Marvel’s Midnight Suns Game Review – A surprisingly moreish tactical RPG

A surprisingly moreish tactical RPG

Marvel has had a rocky ride in 2022, with its current crop of movies under re-evaluation after Phase 4. Meanwhile, the TV shows have failed to break into the top 5 on the Nielsen ratings. The gaming side of things has been equally as rocky, with highs like Guardians of the Galaxy and Spider-Man somewhat overshadowed by stinkers like Marvel’s The Avengers. Midnight Suns then is a surprising way to round out 2022, with an accessible and surprisingly addictive tactical role-playing game that’s certainly one of the better offerings this year.

Midnight Suns is far from perfect though. The title suffers from a lack of enemy variety, some repetitive mechanics and a social system that’s good in theory but undermines some of the characters as they act completely differently to their comic or movie counterparts. Thankfully, this is leagues ahead of Square Enix’s game and even if you only having a passing interest in Marvel, Midnight Suns is definitely worth checking out.

Stop Lilith

The narrative woven through this all starts with HYDRA scientist Doctor Faustus, who resurrects Lilith in the hopes of using her to help HYDRA conquer the world. With the foe too powerful for our heroes, including Doctor Strange, Iron Man and Captain Marvel, Wanda Maximoff stays behind to fight Lilith while the others retreat to the Abbey, recruiting the Midnight Suns and resurrecting the Hunter, a customizable new hero who happens to be Lilith’s child and killer.

From here, the game really picks up as you control Hunter and team up with various heroes to conquer missions, getting stronger to take on Lilith and put an end to her evil ways. Along the way you’ll encounter a number of different foes, both supernatural and human, with some mini-bosses thrown in for good measure.

Building Up Those Socials

The main components of the game fall into one of two areas. The first sees you in the Abbey itself, controlling the Hunter and exploring at will. I mentioned earlier about the social aspect of this game and Midnight Suns essentially structures its play around a “morning, mission, night” format. In the morning, you’ll wake up and be able to interact with a number of different heroes. You can help them out with menial tasks, join them for hang-outs and even engage in daily sparring.

All these tasks feed into a larger relationship system, whereby the more time you spend with said character, the higher your relationship level raises. This works to give extra boosts in battle, including stat buffs. The dialogue is a whole different ballgame, and although the voice acting is good across the board, some of the social choices don’t really fit the characters you’re using. Would Wolverine really want to go and paint? Can you imagine Hulk sitting down to play a videogame? And that’s before mentioning the language, which feels much more geared toward Gen Z, complete with many colloquialistic choices of language.

Also during this day portion of the game, you can choose to research upgrades in the Abbey, which range from being able to take on foes in the T.H.R.E.A.T. room, buy and sell resources and even craft items to take with you into battle.

Resource Management

These resources end up becoming the bread and butter of your playtime, as they’re crucial in upgrading your abilities and beefing up your team. There’s “Gloss”, which works as aesthetic currency, “Credits” which are your main source of money, along with “Essence” which comes in the form of Skill, Heroic and Attack formats. All of these can be obtained in battle, either from end-of-battle rewards or from interrogating enemies or completing certain tasks.

If that wasn’t enough, there are also Hero Ops that can be conducted at this stage, which allow you to send one hero off on a fight on their own against HYDRA’s goons. This then rewards you with an extra card you can use in battle. However, if you get duplicates of the same card, you can actually upgrade those in the Yard part of the Abbey, allowing you to craft a stronger variation of that ability.

It’s a bit fiddly but give it 7 or so in-game days and you’ll get into a good groove of balancing all these different tasks. The relationship building is certainly not the best, but it serves its purpose well enough. To be fair though, you’ll eventually reach a point where you’ll be skipping most of the dialogue here.


Once you’ve exhausted that area, Midnight Suns turns to its battling, which can be accessed via a table in the middle of the War Room. Here, you can choose to do “General Missions”, which are side quests that work to beef up your resources. Story Missions advance the game.

Battling takes place on a relatively small playing area, with the use of cards to move the battle along. Each go you draw several cards which represent moves your characters can conduct. Hunter has a choice of Light and Dark attacks (which change slightly depending on dialogue choices for acting friendly or mean to your colleagues) while everyone else as a myriad of different moves and play styles.

Finding a system that works for you is part of the fun in Midnight Suns and by the end of the game, you will have used almost every character at your disposal. What’s particularly interesting here is just how different everyone is to play with. Ghost Rider uses much more of a risk/reward system, with some attacks wiping out all the cards in your hand for big attack power or even enacting “Life Steal” on characters by chaining enemies together, subsequently raising Ghost Rider’s maximum HP. Meanwhile, Wanda and Nico use magic to cast spells and buff your allies – or curse your enemies.

There are also all-round players like Doctor Strange and Captain America with average offense and decent skills that can either boost defence or use spells to turn the tide of battle. That’s before mentioning characters like Blade and Wolverine, who are all about the big, quick attacks.

Strategy & Depth

Mixing and matching heroes until you have the perfect set-up is part of the fun for Midnight Suns and I personally found Blade to be the best hero out the lot. His attack is unrivaled and he can really change the tide of battle in your favour.

The enemies you fight, however, are less impressive. The boss fights offer a nice change of pace but largely the game re-uses the same enemy assets repeatedly. Given you’ll be playing this for a solid 40-50 hours, especially if you want to get to the end of the story, it feels really disappointing to see the game rely on simple soldiers and supernatural dogs for the majority of the title.

These enemies do have some variety though, with shield-wielding HP tanks that protect assets on the battlefield. There’s also your usual array of easy-to-beat grunts like soldiers and dogs. As the game progresses, the HYDRA soldiers are replaced by supernatural enemies, including Nest Mothers who throw up shrines across the battlefield to boost their own attacks. Dispatching these allow you to do good damage, bypassing the shielded Guardian who’s usually there protecting her.

There’s a surprising amount of strategy that goes into this system though, with 3 card plays allowed each round as well as environmental attacks to be used. Each simple attack can build up your Hero meter, which in turn unlocks beefier attacks to do big damage. Quick attacks will give you a free card play if you manage to KO an enemy, while you can redraw 2 of your hand’s cards in the hopes for better attacks in the middle of all this. Items don’t use Card plays and can give things like extra moves on the battlefield or giving stat buffs for the next round.

The objectives in said battles range from saving civilians and stopping HYDRA helicopters from escaping to surviving for a number of turns without being KOed. There’s a great variety on offer here and Midnight Suns does a decent job of really leaning into that to give something different every story mission.

Far too often though, you’ll find one character will do all the heavy-lifting, with the other heroes just standing around watching the fight unfold. Moving around is pretty meaningless unless you’re dodging projectiles (which occurs surprisingly less likely than you’d expect) or lining up an environmental attack. The ability to heal is pretty much confined to Hunter as well, unless you craft items.

Evening Events

In the evening, the Abbey opens up once more for hangouts with your crew and the ability to explore the Abbey grounds. Impressively, there are a number of side quests dotted around the grounds, although most do result in simple fetch quests. There are also Challenges coming in the form of Hunter going it alone with her trusted Hellhound, Charlie, to unlock more powers and extra abilities for the Hunter to use in battle.

Furthermore, you can also collect ingredients to use in Agatha’s cauldron to craft resources. Oh, and make sure to pet Charlie too, your trusty hell-dog companion, for some bonus resources. Then you go to bed and repeat the system.

Overall Thoughts

Midnight Suns is very moreish and as an accessible tactical RPG, this one has a lot going for it. You can tell that developer Firaxis Games have put a lot of thought into this one, making sure the game strikes a balance between offering tactical battling with some depth and being easy enough for newcomers to jump in. For the most part, the game does get that system right but as I said before, enemy variety and some of the battle mechanics are a bit problematic.

Midnight Suns is definitely worth checking out, despite those aforementioned issues. The game has a lot going for it and the story is actually pretty interesting across the board. There’s a lot of scope for the future with this one, and given the turbulent year Marvel have had, this may just be the brightest star in the multiverse right now.


Read More: Midnight Suns Ending Explained

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  • Verdict - 7.5/10

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