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Marvel's Midnight Suns | Right or Wrong

Dec 01 - 07:10, by adaur

Marvel's Midnight Suns | Right or Wrong Whether it's dogs and cats, goat and cabbage or hunter and walker, some things just can't coexist peacefully in the same space. So, in the name of all that is still holy on this goddamn planet, explain to me why Firaxis has set out to cram XCOM down the throats of the general public?

Let's face it: the storyline of Midnight Suns fits on a Post-it note in a shredder. The Hydra villains awaken a sort of demon called Lilith and you, the being chosen to fight her, are pulled from your ancestral grave to help the Midnight Suns kick her ass. On one side, super-villains doped with hell. On the other, superheroes. In the middle, the big fight.

Sure, the fan service might still work on the most fanatical of you, but the overly bantering tone will inevitably bring us back to earth. Because Midnight Suns, when it's not too busy wondering if it's good to be nice and bad to be mean, gets bogged down in jokes that will hardly bring a smile to your face. A house surrounded by tentacles during a demonic attack? "Oh boy, the neighborhood committee is really not going to like this!" Of course, we rarely expect much from a Marvel scenario, but a little more careful writing is always appreciated when it comes to logging dozens of hours of gameplay.

Back to the future. As I said in the introduction, Midnight Suns is produced by Firaxis, the creators of XCOM, which serves as a base for this new game, with the desire to remain as accessible as possible for the uninitiated. Here, three action points are to be spent via cards drawn from each hero's deck, with attacks and techniques doing the heavy lifting, while generating heroic points intended to play cards... heroic and much more effective. Well done, you follow.

A light XCOM, not so unpleasant and even accessible for those who will not be impressed by its numbers.
But Midnight Suns is also an XCOM without boxes where movement is free, at the rate of one character per turn, always useful to get someone out of a dangerous area or to optimize an angle of attack. This would be shamefully simplistic if the developers hadn't swapped the cutlery system for an ingenious use of the elements of the scenery which, for a few points of heroism, can be used to produce various special attacks. Add to this a varied panel of enemies, a cleverly dosed difficulty with objectives that are often renewed, and you get a lightened XCOM, not so unpleasant and even accessible for those who won't let themselves be impressed by its numbers.

The Hawkeye bute. XCOM obliges, Midnight Suns also offers a whole range of management between its fights. Base and character upgrades, construction... Everything is there, yes, but in a simplified version. Here, heroes don't die, but they can be disabled (in many ways) if forced to go back to work with a wound. The base can accommodate new devices, but they never radically change the gameplay. A game with a very rich metagame, but which still seems to be on the back burner, probably so as not to drown the Marvel fan who has never touched an XCOM.

Firaxis makes sure that this fan is reassured, by bringing him all the classic video game codes. The most obvious example is the TPS aspect of the whole management part, which will invite you to explore the lair and its surroundings - particularly vast - in length, width and breadth, in order to discover all its bonuses and secrets. Items to collect, social activities to earn friendship points that will improve the heroes in addition to their traditional experience levels and even... collecting components to craft gizmos. There's so much to do that you'll spend almost as much time roaming the Abbey as you do fighting.

One for all, and all for whom? As an XCOM fan, I first grumbled loudly. Admittedly, the fights are rather fun, especially since each hero is a pretext for a particularly marked style of play, like Magik who moves the enemies with portals. But if the fights are greeted with a smile, it's impossible to go back to the lair without sighing, just at the idea of spending time navigating from task to task and listening to dialogues of a nameless platitude.

And you, your evening? Personally, it was a card game with Captain Marvel and I gave her a vase at the end. She was very happy.

This will undoubtedly be the great curse of Midnight Suns, the good guy who just wants to please everyone. By trying too hard to woo the XCOM player and the Marvel reader who was passing by, the Firaxis title gets a little lost along the way, to the point of often being a little too much for one and not enough for the other. A title that might appeal to you, if you're the kind of person who strolls through comic stores and the idea of tackling a particularly rich game doesn't scare you off. For everyone else, Midnight Suns will be seen as a glass half empty or half full.

For XCOM fans, Midnight Suns will probably be fun and unnecessarily laborious. For Marvel fans: it's hard to imagine that a game that keeps throwing even highly digestible tutorials at you after five hours won't come across as an insurmountable mountain of knowledge. But for the rest of us, who are lucky enough to be from both worlds, Firaxis' title will undoubtedly be an honest pastime. It's up to you to see where you stand.

Genre: XCOM lite
Developer: Firaxis Games (USA)
Publisher: 2K Games
Available Platforms: Windows, PS4/5, Xbox One/Series, Switch
Test platform : Windows
Download: 50 GB
Release Date: 02/12/2022
Price : 60

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