Marvel’s Midnight Suns were formally revealed to kick off Gamescom Opening Night Live today. We’ve heard rumors and reports for a couple of months now that Marvel Games would be working with 2K Games on a new strategy-focused title set within the Marvel universe.
Today, that project has been confirmed to be real and is formally titled Marvel’s Midnight Suns. And much like the previous reports indicated, the title is being worked on by Firaxis Games, the studio behind the XCOM series.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns trailers are out.
The last few years have seen many Marvel games for consoles, largely focused on heavy hitters like Spider-Man and the Avengers. However, another game that’ll soon make its way among that illustrious lineup is Marvel’s Midnight Suns, a tactical RPG that brings in some lesser-known Marvel heroes. And also some Avengers.
The game’s reveal came earlier today during Gamescom with a CG trailer, which features heroes like Blade and the Robbie Reyes incarnation of Ghost Rider slicing up demons alongside Captain Marvel and Captain America. If the heroes wearing black and gold armor aren’t metal enough for you, the trailer is set to a cover of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” that’s plenty moody and foreboding.
Unlike Insomniac’s Spider-Man sandbox games or the loot-RPG that is Marvel’s Avengers, Midnight Suns is a tactical RPG from Firaxis, best known for the recent XCOM games. Its director, Jake Solomon, revealed to Polygon that Marvel contacted the studio shortly after the release of 2016’s XCOM 2.
“There was an executive vice president from Marvel on the call, and they had precise feedback about XCOM 2’s final mission,” Solomon recalled. “I was like, well, these guys … actually really are big fans. So right away, they understood the kind of games we make.”
The Midnight Sons are a team of Marvel anti-heroes who first came together in 1992, consisting of weirdos like Blade, Doctor Strange, and Johnny Blaze to defeat Lilith, Mother of Demons.
That same premise carries over to the Midnight Suns game, and players will take on the role of an original character dubbed the Hunter, who will lead a squad of three other heroes into turn-based battle.
Solomon promised over 40 superpowers available to the player to make their version of the Hunter, and in between missions, you’ll be able to bond with the other heroes in your home base, the Abbey. A baker’s dozen heroes are expected, and most of them are in the trailer itself: along with the Captains, Blade, and Ghost Rider, your crew will consist of Doctor Strange, Wolverine, Nico Minoru from the Runaways, Magik, and Iron Man.
While Firaxis’ first two XCOM games were known and lauded for having permadeath –– as in, if a squadmate dies, they are permanently dead unless you reload to an earlier save –– this is a mechanic that’ll be absent in Midnight Suns. While this likely comes from Marvel not wanting such big-name characters to be easily killed off in a game, Solomon thinks it also plays to the game’s power fantasy.
“XCOM is the fantasy of soldiers holding on for dear life against a superior enemy. And in Midnight Suns very, very quickly — early on — I realized that the superior enemy in this game is the superheroes. So instead, the bad guys are terrified of you.”
The Bottom Line
While we didn’t get a look at gameplay for Marvel’s Midnight Suns today, the Firaxis Games team provided more information on how it will play. In a brief interview after the game’s reveal, one of the developers behind Midnight Suns explained that this is very much a strategy RPG in the same vein as the studio’s previous titles.
As such, if you’re someone who enjoys XCOM, there’s a good chance that this will be very much up to your alley as well.
Even though we don’t currently know when Marvel’s Midnight Suns will be launching, the game has a tentative release window of March 2022. It will also be coming to PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch when it does arrive early next year.