Hello darkness, my old friend.
The game studio best known for Civilization and XCOM is developing a new strategy game set in a dark corner of the Marvel Comics universe. Marvel’s Midnight Suns features characters like Ghost Rider and Blade in a strategic but stylish experience that’s vastly different from something like Marvel’s Avengers. While the game was delayed from its initial release window, we still know quite a bit about Marvel’s Midnight Suns.
Before E3 2021, many leaks spoiled that Firaxis was developing a Marvel game in the style of XCOM. According to a June 2021 Reddit post and tweet from journalist Jason Schreier, the game was real. While it wasn’t shown at E3 2021, the strategy game was revealed during Gamescom 2021’s Opening Night Live. More trailers were released in September before the game was delayed in November. Still, we know what to expect from the game.
While Marvel’s Midnight Suns was initially given a March 2022 release window, it was delayed to the second half of 2022 just over two months after its reveal. The following tweet confirmed the delay:
2K parent company Take-Two Interactive President Karl Slatoff went on to defend the delay in a November 3, 2021 earnings call:
Yes, there is! The game was revealed with an awesome cinematic trailer that features a cover of Enter Sandman and introduces us to the main heroes and villains of the adventure. Check it out below:
A little over a week later, that was followed up with a trailer that revealed how the game incorporates cards into its combat. You can check that out below.
You can expect Marvel’s Midnight Suns to be available on every major gaming platform. 2K says it will be released for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and even Nintendo Switch. Strategy games like this tend to play best on PC, but it’s good that players have the option to try it on any platform.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns’ gameplay is the most divisive thing about the game. The team went to great lengths to tell sites like Polygon that it was extremely different from XCOM, and that really turned out to be the case. It’s still a turn-based strategy game, but there’s no permadeath, and combat is completely centered around cards.
Every hero has flashy and powerful attacks, all of which are tied to cards that are randomly dealt to the player at the start of each turn. It’s supposed to be a more accessible system, but hardcore strategy game fans are a bit wary about its randomness. Thankfully, there will be no microtransactions in Marvel’s Midnight Suns at launch.
Outside of levels, players will also be able to explore a home base called The Abbey from a third-person perspective and hang out with every hero in the game’s roster. For a better idea of how this card system actually works within a level, you can check out Marvel’s Midnight Suns’ extensive gameplay showcase below:
Marvel’s Midnight Suns will tell a supernatural story that ties all ends of the Marvel Universe together. The press release revealing the game includes an official description:
While we’ve received tons of Marvel video games over the years, few have ever tapped into the darker, supernatural side of the superhero universe. It’s a corner that even the MCU hasn’t really touched yet. The story is inspired by “The Rise of the Midnight Sons” event from the 1990s, where superheroes like Blade, Ghost Rider, and Doctor Strange team up to defeat Lilith.
“That is my favorite comic book event from when I was reading comic books as a kid,” Creative Director Jake Solomon told IGN in an interview. “From the very beginning, when we started working with Marvel, we knew that was the story we wanted to tell. We wanted to go to a corner of the Marvel Universe where we felt nobody else was at that moment, and it gave us our little space that we could tell our own story.”
So far, 10 heroes have been confirmed for Marvel’s Midnight Suns:
Those first 9 characters are all recognizable heroes from The Avengers, The Runaways, and X-Men, but The Hunter is a brand new character that players can customize. As The Hunter, players can develop friendships with the heroes for bonuses in battle and can customize their powers.
Sadly, you won’t be able to romance your favorite heroes. “I totally, totally get why you’re asking that,” Solomon said to IGN when asked about this during an interview. “I think that in your mind, you can be whatever you want to be. But we’re just saying that you’re very, very, very, close friends.”
Marvel Games is working with Firaxis Games and 2K to release Marvel’s Midnight Suns. Firaxis Games’ last game was XCOM: Chimera Squad in 2020. However, the last AAA releases were XCOM 2 and Civilization VI in 2016, so the team has had some time to work on Marvel’s Midnight Suns. Hopefully, this means the game won’t be delayed.
Since Firaxis and 2K are working on Marvel’s Midnight Suns, it’s not connected to Crystal Dynamics’ Marvel’s Avengers at all, nor is it related to Eidos’ Guardians of the Galaxy or Insomniac’s Spider-Man games.
Unlike Disney’s approach with the MCU, Marvel Games is not concerned with making everything connected. If you’ve never played another modern Marvel video game, don’t worry about missing out if this is your first.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns will be released in March 2022.
This article was originally published on 6.4.2021 5:36 PM