The Marvel universe has exploded in popularity since the release of Iron Man back in 2008, and while Marvel video games have been around for longer than I can remember, they too, benefited from the beginning of the MCU, but they’ve all been fairly similar in terms of style and generally focus on the main characters from the films, often running parallel to existing stories, but in a universe as big as Marvel, it’s not exactly an easy task to craft something unique.
Firaxis Games, the developers of Marvel’s Midnight Suns, are perhaps better known for the development of XCOM 2: War of the Chosen, and MKAU were invited to take part in a press release hosted by Jake Soloman, the Creative Director of the upcoming title.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a turn-based Tactics RPG being published by 2K, and it’s due for release in early December. While turn-based tactics are their bread and butter, Firaxis Games have never created an RPG, and it just so happens that Marvel hasn’t either, and once XCOM 2: War of the Chosen was completed, Marvel contacted Jake and his team. Being fans of the game, Marvel Executives had some very technical feedback and a partnership was born.
With an appreciation of the style of games they create, Marvel wanted Firaxis Games to bring their characters to life in a way that only Jake and his team could, and as long-time fans of the Marvel universe, they were both terrified and excited at the possibilities. It was a dream come true, but how could they make it different?
By returning to the original source material, the team noticed a common theme in that they all kept going back to the more supernaturally themed comics; The Inferno series, where Demons break out of the Hell Dimension and take over New York, only to be defeated by the X-Men, or the Ghost Rider: Spirits of Vengeance series from the early 90s, with its first issue, Rise of the Midnight Sons, seeing the more supernaturally inclined heroes, such as Dr. Strange, Blade, and Ghost Rider, come together to try and defeat the demon Lilith.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is Firaxis Games’ own version of this story, and it starts with a book. A spooky book. The ultimate spooky book. Also known as the Book of the Damned, or the Book of Sins, The Darkhold has the ability to grant your every desire in exchange for your soul. All you have to do is read it, and somehow, Hydra got their tentacles on it.
They awaken Lilith, Mother of Demons, from her centuries-long slumber, and even in her drowsy state, she is just as powerful as any Omega-level supervillain you can think of, and with the power to corrupt any being with naught but a touch, no matter how strong their will, she soon amasses an army and doesn’t hesitate to attack the Avengers in their seats of power – The Avengers Tower and The Sanctum Sanctorum.
Whisking the handful of heroes to The Abbey, a supernatural sanctuary tucked away in a pocket dimension of Salem, Massachusetts, Dr. Strange Enlists the help of the Midnight Sons, and with their combined mystic energies, they awaken The Hunter…
As part of the event, we were also given an early access press build, and while I thought that I’d play an hour or so and come back to finish this write-up, before I knew it, it was 11 PM. Without going into any detail, I can safely say that my first impressions are along the lines of “OH MY GOD!” The moment I started the tutorial, I couldn’t put the game down, and I really had to force myself to stop so that I could come back and finish writing this.
The tactical turn-based combat is only part of the fun. In between missions, you control The Hunter in a third-person perspective, giving you a chance to explore the Abbey and converse with your super-powered allies or customise your party in between missions. It is so much more involved than I expected.
There is not a single Marvel game like Marvel’s Midnight Sun. It is a truly unique experience and one that I would encourage any Marvel fan to try out. I look forward to writing the review for this one because I’ll be able to go into so much more detail, and all I want to do at the moment is talk about it, yet I’ve been playing for around 6 hours and I’ve barely scratched the surface, so yes. You could say it’s left an amazing first impression, and I can only hope that I do the review justice.