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December 2023

Marvel's Midnight Suns

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Genre: RPG/Strategy
Publisher: 2K Games
Developer: Firaxis Games
Release Date: Dec. 2, 2022

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'Marvel's Midnight Suns' Season Pass Includes Deadpool, Venom, Morbius, and Storm, Details Turn-based Combat And Card Tactics - Trailer

by Rainier on Oct. 26, 2022 @ 11:32 a.m. PDT

Marvel's Midnight Suns is an all-new tactical RPG where you confront the darker side of the Marvel Universe and live among its legends.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns brings players face-to-face against supernatural forces as they team up with and live among the Midnight Suns, Earth’s last line of defense against the underworld.

Through a twisted marriage of magic and science, the nefarious force known as Hydra has revived Lilith, Mother of Demons, after centuries of slumber. 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.

2K and Marvel Entertainment announced details for the Marvel's Midnight Suns Season Pass, available as part of the Legendary Edition of the game and for individual purchase.

Containing some of the most popular and beloved characters from across the Marvel Universe, details around the Season Pass were revealed by the Merc with a Mouth himself, Deadpool, alongside ferocious new artwork by popular comic book artist Ryan Stegman.

The Season Pass includes four DLC packs to add even more allies to your roster, including:

  • DLC Pack #1 - Deadpool: A foulmouthed mercenary with a heart of gold, Deadpool has a penchant for grisly violence and lighthearted, fourth-wall breaking wisecracks;
  • DLC Pack #2 - Venom: Spider-Man's nemesis and one of the main game’s bosses, Venom turns playable hero in DLC #2, armed with all of the same symbiote attacks that once threatened the lives of the Midnight Suns;
  • DLC Pack #3 - Morbius: One of the original comic book Midnight Sons, Morbius is an accomplished biochemist who, in an attempt to cure his own rare blood disease, turned himself into a living vampire;
  • DLC Pack #4 - Storm: A powerful member of the X-Men, Storm has the ability to generate and manipulate wind, lightning, rain, and other types of weather to her will.

In addition to these heroes and their respective new abilities, each of the four post-launch DLC packs included in the Season Pass will introduce new story missions, a new upgrade for the Abbey, and a selection of new skins and outfits.

The Season Pass also includes the Legendary Premium Pack featuring the following 23 premium skins such as Blade’s Blade 1602 skin, Captain America’s Future Soldier skin, Iron Man’s Iron Knight skin and Spider-Man’s Demon Spider skin. These skins are available right at launch.

The theory behind cards

To understand why we use cards, it’s important to break down what makes a tactics game fun in the first place. All tactics games are essentially puzzles, and our job as designers is to find the right balance between that puzzle being too easy and obvious, or nearly impossible and insanely complex. Our goal is to find the sweet spot where the answer isn’t immediately obvious, but the player understands the mechanics and tools to manipulate the game and reach the solution. However, over time seasoned players will learn the optimal way to use those tools and quickly overcome any obstacle. That’s where randomness comes in.

Randomization is an important design element in tactics games, as it offers a way to make the game unpredictable even when a player has mastered the core mechanics. It requires players to constantly adapt to new situations and keeps the puzzle fresh and surprising. And it’s how you end up with those amazing moments in XCOM, like hitting a clutch 25% shot… but also how you end up missing those 95% point-blank rounds!

Another critical element of tactics games is fulfilling the player fantasy. In Marvel’s Midnight Suns we have an awesome roster of heroes from across the Marvel Universe, ranging from the cosmic-powered strength of Captain Marvel and brilliant mind of Tony Stark to the mystic arts of Doctor Strange and vampire-hunting prowess of Blade. Our early prototypes put these characters into XCOM-style combat with elements like percentage hit chance and cover – And while the mechanics worked fine, the game didn’t feel right. These are Super Heroes, after all! Iron Man doesn’t miss shots with his Repulsor Blasts, and Captain Marvel isn’t going to take cover for protection when things heat up.

As we removed more of those XCOM elements, particularly the percentage hit chance, the game began to feel more heroic…but the combat puzzle quickly became too simple. It was easy to repeat the same powerful attack with a hero each turn until the mission was over. We needed to reintroduce randomness to keep the combat puzzle engaging while still making you feel like a Super Hero. That’s when we had the idea to represent our hero abilities as cards.

Cards are great because they are commonly used in games and players are familiar with key “mechanics” like a deck, draw, and discard. Drawing a hand of cards each turn gave us the perfect amount of randomness for our combat experience. Our heroes feel super-powered in combat because their abilities never miss and always do exactly what they say, but there is still strategy required to solve the combat puzzle based on which cards are in your hand.

Fight and think like a Super Hero

In Marvel’s Midnight Suns, every hero has a unique set of abilities which you use to form a deck of 8 cards. When heroes are brought into combat, their decks are shuffled together and at the beginning of each turn you draw up to a hand of 6 cards. During your turn, you have three Card Plays that represent how many times you can use your abilities, along with two Redraws to swap out abilities you don’t want to use. You can also Move a hero of your choice anywhere you want once per turn.

Regarding the abilities themselves, we separate them into three categories: AttacksSkills, and HeroicsAttack cards are used primarily to deal damage. Some Attacks have Knockback which forcefully repositions an enemy by throwing them back in a targeted direction – You can deal additional damage by throwing them back into objects, other enemies, or even your allied heroes!

Skill cards are used for support, often providing a variety of benefits to the player or debuffing the enemy. While these cards don’t deal damage, they can be used to draw cards, heal characters, grant positive status effects, and much more.

Heroic cards are incredibly powerful abilities which deal significantly more damage or provide stronger effects on the battlefield. Marvel fans will be delighted to see many iconic hero abilities represented with these cards. Heroic cards require a resource called Heroism, which is generated by playing Attack or Skill cards. Heroism is also required to use objects on the battlefield in Environment Attacks which don’t require a Card Play to use. If you’ve got the Heroism, you can knock down light poles, explode barrels…even pick up a stack of newspapers and smack your foes in the face, all without spending a single Card Play.

Combat in Marvel’s Midnight Suns is uniquely accessible and easy to pick up and play. There is no movement grid or cover system, and heroes will automatically reposition to reach their targets. Playing abilities is as simple as selecting an ability card from your hand, selecting the target enemy or area, and that’s it – There goes Captain America sprinting across the battlefield to knock out a Hydra goon!

After mastering the basic rules, combat can also be surprisingly deep and complex. There are so many factors which adjust the tactical puzzle on every mission, turn, and action.

  • What abilities do I have in my hand?
  • What heroes are on this mission, and how do their abilities interact?
  • Which enemies are the biggest threats? Are there dangerous villains to handle?
  • Should I spend my Heroism on a Heroic ability, or utilize the environment?
  • Can I use Knockback abilities and the terrain to maximize damage output?

And if that isn’t enough, we also have eight difficulty options for you to pit your tactical brilliance against. Are you just looking to get a great supernatural Marvel story? Pick the Story difficulty. But if you’re looking to agonize over every single decision? Ultimate III will be the way to go.

Key Features:

  • Unleash the Darker Side of Marvel. Rise up against Lilith and her underworld army as you experience a deeply personal story that puts you at its center as The Hunter, the first customizable original hero in the Marvel universe. In the face of fallen allies and the fate of the world at stake, it will be up to you to rise up against the darkness!;
  • Lead Heroes from Across the Marvel Universe. Fight fire with hellfire and lead an unlikely team of seasoned Super Heroes and dangerous supernatural warriors across The Avengers, X-Men, Runaways, and more. Resist Lilith's corruption and confront Fallen versions of some of Marvel's most iconic and powerful characters, including Venom, Sabretooth and even the Hulk!;
  • Fight, Think, and Live Like a Super Hero. From legendary studio Firaxis Games comes a deep tactical RPG where you fight and strategize like a Super Hero! Create the perfect squad and customize their abilities, unleashing skills and attacks to devastate the battlefield. Live the Super Hero life in the Abbey, your very own mystical secret base, and strengthen personal bonds outside the field of battle.

 Pre-orders are available now, and every customer who pre-orders any edition of the game, regardless of retailer, will receive the Doctor Strange Defenders Skin at launch.

Marvel's Midnight Suns will be available on PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC (Steam and Epic Games Store) on December 2, 2022, followed by PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch at a later time.

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