If you’re a superhero game fan who wants to play Marvel’s Midnight Suns, but you’re worried about how hard it will be to play a strategy game like XCOM on a console with a gamepad, you’ll be pleased to know that Firaxis Games has made certain that this recent release is just as accessible on PC with a keyboard and mouse as it is on console with a controller. However, we would go as far as to say that Marvel’s Midnight Suns actually plays better on consoles than it does on PC. Of course, Marvel’s Midnight Suns voice actors cast does a stellar job on both platforms, but their work is just packaged up so much nicer on PS5 and Xbox Series X.
First things first, we need to talk about this game’s graphics. They’re inconsistent at the best of times, with stunning combat VFX and explosive visuals often overshadowed by quite poor facial animations and – sometimes – subpar textures. You don’t play a game like Marvel’s Midnight Suns for the graphics, but the disparity when it comes to them throughout the game is jarring – even while using a settings benchmark – on PC.
When it comes to the console version of the game, however, you simply don’t have this problem. Of course, like most PC ports, Marvel’s Midnight Suns has the potential to look better on a powerful PC than it does on a console. However, this is increasingly becoming less frequent when you consider the power of next-gen machines like the PS5 and Xbox Series X. On both of these platforms, Marvel’s Midnight Suns looks stunning – and you really don’t need to push the graphics further.
This, though, isn’t quite the most important factor when it comes to what makes Marvel’s Midnight Suns a strategy game that’s better on consoles. The one thing that really matters is performance, and the console version of Marvel’s Midnight Suns runs ten times better than the PC port – even when played on some of the lowest graphics settings.
When you’re playing Marvel’s Midnight Suns on a console, you’re getting the experience you would expect from a flashy superhero game with larger than life characters and power-packed combat. It runs as smoothly as you’d hope, without long loading times between The Abbey and Limbo (and Limbo and your mission), and without any stuttering during combat when anything particularly VFX heavy happens – which is quite a lot of the time.
As you’ll be able to read about for yourself in our Marvel’s Midnight Suns review, the same can’t be said for the PC version of the game. There are moments where Firaxis Games’ tactical RPG runs well-enough on PC, but these are few and far between. Stuttering and lag plagues combat gameplay, often ruining the impressive animations attacks offer, and the loading times are on par with Skyrim – which we all know are a little ridiculous.
It’s worth pointing out that we were playing Marvel’s Midnight Suns while loading it from a HDD on PC – and the PS5 version we were primarily comparing it to was loaded from an internal SSD. So, it was always going to be quicker. However, it still loads a lot slower than anything else we’ve played in quite some time on PC – which doesn’t help when you consider the other issues this version of the game has to deal with.
On top of all this, when it actually comes to playing the game itself, Firaxis Games has made sure that the experience is as easy as it can be on consoles.
The quality of life controls may seem minor when compared to how the game works on the PC version, but they only improve the experience of playing Marvel’s Midnight Suns. For example, while you can manually select targets on both platforms, you can use your controller’s bumpers on the console version of the game to tab through all the available targets for your attack (or skill) with ease. This improves the flow of combat immensely and can make those Quick attacks actually feel quick.
In addition to this, we can’t help but feel as though being able to make use of the twin-stick camera controls available on consoles is so much easier – and more efficient – than using the WASD keys to move the camera and holding a mouse button to rotate it. When doing this on the PC version of Marvel’s Midnight Suns, it’s also a lot easier to find your camera’s focus locked onto a character – which can make assessing the battlefield and pre-planning your moves a lot harder than it needs to be. This doesn’t happen all the time, of course, but it’s just another thing that makes Marvel’s Midnight Suns something of a pain to play on PC.
Using a mouse and keyboard to play this game does have some benefits, though, that shouldn’t be ignored. Namely, when you’re trying to make the most of knockback effects during combat, it can be easier to fine-tune your angle of attack using a mouse. It can also be easier to navigate Marvel’s Midnight Suns’ menus with a mouse – especially when you’re looking through your inventory at your long list of spare cards.
However, these benefits don’t outweigh the sheer difference in quality when it comes to performance and visuals. If you like your superheroes, Marvel’s Midnight Suns might just be one of the best PS5 games and best Series X games to play right now. If not, we still think you should give it a go. Firaxis Games’ roster of Marvel’s Midnight Suns characters is full of heroes you might not know much about – and it does an excellent job of giving us fantastic portrayals of them.