2022 has, without a doubt, been an excellent year for gaming. We have been whisked away to The Lands Between with Elden Ring, fought against prophecy and nature in God of War Ragnarok, and explored a dystopian robot-filled future as a cat with a backpack in Stray. However, as heart-warming, exciting, and enjoyable as these games (and countless others) have been, none of them quite compare to the masterpiece that is Marvel’s Midnight Suns.
I must admit, I was quite cautious with my optimism when it was revealed that Firaxis Games was intertwining cards and deck-building with the well-established (and rather brilliant) tactical gameplay it had continued to improve upon through the XCOM series. But, within minutes of playing, it became apparent that Firaxis Games had created something truly unique – and so much more rewarding than the randomness that dictates XCOM’s combat.
If you want a more detailed description of why I fell in love with this game, you can in our Marvel’s Midnight Suns review, but here’s the lowdown on why it is this year’s best game.
From fighting waves of Hydra grunts to struggling to subdue a Fallen hero like Venom, Marvel’s Midnight Suns offers up an unrivalled tactical experience which marries lateral thinking and meticulously ordered gameplay with larger-than-life superheroes and truly stunning VFX. You might not be in direct control of characters like Captain Marvel or Captain America, but Marvel’s Midnight Suns makes sure you know just how powerful each attack is.
As immensely satisfying as it is to slay a Slaughterspine in Guerilla’s Horizon Forbidden West, or to banish a Kandarian Demon in Saber Interactive’s Evil Dead game, no game released in 2022 delivers consistently satisfying combat quite like Marvel’s Midnight Suns. But, that isn’t the only reason why this should be The Loadout’s Game of the Year for 2022.
The grand narrative and smaller stories being told through the varied roster of Marvel’s Midnight Suns characters by Firaxis Games feel like they have been ripped straight from the pages of a classic Marvel Comic, despite all being original, and there’s wonderfully nuanced character development throughout. The cast of Marvel’s Midnight Suns voice actors also do an exceptional job of bringing new life to these well established heroes – Rick Pasqualone’s Doctor Strange and Michael Jai White’s Blade are particular highlights, alongside veterans Laura Bailey (Magik), Steve Blum (Wolverine), and live-action Nico Minoru actress Lyrica Okano lending her talents to this iteration of the character.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns does more than just tell us an epic comic book storyline, though. It lets you live through it. As The Hunter, the first customisable Marvel videogame character, you experience all the highs and lows of an eternal battle against the Mother of Demons first-hand. But, that’s not all – and not what makes Marvel’s Midnight Suns really special. This game offers us the chance to see all our favourite heroes in their downtime – having a drink, playing videogames, or reading by the fire. These quieter moments are sometimes sad, sometimes heart-warming, and sometimes hilarious. They effortlessly add so much depth to an already rich experience.
I didn’t expect to become quite so addicted to Marvel’s Midnight Suns, but everything about this game is so charming. It’s not offering up the flashiest graphics, the biggest open world environment, or the widest array of Marvel characters we’ve ever seen in a videogame. But, it doesn’t need to do that. What it does is blend an exhilarating supernatural superhero story with clever combat and complex characters – all wrapped up in a slick strategy game. Why wouldn’t you choose this as Game of the Year for 2022?