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The Newest Marvel Game on PlayStation Plus Truly Has It All

One part strategy game, one part superhero sleepover.

screenshot from Marvel's Midnight Suns
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It might seem like action games would be the best fit for the Marvel universe, with all its super-powered fights and over-the-top set pieces. But while there have certainly been plenty of great beat-’em-ups based on Marvel in the past, the best Marvel game ever may actually be in an unexpected genre: turn-based deck-building strategy.

If a card-based tactics game sounds like an odd fit for Marvel superheroes, the game’s developer may be reassuring. Marvel’s Midnight Suns is the work of Firaxis, the studio behind the classic strategy game XCOM 2. While the card-game aspects of Midnight Suns were also new to Firaxis, its strategy chops are clearly on display, despite the shift in genre.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns lands on PlayStation Plus on March 19, putting a twist on comic book action that’s as satisfying as it is surprising. Here’s why it’s worth checking out for yourself.

Marvel’s Midnights Suns assembles a stellar cast of superheroes for a strategy/social sim mashup.

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In Midnight Suns, players take on the role of the Hunter, child of the demon Lilith. The once-defeated demon awakens at the beginning of the game, leading the Hunter and their allies to track down the Midnight Sons, a group of mystical heroes in the Marvel universe that includes Ghost Rider and Blade. As the game progresses, you’ll recruit more Marvel heroes to fill out your roster, each bringing talents based on their unique powers.

In combat, each character’s powers are represented by cards. Every round, you’ll draw a hand pulled from a deck made of cards from three characters’ decks. You can gain new cards and swap them in and out of each deck as you progress through the game to further build your characters into a perfectly synergized team. Card draws add a bit of randomness that can make planning out strategies more difficult, but also provide both a fun challenge and the thrill of pulling the right card at the exact moment you need it.

Card-based battles test your strategy skills.

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Unlike many card games, however, battles are extremely reactive to their environment. Positioning your squad of superheroes is key in Midnight Suns, since each stage you fight on is interactive. Along with attacking enemies directly, you can push and pull them with your abilities, or even hurl objects in the environment at them to do damage. It’s a minor tweak to the formula of many turn-based games, but one that opens up plenty of strategic possibilities — plus the undeniable fun of clowning on Hydra soldiers by bouncing them off environmental obstacles like pinballs.

Of course, Marvel comics are about drama as much as they’re about action, and Midnight Suns excels there as well. Between battles, your superhero squad camps out at their base, the Abbey. While there, Midnight Suns turns from a tactics game into a full-blown RPG in the style of Persona. Back at base, you’re free to walk the Abbey’s grounds and check in on your favorite members of the squad. Each has their own storyline and plenty of opportunities to build rapport through conversations and side stories. Your time in the Abbey also feeds back into the battlefield. As team members get to know each other better, they’ll learn new abilities to bring into fights. Now that’s the power of friendship.

Getting to know the crew better is the best part of Marvel’s Midnight Suns.

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As fun as its combat is, some of the best parts of Midnight Suns happen off the battlefield, from throwing a birthday party for Magik to gossiping with Blade about his crush. There’s tons of depth to Midnight Suns’ social side — so much so that you may find yourself itching to get back to the Abbey for another chat with Iron Man even in the middle of an intense battle. The entire cast is spectacularly well written, and even if you’ve somehow avoided all forms of Marvel media up to this point, their personalities shine through so much in every interaction that you’ll never feel left out. It’s easy to go into Midnight Suns looking for a tactics game with a little superhero flair on top, but by the end, it feels more like a Marvel friendship simulator first and foremost with a great combat system mixed in.

Whether you’re coming to Midnight Suns for the superhero drama or the turn-based battles, you probably won’t be disappointed. If it focused entirely on either its combat or social sides, it would still be a good game. But the real magic of Marvel’s Midnight Suns is how it combines both parts together, making it the perfect game to make you feel like part of the Marvel team both on the battlefield and off.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns is available on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. It’s included with PlayStation Plus.

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