We knew almost nothing about Marvel: Midnight Suns when it was revealed at Gamescom last week other than the fact that it was a strategy game being developed by XCOM-makers Firaxis Games. Today the studio showed off actual gameplay, and it turns out the tactics game’s combat will be card-based.
Still there? Great. So here’s how it works. Unlike a traditional XCOM game where you select actions from a menu based on customised loadouts, Midnight Suns will have you choose actions from a hand of cards randomly drawn at the start of battle. Some cards are straightforward attacks. Others might manoeuvre you around the environment in such a way that you can exploit the terrain to knock an enemy off a building or trigger an explosion behind them.
It looks like each card has a cost that will deplete your action points for the turn. According to the IGN livestream that revealed the gameplay today, cards will be upgradable over the course of the game, while things like characters’ ultimate attacks will be influenced by what costumes they’re wearing.
Levels also look a bit smaller than your standard XCOM battlefield, and combat seems like it will be a bit more fast-paced. It’s definitely giving me strong Divinity Original Sin 2 vibes with some Slay The Spire-lite card mechanics mixed in. Firaxis clarified on Twitter that players won’t have to buy loot boxes or pay other microtransactions to get more cards in the game, and that purchasable skins will be “purely cosmetic.”
The studio also showed off the Abbey, Midnight Suns’ central hub area where your custom-made character will be able to mingle and relax with established Marvel heroes. You can sit and meditate with Magik, for example, or take a stroll through the grounds with Iron Man. What you won’t be able to do is fuck. Firaxis creative director, Jake Solomon, confirmed as much during the livestream.
“In your minds you can be whatever you want to be but we’re saying you are just very, very, very close friends,” he said.
Relationships you forge outside of battle will impact gameplay similar to the Fire Emblem games, but deeper romances aren’t in the cards. Marvel’s heroes don’t seem to know how to kiss on screen and unfortunately it doesn’t sound like they’ll be any hornier in Midnight Suns.