New Marvel's Midnight Suns gameplay shows how it'll differ from XCOM

Marvel Midnight Suns Gameplay
Marvel Midnight Suns Gameplay (Image credit: Firaxis)

What you need to know

  • Firaxis has released the first gameplay footage of its upcoming title Marvel's Midnight Suns.
  • The game will feature a card-based strategy system in which characters can use abilities and the environment in battle.
  • Midnight Suns will also allow players to bond with Marvel heroes via their custom player character, The Hunter.

Firaxis has released the first footage of the upcoming card-based strategy game Marvel's Midnight Suns, which shows off what kind of gameplay we can expect from the latest comic book venture. From what we can tell, the game's multiple characters will have card-based abilities that can be deployed in battle, and using the abilities in conjunction with items on the battlefield will be crucial to success.

Firaxis revealed the gameplay via a stream with IGN, where we got more detail on what a battlefield in Midnight Suns will look like: "The player controls a squad of three heroes, and is dealt a random selection of hero abilities, like a hand of cards. These abilities offer a vast array of tactical choices, and expand exponentially when combined with the battlefield itself." Heroes will have combo moves and finishers to deal against the enemy too.

There are a number of differences between this game and the XCOM series for which most gamers will recognize Firaxis. For starters, where XCOM is more about strategic use of cover, stealth, and proper battlefield positioning, Midnight Suns appears to be more about using items in the battlefield and attacking head-on. Characters have the ability to throw or knock enemies into hazardous items or off the edge of roofs, for example.

The cards themselves won't be part of a microtransaction system. Firaxis mentioned this in response to a question on Twitter, saying, "Hey folks, regarding our battle card system, there are no loot boxes in Marvel's Midnight Suns or related microtransactions to get more cards (i.e. Gamma Coils). We will have purely cosmetic character skins for purchase that do not affect game balance in any way."

In addition to the gameplay, we also got our first look at the in-game dialogue systems and hub location. The Hunter, the player character, has been awakened from their slumber to battle Lilith the demon queen by the Midnight Suns. It appears the Suns will be working out of an old abbey, and the Hunter will be able to freely roam around and have conversations with the recognizable Marvel heroes. According to Firaxis, you'll also be able to strengthen your bonds with the heroes outside of battle, definitely not something that was a staple of XCOM games.

Rachel Kaser

Rachel Kaser is a Windows Central gaming contributor, who's been writing since 2013 and gaming since the age of five. She's covered everything from gaming news, reviews, and analysis -- if it exists in gaming, she knows about it. She also contributes to Future's other sites, iMore and Android Central. If you want to hear her opinions on games, pop culture, tech, and everything in between, follow her on Twitter @rachelkaser.