Completion Time: 52:28:00
I knew Marvel’s Midnight Suns was going to be the game to get me to start streaming once again. The main reason though, was because by streaming, it would get me to sit down with a video game and be forced to play it to completion, no scatterbrain popping up and making my mind wander off and then just stop playing (this has happened with God of War Ragnarok, Sonic Frontiers for the most part, and other games I can’t remember). This was also a game I was highly anticipating, perhaps more than any other game this year. This whole idea, it worked – I was able to play through the game in its entirety (along with swear at every parasite that is involved with Spectrum internet and screwing with my connection almost every stream), and somehow, Marvel’s Midnight Suns far exceeded my lofty expectations for it…
…outside of the ending, but we’ll get to that in a moment (without spoilers).
What sold me with the games previews was the card based combat. For a while I thought it was going to be a deck-building roguelite with a story based on a Marvel franchise. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The tactical card based gameplay was some of the most gratifying I have ever experienced with a game. Firaxis have a knack for putting out some excellent mind-bending titles where you usually need to think three steps ahead (XCOM, Civilization), and they masterfully pieced together a game that focuses on cards being what makes each fight tick. I could go on for hours putting over how each fight has so many layers to it, and how you think you’re in trouble or messed up, but there’s usually always something you didn’t see til right near the end of the turn, and it changes the tides of battle in your favor.
The story in Marvel’s Midnight Suns honestly shocked me. It wasn’t so much the main storyline, but the fact that Firaxis went out of their way to really humanize these super beings. Friendship levels can be increased with all but one of the playable characters, and as you develop a deeper connection, you learn a lot more about them, see a lot of their vulnerabilities that they share with you, and just grow bonds between everyone you spend time with. There are even group activities that are actually quite enjoyable, from the thought provoking Book Club that sounds a lot more fascinating than you may think, to the group meeting with the EMO KIDS, trying to understand the Hunter’s final moments before he first died. Each character is full of so much life, thought, care and emotion, in ways that many story heavy titles fail to capture. Oh, and don’t get me started on Charlie, the bestest of best doggos ever.
The entire playthrough, from the very start, to right before the ending, is a fascinating thrill-ride that you rarely ever experience in a video game. It produces some of the most memorable moments you could encounter in a game, both in story and gameplay. The ending though? Without spoiling anything, it leaves a *lot* of unanswered questions, and it’s kind of a turnoff that things happen the way they did, but there was one final scene that did make me PogChamp IRL. Again, without spoilers, I really, really hope this means we see this franchise continue and grow.
And honestly, Marvel’s Midnight Suns deserves to succeed, sell well, and have more work put into it, and a sequel. With how so many games have become so samey, diversity and innovation is becoming more difficult to find in modern gaming. You get that here, in spades. The ending might have been a bit disappointing with how it unfolded before the very final scene, but the journey there is some of the greatest I have ever experienced. Is this the best game I’ve played in 2022? Stay tuned for my year end wrap up on December 31st!
Oh, and one more thing…
EMO KIDS RULE!