GWJ Strategy Club Game 16: Marvel's Midnight Suns

The Spring 2024 strategy club title is Marvel's Midnight Suns which we will be playing from March 6, 2024, to June 30, 2024.

Steam Link

Description:

Marvel’s Midnight Suns is the ultimate crossover event combining the rich story, character relationships, customization and progression of an RPG with the tactical strategy and combat mechanics of a revolutionary new card-based tactics game.

Set in the darker side of the Marvel Universe, you will forge unbreakable bonds with legendary Marvel Super Heroes and dangerous supernatural warriors in the fight against the world’s greatest threat yet…the demonic forces of Lilith and the elder god Chthon.

If you're new to the club, please check out the main thread.

Sure, I'm in. It may be a few weeks before I get up and running.

Perfect timing. I started a run a few weeks ago and just made it to act 2.

A few things to note for anyone who hasn't played before:

  • If you're not enjoying the Fire Emblem: Three Houses style dorm-simulator part of the game, feel free to ignore it. There is no game progression tied to that layer. You'll unlock cosmetics, crafting recipes, and more story by exploring the grounds, and while the crafting stuff can be useful depending the difficulty you're playing on, none of it is required.
  • Friendships can be maximized by taking characters on missions and having quick conversations with them around the Abbey, so don’t feel like you need to go out of your way there either if you’re not enjoying it. I think getting to at least level 2 with characters you use often is worth it for their combat passives.
  • All that said, I have really enjoyed the writing in the game, though I’ve never watched any Marvel movies or read any comics, so there were no character expectations there for me.
  • Even if you decide to ignore the Abbey exploration side of the game, this is still a long game. And since it's happy to let you run as many side-missions as you want between story missions, it's real easy to burn yourself out by doing so. Try to resist the urge to ruin the game for yourself.

Great excuse to get back to aggressively flirting with Captain Marvel.

Honestly, the Midnight Suns need some HR folks, 'cos Hunter should be ashamed of herself.

Hah! I just wrapped this one late last year finally. I hope you all have a blast, the game was a real treat as a casual fan of Marvel superhero properties in general.

Jonman wrote:

Great excuse to get back to aggressively flirting with Captain Marvel.

Honestly, the Midnight Suns need some HR folks, 'cos Hunter should be ashamed of herself.

Carol was my absolute bestie in the game!

Lucky for me I am already playing Midnight Suns. I’m enjoying it so far. Actually finding the writing pretty fun.

Oh dang! I didn't see the whole voting process, but I think I'm in!

I recently picked this up in a humble bundle. Can't wait to get started.

It’s been high on my Next to play list for a while. Maybe it is finally time.
After I finish FF7Rebirth in a 100 hours…

Biggest issue might be that I don’t care the slightest about super hero stuff. But combat looks interesting.

billt721 wrote:

[*] If you're not enjoying the Fire Emblem: Three Houses style dorm-simulator part of the game, feel free to ignore it. There is no game progression tied to that layer. You'll unlock cosmetics, crafting recipes, and more story by exploring the grounds, and while the crafting stuff can be useful depending the difficulty you're playing on, none of it is required.

OK, this is good to know. While I enjoyed the tactical part of the game, the whole abbey thing pushed me away. Just to confirm, I can ignore the abbey other than picking the next mission to go on?

AFAIK, nothing around the Abbey is required. Well, they probably require you to do the tutorial stuff, but after that, completely optional. I think it’s worth getting heroes to friendship level 2 for their combat passive but that’s easy enough to do by taking them on missions and doing evening hangouts (with are just cutscenes that can be skipped).

It has been awhile but aren't some cards unlocked by doing Blade training?

Ok. Downloaded from PS+ knowing little about the game, played a little and am definitely on board. This looks great!

I've been plugging away at this a bit. It's very much a comfort game. Maybe even a cozy game?

Perfect for a battle or two (and some bonus flirting) before bed.

The biggest surprise had been how engaging the characters and story are given how few f*cks I give about anything Marvel.

Seriously, I enjoyed this game more than almost anything else Marvel in the last several years. I found it all engaging, and even genuinely loved Deadpool in the game whereas I was concerned his inclusion (via DLC) would be off-putting.

I think you need to engage with at least some of the Abby stuff to get Charlie, right? (The hunter’s pet hellhound.) I don’t recall if Charlie was mandatory or optional, but I think it was unlocked by some of the stuff on the ground. And I believe you upgrade Charlie’s deck by doing challenges on the grounds. I think that’s the main mechanical benefit to going exploring.

Had 48 hours on this according to Epic. But pretty sure I didn't finish. See if I can figure out what I'm doing again soon.

Stele wrote:

Had 48 hours on this according to Epic. But pretty sure I didn't finish. See if I can figure out what I'm doing again soon.

Probably saving the world and hanging out with Blade.

Baron Of Hell wrote:
Stele wrote:

Had 48 hours on this according to Epic. But pretty sure I didn't finish. See if I can figure out what I'm doing again soon.

Probably saving the world and hanging out with Blade.

Blade is lot more in touch with his feelings than the movies led me to believe.

I don't normally take part in these because my gaming schedule is time and finance limited, but now that this is available on PSN I'm giving it a try.

I'm very early, I just "got my butt kicked" by Venom, according to the story at least, and I'm wondering around the Mansion for the first time and while there's obviously still a lot more to unlock I do conceptually like the gameplay so far.

The voice acting for Tony and Strange is weird though, they rush weirdly through their line readings.

I always look on these threads with envy but what I’m playing or planning to play never lines up with the chosen games (or the choices just aren’t my cup of tea.) The coincidence of this thread just getting started and the game being offered as part of PS+ convinced me to give it a go.

It helps that I’m a keen, if lapsed, comic wise, marvel fan and love me a good card game.

It’s scratching all the right itches at the moment.

Thanks to my Steam Deck, the 2 weeks away from home didn’t kill my progress in this game and I continue to love it. Just

Spoiler:

Rescued Wanda

Though I am having a hard time following my own advice up-thread to not constantly run side missions.

If I have any complaint about the game, it’s that the cast of characters is too big, and I still don’t even have all the DLC people recruited. I want to get them all out of missions to improve their decks, but that’s not possible if I also want to move the story along.

Also, I just got a superlink message — the one with Magik looking for the Motown record — that I never saw in my half-completed original play-through and I’ll admit I actually laughed out loud.

I'm definitely in! Bought it a bit ago and haven't started it so this is a great time to push me into giving it a go!

I’m not sure if I’m going to get into the game. I enjoy the combat. It’s a bit basic to start with but I’m sure it gets way more interesting as you build out your decks. I’m not a base building or researcher. I can do a token amount of it but if it gets too involved or extensive it becomes oppressive. It was the same with the X-Com games (I played through the first X-Com and stalled out on the second.) I just want to get to the fights and perhaps have a little story and character development in between.

In a recent session, as I was being shown the grounds of the manor, having the research introduced to me and starting to do some social interaction I could see the progression of all those systems stretching out ahead of me for hours and I wasn’t excited to go there.

It doesn’t help that my usual, somewhat ridiculous, way of playing games like this is to try them for a few hours and fall off because I’m underwhelmed then return to them several/many months later and decide they’re the best thing ever.

At the moment I’m torn between pressing on with Midnight Suns and jumping to Disco Elysium, a game where I’ve already been through the ‘fall off’ stage and feel like I’m on the brink of the ‘this is the best thing ever!’ stage.

Heh, I get the same feeling but I'm not finding it too off-putting yet. It's pretty quick to run through the list of daily chores before going to sleep, but I'll see how it goes over time.

It's also an interesting contrast to BG3 which is not a game I'd accuse of being 'lean' but the busy work like crafting which I normally hate is low resistance and thankfully there's not too much social grinding back at camp. I've seen people complain about this, now I know what game to recommend to them!

I decided to give the game a couple more sessions and I’ve turned a corner. All the systems and options are still bewildering but I’m going to have faith that I’ll get my head around most of it in due course.

More importantly I’ve become buddies with Robbie Reyes and Nico Minoru and, as a result, am now invested in what’s happening. The fights have also picked up a lot and I enjoyed the heck out of the last two I played.

I should start this up again. I was having fun with it and got about halfway through when Jedi Survivor came out. Haven't touched Midnight Suns since then.

Oh, did I mention Jedi Survivor also got dropped a few weeks later because Tears of the Kingdom was released? I really hate this hobby sometimes.

Ok, I live in an abbey now and do missions and socialising with the Avengers and the Midnight Suns.

This is rather a good game.

I’m thoroughly enjoying all the social stuff but am mostly sticking to minor characters. Tony and Strange, much as I love ‘em, are the most annoying characters in my experience so far.

The combat is completely up my alley. I especially enjoy how impactful all the punches and throws are. They feel so devastating. I especially enjoy it when the new ghost rider runs over half a dozen Hydra goons with his fiery car.

Higgledy wrote:

I’m thoroughly enjoying all the social stuff but am mostly sticking to minor characters. Tony and Strange, much as I love ‘em, are the most annoying characters in my experience so far.

...phew...Thought it was just me. I've only made it through the tutorial missions so far, and I was definitely getting a negative vibe from Tony/Strange--compared to the characters in the movies (the only other experience I've had with these two), the dialogue for those two are quite annoying. I was thinking the whole time, "Stark wouldn't say that. Why is he being a dweeb?"

Higgledy wrote:

The combat is completely up my alley. I especially enjoy how impactful all the punches and throws are. They feel so devastating...

Agreed! LOVE the animations! Feels very satisfying smashing the baddies into things!

Yeah, I don't like Stark and Strange. I'm mostly making friends with the Midnight Suns and setting Carol and Blade up.

quasiChaos wrote:

...phew...Thought it was just me. I've only made it through the tutorial missions so far, and I was definitely getting a negative vibe from Tony/Strange--compared to the characters in the movies (the only other experience I've had with these two), the dialogue for those two are quite annoying. I was thinking the whole time, "Stark wouldn't say that. Why is he being a dweeb?"!

I haven't watched a lot of the animated Marvel stuff, but the performances here seem very in line with those. RDJ's charm made up for a lot of Tony Stark's shortcomings in personality in everything else I've seen him in. I do also seem to recall that a lot of people didn't like them as much either when the game came out.

I've settled into a nice rhythm in the game. Wake up, run around and do all the social and upgrade stuff which doesn't take long then do a battle, go to sleep.

I'm playing on normal/balanced or whatever and I'm finding it pretty tricky. I think I've only had to restart one fight, but I'm generally getting through by the skin of my teeth and with an injury or two.

I’m in the process of adopting Tony. I feel like his characterisation is a touch too far into the ‘selfish tech bro’ side of things. His personality, as written now, has those aspects but that’s not all he is.

All the systems definitely make a lot more sense as part of a daily routine. I’m also in a very satisfying loop of upgrading, missions, social stuff, bed. I’ve explored the ground a bit but hit a fight that needs me at a higher level. It seems like the progress is in the grounds will be gated so you are gaining access to areas throughout the course of the general progression.

I really am surprised at how great the game is. It’s a shame it didn’t do better.