MARVEL’S MIDNIGHT SUNS
The midnight sun rises
When Marvel's Midnight Suns was officially announced as Firaxis' next big project, there were quite a few people who reacted negatively, either because they disliked deck builders, didn't care about Marvel's characters, or simply because they were anxiously waiting for the announcement of XCOM 3! Everyone's preferences are of course to be respected, and I completely sympathise with the impatience of those counting down the days until the next XCOM, however my job here is to judge the product we have in our hands, not what would have potentially taken its place under other circumstances. Firaxis has proven their worth in tactical games and I'm happy to report that they didn't miss this time either.
The plot revolves around Lilith, a powerful demon who was defeated in battle hundreds of years ago by her own child and laid powerless in her grave until the criminal organization Hydra manages to resurrect her. With Lilith's sweeping power at her side, Hydra strikes a decisive blow to the Avengers, taking over Dr. Strange's headquarters and capturing the Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff. But lucky for them, the Avengers find an ally in the Midnight Suns, a group of heroes who specialize in dealing with supernatural threats. So, with the help of the remaining active Avengers, the Midnight Suns must mount a counterattack and defeat Lilith and Hydra, starting with bringing back to life the child of Lilith who defeated her so many centuries ago!
Τhe new Firaxis game seemingly has no particular similarities with the XCOM series, after all here we have limited customization, fixed and not randomly generated units, third-person exploration of the base, scripted conversations with the characters, card-based combat system and much more. While playing, however, I found that despite all the obvious differences, XCOM's DNA can be largely found in Midnight Suns. Note the basic skeleton of the game: The gameplay has two distinct phases, the strategic/social layer at the base and the combat maps. At the base you can develop relationships with your fellow combatants, expand and improve facilities, research for bonuses and new abilities, manage available resources, and choose your next combat mission. Once that happens, your (three-person) team will transition to the battlefield where you must complete mission objectives through turn-based battles with enemy forces. Does any of this ring a bell?
The basic structure may therefore have common elements with the rest of the company's tactical games, but in everything else the innovations are plenty and mostly very interesting. Midnight Suns' base of operations is the Abbey, an area set in its own pocket dimension to keep it safe from enemies. You can think of it as the equivalent of the base in XCOM, with the important difference being that you have the ability to explore the Abbey itself and the surrounding areas in real time. The map is quite large, filled with interesting secrets, and access to all of its locations is gradually granted as you progress through the main story and solve the various mysteries that are scattered almost everywhere. I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how much attention and focus has been put on an element that is for the most part optional. The stories hidden around every corner, the references to comic book characters and events, the abundant easter eggs, all add more depth to the world of Midnight Suns and greatly enrich the lore.
Hunter's interpersonal relationships with the other heroes are an important part of the game in the intervals between battles. Each character has a friendship meter which increases as you spend time on activities with them and choose the appropriate responses in the dialogues, and each time the friendship level rises powerful bonuses are unlocked for that character in battle, while at the same time the overall team friendship level rises with additional significant bonuses. So it is clearly in your best interest to spend the necessary time developing close relationships with all the heroes, or at least the ones you use most often in battle. However, because we are talking about Marvel and some of you may have sly thoughts about... very close relationships and hot romances between heroes, I have to clarify that everything remains on a friendly level and you will not have the opportunity for snu snu with the heroes. If you were hoping for Herogasm-type scenes you'll have to look elsewhere.
At some point we will run out of other tasks and we will be thrown into battle! The combat system in Midnight Suns is perhaps the biggest departure from the XCOM formula as it is entirely card based, which means that each hero in our three-man team has a deck of cards representing their abilities. New cards are received as rewards by completing missions and from research, and there is also the option to upgrade your cards if you have the necessary resources. In most deck builder games, as they have come to be called, creating a balanced and effective deck is often a complicated task, but that is not the case here because each deck only contains eight cards and there are various limitations imposed by the game itself that enforce a balance. Therefore in each battle you will have a deck with a total of 24 cards (8 cards times 3 heroes) and only a few of them will be randomly available each turn. Fortunately the system is not as restrictive as it probably sounds to XCOM fanatics who were used to having all of their units' abilities at all times: every turn you are given the option to redraw some cards, and you can also deal damage without using a card by simply taking advantage of the various items scattered around the map.
The quality of the combat system was another very pleasant surprise because I was hesitant at first, even though I'm a fan of card games. My main concern had to do with the small size and simplicity of the combat maps as they are all small arenas with no different height levels. I was under the impression that this would greatly reduce the need for tactics in combat but thankfully I was completely wrong. Midnight Suns' battle system is tremendously fun and along the way I found myself only performing side missions and slowing down the plot progression because I was having so much fun that I wanted to extend the (already satisfying) length of the game. The element that makes the combat so fun is that due to the limited cards available to you each turn you are essentially asked to solve the "puzzle" of how to do maximum damage with the resources available, however the solution to this problem is not just one. Instead, the game gives you enough options each turn to freely express your imagination and creativity in dealing with enemies. A key contributor to this flexibility is the fact that many abilities cause knockback so in many cases you can play... French billiards with your poor opponents, slamming them around and sending them crashing with force into objects, traps or even... their fellow combatants!
But combat is so much fun for two more reasons. The first is that the developers have done a really great job at visually displaying the hero abilities and each attack shows in a very clear and crisp way that you are controlling a team of powerful superheroes. Even simple attacks are spectacular enough with each hit devastating Hydra's poor soldiers but the powerful heroic abilities are on another level and look straight out of the comic book pages as our heroes leap through the air, unleash spectacular visual shows and work together for destructive combo abilities. The second reason? The impressive boss battles with familiar Marvel universe supervillains that make an appearance at key plot points but at some point can also appear in simple missions like XCOM 2's The Chosen, complicating things and upending the status quo.
After reading the above, it's reasonable to assume that Midnight Suns is going for a very high score, but there are some caveats. First of all the game in its original version before the first patch had several issues with bugs, poor performance and instability. Particularly annoying was a crash that happened during saving that caused me to lose some progress, thankfully it happens relatively regularly and autosave so I wasn't forced to revert back too much. Since the patch I haven't had that crash again, however the quality of the visuals in general is not impressive both in terms of performance and quality. The overall visual effect is pleasing but the characters in the Abbey lack the detail they should have and are characterized by wooden expressions, and on the test system (a laptop with an AMD 5800h processor and RTX 3060 graphics card with 6GB of VRAM) I had to completely turn off ray tracing to get smooth performance. Finally, the writing and voiceovers I wouldn't say are bad, however the truth is that they don't really stand out since most of the characters are essentially imitations of their Marvel Cinematic Universe counterparts. So I think it's only fair to warn you that if you're not a fan of the MCU style and humor then you're probably not going to enjoy the style and humor of Midnight Suns.
Despite my completely positive opinion of Midnight Suns I find it difficult to come up with a representative rating. You see, I'm the ideal target audience for a game like this: fan of Firaxis, fan of deck builders, fan of Marvel. I have no qualms about the battle system, it's a lot of fun and will completely satisfy players. I am more hesitant about the social elements, friendships and Marvel lore because they are a big part of the game and while to me it seemed at the very least addictive enough to engage with thoroughly, I don't know if someone who isn't interested in the Marvel universe to the same degree will find all these elements unnecessary and tedious. In the end I decided to rate somewhat more moderately, trying to assess the objective quality of said elements and not just how much I personally liked them. In any case, I think Midnight Suns is a very good game and I recommend buying it sight unseen if you count yourself among Marvel fans.
Thanks to CD Media for providing the review code.
RATING - 87%
Firaxis is a guarantee of quality in tactical games and Marvel's Midnight Suns continues the developer's very good streak.
Να αναφέρεις, αλλά τώρα δεν μπορούμε να γράψουμε first. Δεν είναι σωστά πράγματα αυτά.
δεν εισαι ολη μερα λογκαρισμενος, πατωντας f5 δηλαδης ???? εισαι τιποτα περιστασιακος αναγνωστης? δεν θεμε τετοιους δω μεσα.
εχμ, μηπως επρεπε να γραψω "τετοι@" ??? ή "τετοι@@"?? καμε προσδιορισμο τα προναουνς σου, γκου. μη με φερνεις σε αβολη θεση.
Ze/Zir ΦΥΣΙΚΑ. Και το ίδιο επιθυμώ και δι υμάς. Δεν φαντάζομαι να είσαι τίποτα τοξικά αρρενωπός;
σε άλλα νεα, και κυριολεκτικα διαλυοντας το θρεντ (σορυ αδμιραλ, θα μεταφερθουμε σε αλλο θρεντ αν χρειαστει) εχω να πω οτι η αδρεφη μου εχει μεγαλο αγχος, γιατι εν@ στην παρεα του ανηψιου μου αυτοπροσδιοριζεται ως non-binary. για καποιο λογο μου φανηκε τρομερα αστείο κι η σιστερ με κατηγορει για τοξικα αναισθητο και λακαμά περιωπης (και ισως και να μην εχει κι αδικο, θελω να σου πω).
σορυ ναυαρχε, εξαφανιζομαι οπως ηρθα. :love:
Δε νομίζω να αγχώνεται για τη γραμματική του πράγματος αλλά για το ότι στην παρέα του γιου της υπάρχει κάποιος που αυτοπροσδιορίζεται ως "non-binary" και μπορεί να γεμίσει τα μυαλά της παρέας με @@@@@@@@ (σε ζευγάρια κατά προτίμηση)...
εγω βεβαια, οντας ο καλος μπαρμπας (ξερεις, που "καθεται μαζι με την νεολαια στα φαγοπότια" (την λεω ΚΑΘΕ φορα την ατακα γελωντας μονος μου, απλα τραγικος...)) της λεω ν αφησει τα παιδια να βρουν τον δρομο τους, να πιουν κανενα ποτακι η/και τσιγαρακι να ξελαμπικαρουν, να μην της δινουν λογαριασμο κλπ.
για καποιον περιεργο λογο δεν μ αφηνει πια ν αναπτυξω τις θεωριαρες μου στους ανηψούς και πεταγεται για να με αντικρουσει.
ε, ναι, ΠΡΟΦΑΝΩΣ τα παιδια με λατρευουν. δεν θελω να ρωτας τα ευκολως εννοουμενα.
Εγώ νομίζω πως μια χαρά της τα είπες, όχι ότι με ρώτησες δηλαδή, αλλά είμαι σίγουρος ότι το επιχείρημα "να, και ο γκους στο ragequit συμφωνάει" θα την κάνει να αλλάξει γνώμη αμέσως.
θα της το πω στο χριστουγεννιατικο φαγοποτι αυτο με τον γκου στο ρεηκουί. θα προσθεσω οτι εισαι σοβαρος αθρωπος κι οτι φορας και σκουφο. καλα θα παει.
θα μας στειλει εορταστικο μπαν ο αδμιραλ, αν συνεχισωμε, οπότε φευγω για οντοπικ:
- εεεεεε, ωραιο φαινεται το κειμ, εκει που λες ψυχαγωγικες δραστηριοτητες στην πισινα, πως το εννοεις ναυαρχε???
Μέχρι τα ποτάκια και τα τσιγαράκια θα συμφωνήσω, αλλά μέχρι εκεί. Το να μην δίνουν λογαριασμό μπορεί να πάρει ανεξέλεγκτες διαστάσεις και μετά να τρέχεις να μαζεύεις τα ασυμμάζευτα.
Εγώ είμαι με το μέρος της αδερφής σου πάντως, γιατί άλλο ποτά, άλλο λιλιά. Δεν παίζουν με αυτά τα πράγματα. Δηλαδή, ΟΚ, παίζουν και με αυτά, αλλά γιου νόου γουάτ άι μιν... :Ρ
@Admiral σόρρυ για την επιμήκυνση του νήματος σε λάθος κατεύθυνση. Τελικά σου άρεσε το παιχνίδι; :Ρ
No, seriously, you should disable the 2K Launcher for Marvel’s Midnight Suns
Εντάξει αλλά όχι πολύ πρωί γιατί κατεβάζει υγρασία.