premium" weapon are from 1200 BC. You hit, you know the damage and that's good. And every action has got a very nice cinematic animation... better than the last action in XCOM, not bad
looks good to me is a rpg and is fun if you like those kind of games too i think the graphics look good so far have not beat the game yet
Finishing up God of War then on to Mount and Blade Bannerlord or Crusader Kings 3. No time for this one.
Man, I love XCOM 1 and 2. Not a Marvel fan, but I'd like to support the developer.
Don’t think I’ll bother with it, the Marvel burnout is real. I watched the ACG review and he did not like it, his criticisms seemed fair, but it’s had positive reviews almost everywhere.
@StylesT how you finding GOWR?
This is roughly what I was hoping for:
Graphics have never been Firaxis' strong point, and are arguably a waste of performance budget in a complex tactical game. The thing which made me nervous was the state Xcom2 released in, which was fun enough to be worth it, but laden with performance issues, hitches, crashes, and the sort of bugs that would end an Ironman run through no fault on the player's part. War of the Chosen (the expansion) was a vast improvement and it seems like they've learned their lesson as a studio.
It’s a 2k game though wait 3 months and get it for $20
Put 10 hours into this already and I am hooked. Combat is amazing, planning a deck and hero synergies is satisfying. The Abbey stuff and dialogue is endearing. Very different to XCom but that’s not a bad thing. Feel free to ask questions!
I'm about ten hours in. The difficulty curve isn't nearly as bad as x-comm games. Aa someone who's been gaming since the nes on 8mb graphics, graphics aren't that important for any game . Voice acting isn't the best but enjoy the various characters you can interact with snf build relstions ships along with strengthening attack moves.
the graphics are underwhelming for sure. The cutscenes look like they're from a ps3 game. It's actually not a bad game if you get over that.
I think im going to wait until they have a complete edition since there are additional characters coming.
Removed - unconstructive
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