Gamescom 2021 pulled the curtains back with aplomb, unveiling a brand new Marvel game from XCOM developer, Firaxis. You might not think a developer used to working in the strategy field alongside its publisher 2K Games would be that sensible a fit for a Marvel game, but it’s early days and already we’re pretty convinced by what we’ve seen from the title. Immediately following its initial trailer during the Gamescom Opening Night Live ceremony, Marvel’s Midnight Suns set the internet alight with chatter.
From what we can discern so far, it seems safe to say that the game will be hitting up the lore-rich veins of the more supernatural side of the Marvel Universe – with the game taking its cues from the similarly-named comic arc from the 1990s called Rise of the Midnight Sons. The trailer was loaded with Marvel heroes and villains, ranging from the more traditional Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel to the more esoteric Marvel heroes like Blade and Ghost Rider.
If you’re keen to learn more about the lore of this ragtag bunch of miscreants and supernatural heroes, you can meet the supernatural heroes of Marvel’s Midnight Suns on our special feature page. But in the meantime, you’re probably going to want to learn more about the game, the new protagonist you can customise as you see fit, and more.
Read on below to learn more about Marvel’s Midnight Suns.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns release date delay, platforms and price
Marvel’s Midnight Suns has been delayed until the second half of 2022, publisher 2K announced in November.
In a post to the @midnightsuns Twitter account November 3, Jake Solomon, Creative Director and Garth DeAngelis, Senior Franchise Producer, explained the reason for the delay.
“Hey everyone, on behalf of Firaxis Games, thank you for sharing just how excited you are for Marvel’s Midnight Suns. We’ve been thrilled to see your reaction to everything from our announcement of the game to the reveal of our card-based tactical combat.”
We have an important development update to share with our fans pic.twitter.com/ycNDCVtbwD
— Marvel's Midnight Suns (@midnightsuns) November 3, 2021
No firm date has been given for the release date now; we just know it’s coming in the second half of 2022.
“We decided to share that we’ve made the very tough decision to move our launch window to the second half of 2022. We know many fans were looking forward to playing the game originally next spring, and this decision did not come lightly. We decided to push our launch because we need more to make the best game possible,” reads the statement.
“These extra months will be used to add more story, cinematics and overall polish and will be essential in helping us make our vision a reality.”
Initially, Firaxis and 2K Games have revealed that Marvel’s Midnight Suns release date was supposed to be set for March 2022.
The game is set to launch on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, and PC via both Steam and Epic Games Store. A price point for the game has not yet been listed.
It was also recently confirmed that Marvel’s Midnight Suns will not include any microtransactions and will be a complete single-player experience at launch.
You can check out the debut trailer below.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns story
“Through a twisted marriage of magic and science, the nefarious force known as Hydra has revived Lilith, Mother of Demons, after centuries of slumber,” a description for the game reads from a press release.
“Lilith will stop at nothing to complete an ancient prophecy and summon her evil master, Chthon. Pushed to the brink, the Avengers desperately look to fight fire with Hellfire by enlisting the help of the Midnight Suns – Nico Minoru, Blade, Magik, and Ghost Rider – young heroes with powers deeply rooted in the supernatural, formed to prevent the very prophecy Lilith aims to fulfill. Together, they resurrect an ancient warrior – the Hunter, Lilith’s forsaken child and the only hero known to have ever defeated her.”
There will be slight deviations from the more B-plot setup of the original comics’ place in the Marvel universe: for starters, we’re likely going to see more X-Men: Wolverine and Magik are seen in the teaser, suggesting more mutants will make it into the main game.
Per 2K’s description of the game, the Midnight Suns are an existing group made up of Nico Minoru, Blade, Magik, and Ghost Rider, who are called in by the Avengers – suffice to say, then, that you can expect more Marvel heroes to show up throughout the game. A full roster has yet to be revealed, though.
If the game follows the comic universe to any degree, you can expect to come up against the likes of Lilith’s demonic brood (Lilin, Djinn, Incubi, Succubi, and Mazikim) throughout the course of the game.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns development
“I grew up reading and loving Marvel comics,” said Jake Solomon, creative director for Marvel’s Midnight Suns at Firaxis Games. “To be entrusted with these characters and their stories is an honor for me and the team. If you’re a Marvel fan, or an RPG fan, or a fan of tactics games, Marvel’s Midnight Suns will make these beloved characters come alive in a way that you’ve never seen before.”
Marvel’s Midnight Suns gameplay
Speaking during a gameplay showcase that took place on September 7, we learned that the RPG elements of the game will be just as integral as the combat portions.
So far, we do know that you will not be able to romance characters in the game, though apparently, you will be able to become “very, very, very close friends,” hmm.
In Marvel’s Midnight Suns, there’s also a home base called the Abbey, where the player can hang out with the collected superhero gang and enjoy moments of relative downtime.
The Abbey offers a “social experience” for the player to hang out with different superheroes, which is “an important part for building relationships” as it’s also a case of choosing who to hang out with, while branching dialogue choices are also present that will develop the Hunter’s personality with a Light/Dark balance, sounding similar to the morality system in Mass Effect.
The mechanic allows players to choose a superhero to spend time with and engage in activities to raise their relationship status, such as playing video games – you just won’t be able to romance them. Boo.
“You think the world of Marvel, and it’s not enough to just have a series of menus in between missions or a base that doesn’t have a lot of content,” said franchise producer Garth Deangelis. “The grounds are overloaded with secrets and mysteries, and deep, deep lore to learn more.”
In the video above, we can see how The Hunter and Wolverine team up to face Sabretooth, with the game using iconic comic rivalry to show how combat works. Marvel Midnight Suns uses a battle between iconic comic rivals Wolverine and Sabretooth to show off the card-based combat system that fans will be able to play from March 2022. The video is commentated by creative director Jake Solomon as well as franchise producer Garth Deangelis.
The game is meant to “move pretty fast”, unlike the XCOM games, and all the enemies are dispatched with the card-like abilities pretty quickly until Sabertooth turns up and slows our heroes down somewhat. The fight nicely shows off the “large cast of villains” in Marvel’s Midnight Suns that all have different perks designed to make their battles harder. In the case of Sabretooth, he is able to respond to every action a player makes outside of his traditional turn.
The combat in the trailer also shows the use of heroism, which is a resource that is built up by using card abilities. Heroism is spent on the “most powerful attacks” in the game, which can have “devastating impacts” on enemy forces.
It also displays that “super powerful attacks” can be unlocked by forming a relationship with the heroes involved, giving you even more reason to form bonds with heroes outside of battle.