Oops All Tactics Games 2022 Turn 1: "I can't believe it's not an XCOM"

Avatar image for arbitrarywater
ArbitraryWater

16109

Forum Posts

5585

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 8

User Lists: 66

Edited By ArbitraryWater

If you had told me around a decade ago that XCOM Enemy Unknown and Fire Emblem Awakening would help usher in a new wave of turn-based tactics games, I would’ve been irrationally stoked. Too much, honestly. After spending multiple years of my life griping that they weren’t making the video games like the video games I liked, there is suddenly an abundance. A surplus of games what with square and/or hexagonal grids, probably turn-based, and undoubtedly full of numbers. And to be clear, this list is just games I’d explicitly consider “tactics” first and foremost. They might have other elements, but the primary form of interaction is moving goofuses around in a turn-based fashion. If we wanted to expand the definition to strategy games, or RPGs with tactical elements, there’d be even more.

Point is, there are a lot of these things. And if you’re not sick like me, you might want some actual recommendations instead of just playing all of them. That’s fair. That’s what I’m here for. So assemble your troops on a square or hexagonal grid, stare blankly at your slate of abilities, and figure out how many action points you want to spend because… I dunno where this metaphor is going. Turn-Based. We’re talking about turn-based video games. That’s the joke. I'm going to write more of these.

Warhammer 40K: Chaos Gate – Daemonhunters

No Caption Provided

When trying to explain the torrential flood of games with the Warhammer license in its fantasy, sci-fi, and higher fantasy permutations to a normal person, I often have to take a step back. How is a layman supposed to distinguish a Dakka Squadron from a Darktide? A Dawn of War from a Battlesector? A Chaosbane from an Inquisitor Martyr? What about that one Age of Sigmar tactics game that came out last year and nobody played? I guess I can see how that might be confusing to someone who can’t tell one division of the techno-fascist Imperium of Man from another, but that’s why I’m here to help. Just remember this handy dandy device to determine which games with the Warhammer license are good, and which are bad: The ones I say are good are the ones you should play. Okay cool. You’re welcome. I guess you could also try asking Henry Cavill, given he seems to have some free time right now.

Chaos Gate Daemonhunters is the ostensible revival (sequel?) to 1998’s Chaos Gate, a game I’d call a “pretty good X-COM style tactics game.” It’s something I might eventually dig into more, but for now I want to talk about this new one, which is a “very good XCOM style tactics game.” In fact, I think it’s one of the best games of this year, if my top 10 wasn’t indicative enough. You’re Space Marines, you’re the super duper secret psychic daemonhunting chapter, you’re a squad of four heavily armored trucks wrecking shit and eradicating heretical snot cultists wherever you find them. Along the way you’ll get to be yelled at by your disappointed father of a Chapter Master, condescended to by the sassy lady Inquisitor who does your research, and probably face the most dreadful minions of the plague lord. You know, regular 40K stuff.

Things went badly after this
Things went badly after this

For as much as I kind of despise the way “XCOM” has turned into mainstream parlance for any game with turn based combat, a grid, and half-cover shield icons, this game is undoubtedly “An XCOM.” Most of the baseline design decisions in Chaos Gate feel like they came from people who played a lot of Firaxis’ take on XCOM and took notes on what did and didn’t work. Damage is fixed and based on range and cover. There are no percentile to-hit rolls. Armor acts as a buffer to HP. Your squad of four Spayce Muhreens recovers all of their AP the first time you encounter an enemy pod, letting you take position even if caught by surprise. Instead of XCOM 2’s hard turn limits (which are good) there’s a soft timer in the form of the warp surge meter, which constantly debuffs your squad, buffs your enemies, and even occasionally sends in reinforcements. It also goes up incrementally whenever your characters use psychic abilities, creating tension without forcing you to rush.

It’s some good shit, and even with occasional bits of jank, though I admit some parts can be frustrating. There are some boss fights which definitely lean a little too hard on gimmick mechanics, you can get screwed over on post-mission loot drops, and the (thankfully) light strategic layer can be annoying to deal with early on. It’s also kind of a fucker? The recently released Duty Eternal DLC, which adds some extra mission types, Techmarines, and even the occasional Dreadnought, also made the game notably harder (though like half of that was certain overpowered abilities and exploits getting balanced.) I’m saying my attempt at an Ironman run has gone very poorly multiple times and I should stop trying to beat the game that way.

But yeah, if there’s one game from this list I would recommend to anyone who needs their fix five years since War of the Chosen, it’s this one. In a lot of ways, it feels like the game Gears Tactics should’ve been; similarly focused on getting close up and aggressive but with a stronger sense of identity. It even has the same execution mechanic, granting your entire squad extra AP if you manage to kill a stunned enemy. That’s always fun! Anyway there's a near-full playthrough of the game I did on stream with @relkin so maybe you could check that out if you want an example of video games.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns

So I got the super expensive version for $30 off which means I have all these stupid skins and also will be able to hang out with Venom at some point. No regrets?
So I got the super expensive version for $30 off which means I have all these stupid skins and also will be able to hang out with Venom at some point. No regrets?

Speaking of Actual Firaxis, let’s talk about the actual game from the Actual XCOM people. I know people break out in hives when the topic of Marvel comes up, or when the topic of “there are cards” comes up, or when the concept of “doing a S.Link” comes up. I know this because, at various points and to varying degrees of severity, I find myself some level of done with all three. BUT EVEN SO, I think Midnight Suns is a pretty fuckin’ good tactics game. I was a doubter, I was a naysayer, and look at me here now. Writing a thing. On the internet. Please tell Jake Solomon I'm sorry.

To get it out of the way immediately, I think the writing and socializing elements of this game are *fine.* They’re not great, and they feel like someone in the dev team played Fire Emblem Three Houses and tried to put that game’s bad hub area in there verbatim. Your mileage with these things will likely be based entirely around how much you’re willing to buy into Marvel Bullshit at this point in the Year of Our Lord 2022, a year which brought us like five Disney Plus TV series and like three or four theatrical films. I refuse to look up how many there actually are because fuck man, there are too many. They don’t repeat the same mistake as Crystal Dynamics’ Avengers game – the more notable characters aren’t just carbon copies of their MCU counterparts – but your actual mileage may vary on how much you want your dweebus OC to become platonic besties with Blade.

For my part I’ll just say that I liked some characters a decent amount, liked some of the club interactions a lot (book club good) but didn’t hang out with Iron Man at all (he sucks.) I basically did none of the exploration puzzle shit on the abbey grounds after a while either, and straight up think the game would be better if all of that stuff was consigned to a menu. Perhaps more damning, I definitely started buttoning through dialogue instead of letting the voice acting play out. There’s a lot of talking, especially early on, and by the end I had my fill of it. Call me when the Morbius DLC comes out. I want to hang out with Michael Morbius. (Morbius is one of the DLC characters in the season pass I am not doing a goof)

Just guys being dudes
Just guys being dudes

The chaff between missions was probably my biggest point of contention during my playthrough. Once you get into the actual missions though, it’s that primo quality shit. That tactical cocaine. You’ve got three card plays, two redraws, and one move. It’s your job to maximize that as much as possible, alongside a pool of Heroism and a bunch of environmental interactions. It’s puzzle-esque without feeling as stifling as something like Into the Breach, and there’s a lot of customization and expression in the way you can load out your characters and synergize as a squad. The difficulty also is granular in a way that lets you play exactly up to your comfort zone. It’s really inspired in that way, which is why the parts of the game which are less confident and less polished really stick out.

If I was going to get super specific and dig through every character’s deck, there are probably some things I’d harp on, but for the most part I think they do a great job of making each character feel unique and capture the stupid dumb power fantasy one wants from a video game what with super heroes. Spider-Man sticks out as being a tad weaker than the rest of the cast, especially before you get some of his better cards. Otherwise, very few notes. I maybe wouldn’t recommend this at full price if you aren’t enthused about doing a Diet Fire Emblem with Wolverine, but that’s about it. Now please make XCOM 3.

YOU THINK IT'S OVER? THIS IS JUST THE FIRST TURN. also there are a lot of games on this list. Like, a lot. Like, at least two more write ups worth.

ENEMY PHASE

Avatar image for junkerman
Junkerman

878

Forum Posts

371

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 6

I've been on the fence about Midnight Sons - I enjoy all the things you mentioned but havent been able to get a bead on the story quality/content. Reviews are pretty disparate with some people sayings its absolute trash and others that its actually quite good.

Chaosgate seems 100% my jam but I'm hoping for a solid console release at some point. I think my PC has aged out beyond the level of fidelity I'd enjoy for giving it a try. That being said if Baldur's Gate 3 doesnt somehow end up coming out on PS5 or XSX then I guess I'll be building a rig in 2023.

Avatar image for imunbeatable80
imunbeatable80

828

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

This series is right up my alley... so I will be watching it (or reading) very closely. Neither of these games I have tried, but Marvel suns is certainly on my short list.

Follow up question, what if I don't care about warhammer, will I still enjoy a game around it?

Avatar image for mach_go_go_go
mach_go_go_go

540

Forum Posts

144

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#4  Edited By mach_go_go_go

Reminds me that I have yet to to play Tactics Ogre.

Avatar image for sethmode
SethMode

3673

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#5  Edited By SethMode

I am enjoying Midnight Suns for the most part, but I haven't listened to/let dialogue play out in hours now. It's simply too much, and at it's best it is not very good. The voice acting all has this vibe like they did one take and that's it.

The tactics parts are fun as hell though, they look good, they FEEL good most importantly. I just wish it was easier to get back to them.

Anyway, will catch this series as well! Good stuff! Question though: is you ending your post with ENEMY PHASE imply that WE are the enemy???

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

6663

Forum Posts

184

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@sethmode: When I started Midnight Suns I thought it was going to be my game of the year.

It's just way too talky. There are both way too many conversations AND all the conversations are too long. The game doesn't know when to shut up and every conversation feels like it has 4-5 extra lines tacked on.

Also as you advance through the friendship ranks the Marvel heroes start squeeing over you and it feels really weird to have Wolverine talking about how he doesn't make many friends, bub, but you're amazing and he's so glad he met you. All the hero characterizations are ruined by the Mary Sue factor.

Then there's the grounds exploration.

It's a shame because at the heart is a really fun tactics system and some super engaging combat with fun hero powers and villain battles and tons of great cosmetics and just a whole suite of wonderful stuff. But it's all surrounded by just way too much other stuff and that other stuff is very mediocre.

Avatar image for undeadpool
Undeadpool

8444

Forum Posts

10761

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 20

User Lists: 19

Tycho over at Penny-Arcade compared the Midnight Suns writing to CW superhero soaps and that is spot-on to me. If you like overwrought silly melodrama among attractive twenty-somethings, you'll vibe with it. And those shows, while having some severe downs, had some pretty great ups and I'm honestly enjoying how corny and superficial a lot of the stuff was. Back in the day superheroes were allowed to be fun escapism, and this feels like a throwback. It doesn't feel INTENTIONAL, but it works for me.

Nor does the fact that the animations outside of combat are laughably 360-era, I feel like I'm watching a character explore the Citadel for the first time. And the fact that everyone's default pose is the "hero pose" with fists on hips is kinda hilarious. But the game has a genuine charm where it's not going for ironic, jaded snark that really appeals to me.

And hey, the fact that the tactics game is incredibly good and often BRUTALLY difficult DOES feel intentional and MAN OH MAN is it great. I didn't look up a lot of trailers or pre-release stuff, so the idea of Firaxis doing a Marvel game with melee-focused heroes seemed weird to me, but they really tried something new here and it's paying off.

Avatar image for sethmode
SethMode

3673

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@undeadpool: I didn't love the quippiness of it at first, but I went in with a mentality that it WOULD be like some 2000's era quipfest TV show...and it was still too much. My issue is less the cornball dialogue and more a) the amount of it; and b) the quality of it (there is a line specifically where when you pet your dog the male voice actor says "Whose a good girl? It is my Charlie girl!" and I cannot stop repeating it at my cat Chunhee even though the take is SO SO bad). This is what I mean when I say it all just felt like it was in one take, and with the sheer amount of dialogue I can start to believe it.

Also, @bigsocrates the friendship dialogues...man. So bad. All of them I think, but I have started speeding through most so maybe I'm doing myself a disservice and missing some good stuff (I have yet to regret skipping dialogue yet so I doubt it).

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

6663

Forum Posts

184

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@undeadpool: I don't really agree with this because part of being quippy is getting to the point and these characters WILL NOT SHUT UP. By the end of the game it was almost funny to me how every time a conversation reached its natural end there were still like 10 lines of dialogue to go.

"Well we better go stop the big bad now."

"Yep! It's time."

"I guess I'll go do it!"

"If anyone can, it's you."

"No if anyone can it's us."

"I never really thought of myself as a team player but you have really changed that. I believe in you."

"It's so great that you believe in me. That's really going to help us stop the big bad."

"As a team."

"Yes, as a team."

"What an amazing team effort it will be."

"We're all going to fight him together."

"Yep, okay, I'm heading off now."

"Talk to you later."

"Yes, we will talk later."

"I look forward to it."

It's truly awful. But not as awful as Captain America telling you how you inspired him as a leader and have become one of his best friends because you gave him some book when the two of you played cards together.

@sethmode You're missing nothing except that if you get to friendship level 5 with a hero there's some neat stuff that opens up. The dialog itself is all cringe except for a few characters (Majik is okay and Blade is decent.)

I actually really love the "it is my Charlie girl" line read because it's so weird it feels totally anachronistic. One of the few reminders in the game that the Hunter has been dead for like 300 years, since she doesn't seem phased at all by stuff like cars and computers and Iron Man armor.

Avatar image for chaser324
chaser324

9424

Forum Posts

14945

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 15

#10 chaser324  Moderator

I actually really love the "it is my Charlie girl" line read because it's so weird it feels totally anachronistic. One of the few reminders in the game that the Hunter has been dead for like 300 years, since she doesn't seem phased at all by stuff like cars and computers and Iron Man armor.

I generally didn't mind the writing and even liked some of it, but the incredibly awkward delivery of that line drove me up a wall every time I heard it. I have to agree with @sethmode - it seems like they only did one take and just went with it.

Avatar image for undeadpool
Undeadpool

8444

Forum Posts

10761

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 20

User Lists: 19

@chaser324: @sethmode: @bigsocrates: I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed the weird read on that line. Weird and wonderful and perfect.

Maybe it's just where I'm at in my life, but I like the soap opera-y dialog, and honestly don't find it nearly as bad as a lot of anime game interactions. Or maybe I'm just inoculated against it after 5 playthroughs of Persona 4 where it felt like my OC could have started a very dangerous cult with how much an entire town got together to fawn over him for "existing" and "rocking a dope high collar."

Avatar image for el_blarfo
El_Blarfo

277

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#12  Edited By El_Blarfo

I don't have much to add-- except to echo that The combat and tactics are indeed excellent. They have to be, because the talkin' and explorin' are truly dreadful.

If anything, @bigsocrates summary of the dialogue is TOO SHORT. Holy fuckin' moly, I'm especially looking at you, Tony Stark.

@undeadpool compared this to the original Mass Effect, and that was my thought as well. The difference is, there was a joy of discovery in ME1. Krogans and Turians and whatnot were unknown and mysterious, so you got a thrill from exploring a new setting.

You don't get that here. If you're playing Midnight Suns, you're at least somewhat familiar with these characters, and there are better stories about them that have been told in other places. You already KNOW Spider-Man is neurotic and insecure, and his own game conveyed that in a much more interesting way.

I would love to go back and play the campaign again for that sweet sweet combat, but I just can't bring myself to sit through the story a second time. Maybe Firaxis will patch in an X-COM-ish mode that cuts to the chase.

Anyway, back to wrapping presents. But this thread has taught me the true meaning of friendship.

Before this thread I felt so alone. Now I'm part of a team.

That team I'm part of? It's this one. These people, in this thread, right here.

A team of threadmates.

A thread of teammates.

Friendteam.

Threadfriends.

Teamfriends.

Fred Team?

Avatar image for valorianendymion
ValorianEndymion

146

Forum Posts

169

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 10

User Lists: 12

Great Blog!

One thing that it make me really curious, is if and how much of Midnight Suns might end in an eventual proper XCOM sequel...

Avatar image for arbitrarywater
ArbitraryWater

16109

Forum Posts

5585

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 8

User Lists: 66

This series is right up my alley... so I will be watching it (or reading) very closely. Neither of these games I have tried, but Marvel suns is certainly on my short list.

Follow up question, what if I don't care about warhammer, will I still enjoy a game around it?

Part of the appeal of Warhammer games for me at this point tends to be the absurdity of the setting, but I hardly think that's a qualifier. In fact, it's the quality of some of these Warhammer games that's made me interested in the setting at all. I did go down a wiki hole at one point. I have no intention of ever buying or painting pewter miniatures, however. They aren't gonna get me there.

But yeah I think Chaos Gate is just a good tactics thing even if you button past all of the dialogue and just want your space trucks to kill the snot demons.

@sethmode said:

Anyway, will catch this series as well! Good stuff! Question though: is you ending your post with ENEMY PHASE imply that WE are the enemy???

👀 ...who's to say????

@undeadpool: I don't really agree with this because part of being quippy is getting to the point and these characters WILL NOT SHUT UP. By the end of the game it was almost funny to me how every time a conversation reached its natural end there were still like 10 lines of dialogue to go.

"Well we better go stop the big bad now."

"Yep! It's time."

"I guess I'll go do it!"

"If anyone can, it's you."

"No if anyone can it's us."

"I never really thought of myself as a team player but you have really changed that. I believe in you."

"It's so great that you believe in me. That's really going to help us stop the big bad."

"As a team."

"Yes, as a team."

"What an amazing team effort it will be."

"We're all going to fight him together."

"Yep, okay, I'm heading off now."

"Talk to you later."

"Yes, we will talk later."

"I look forward to it."

It's truly awful. But not as awful as Captain America telling you how you inspired him as a leader and have become one of his best friends because you gave him some book when the two of you played cards together.

@sethmode You're missing nothing except that if you get to friendship level 5 with a hero there's some neat stuff that opens up. The dialog itself is all cringe except for a few characters (Majik is okay and Blade is decent.)

I actually really love the "it is my Charlie girl" line read because it's so weird it feels totally anachronistic. One of the few reminders in the game that the Hunter has been dead for like 300 years, since she doesn't seem phased at all by stuff like cars and computers and Iron Man armor.

Yeah like, I respect Firaxis for going out of their comfort zone on this one, but it's abundantly clear they aren't used to writing games like this. I genuinely think Midnight Suns would've been much higher on my personal top 10 if the Abbey stuff was just a menu and every other line of dialogue was excised. Just a little too talky for its own good (speaking of too talky, please look forward to when I eventually talk about Triangle Strategy)

Great Blog!

One thing that it make me really curious, is if and how much of Midnight Suns might end in an eventual proper XCOM sequel...

I have a feeling the answer HIGHLY DEPENDS on how well Midnight Suns is received and how well it does sales-wise.

But also I don't wanna do fucking support conversations in an XCOM game. Full stop. That's what Fire Emblem is already for, and the world of questionable Fire Emblem imitators is something I'm already gearing up to talk about.

Avatar image for ahoodedfigure
ahoodedfigure

4580

Forum Posts

41781

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 64

Good writeup! Always enjoy your stuff.

Did either of these games try to push the formula forward, or have interesting wrinkles to game mechanisms? I've found it's just some little thing I wind up having to do a thousand times that drags me down, like positioning from the original UFO Defense.

This may be a bit off topic but since I only played the original Western release of the GBA Fire Emblem that's pretty much all I know about its relationship system. Did the Marvel game copy a more recent style, or have FE's later relationship systems sort of done similar things over the years? I thought it added a lot to the feeling of depth in FE but it eventually became a sort of obsessive collection quest after a few playthroughs. Pretty sure we never caught them all.

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

6663

Forum Posts

184

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@ahoodedfigure: Marvel has a card based system where you draw from a deck of abilities assigned to all your heroes. I think that's unique among tactics games and if it's not it's at least very unusual and totally changes the flow of combat because you're constantly having to improvise how to make the cards you draw work together rather than being able to plan everything out ahead of time.

Avatar image for ahoodedfigure
ahoodedfigure

4580

Forum Posts

41781

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 64

@bigsocrates: There are some tactical games that use cards but maybe this is one in a big, well-known setting. I've played a lot of a digital version of the game Gloomhaven and the tactical cardplay in that is rich and full of little moving parts. You have a set of cards that aren't randomly drawn, though. The tactics come from enemy card draws that dictate their behavior, and you have a random modifier you draw that can alter effects. Lot of different ways to do it, I've played a few others over the years, to the point where Steam is convinced I'm a fan of them even if for me it's still down to the individual game.

Avatar image for sethmode
SethMode

3673

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@ahoodedfigure: this game, in a number of ways, is very much Marvel Gloomhaven. The only difference is it is designed for one player so there is no added layer of cooperational strategy (its more like trying to play solo with 3 characters). Also, unlike Gloomhaven, your positioning, while important, is not something you'll be fiddling with much. Typically you have one move a round, and you use your abilities and interactive level stuff to "move around" such as it is.

Anyway, this is mostly me just specifying a little more and jabbering aimlessly at the same time. Personally, it is tye first time outside of Gloomhaven I've played something like this as a game (I know others exist) and especially the first AAA version, and I think it's absolutely the best, most engaging part of the game.

Avatar image for junkerman
Junkerman

878

Forum Posts

371

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 7

User Lists: 6

#19  Edited By Junkerman

Pulled the trigger and purchased this for myself.

Probably my GOTY by a large margin - my only criticism is some of the animations on a technical level around the abbey are really, really rough - but overall its a pretty fantastic game.

I'm not really seeing the criticisms for the games writing or story - its a really fun lighthearted romp and beat for beat its much stronger then the Fire Emblem games. I'd say its on a level of a Bioware KOTOR, Dragon Age or Mass Effect in terms of writing quality; not winning any awards but entertaining. It actually really reminds me of the X-Men Legends Games I played when I was a kid.

I think one of its strengths is including a lot of Xmen/Marvel heroes I'd never heard of before so it makes learning about them a little more interesting then the Avengers. I wish more prolific ones like Iron Man, Wolverine or Spider-Man were skipped all together in order to lean deeper into the Urban-Magic themes of the setting/story a lot more. Its pretty cool though - its like Supernatural/Dresden Files meets Marvel and I'm really enjoying that aspect.

There are a lot of cool systems that interact with each other that contribute to making your Card Battles more dynamic and exciting. I think the long sessions between battles make them more exciting and fun and consequently make the slow trickle of tweaks and adjustments you unlock through exploring and interacting with the Abbey also exciting. It all kind of coalesces together into a gameplay loop I find really satisfying.

I've got young kids and only really get an hour or so to play a day and I find in that hour I get a story beat, a card battle, and some character building/tweaking all mixed in nicely which has been nice.

Avatar image for ahoodedfigure
ahoodedfigure

4580

Forum Posts

41781

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 6

User Lists: 64

@sethmode: Isaac Childres's system is pretty compelling if done right, yeah. Interesting that the Marvel game reminds you of it, maybe it was one of their inspirations.

Avatar image for himsteveo
HIMSteveO

199

Forum Posts

20

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 1

User Lists: 1

I feel like I'm missing something a lot of other people are seeing - I enjoy the combat well enough, but it kind of feels more like a AAA Fights in Tight Spaces, particularly with no ability to utilise cover or negate incoming damage, unless you get a shield card. I actually really like the wandering around the Abbey for now, but I'm also about 15ish hours in, and it feels like it's going to be a long slog of a game. I fell off Daemonhunters for a similar length issue at the time I was playing it, as I wanted to play more 2022 games and figured Daemonhunters could work like my XCOM 2 playthrough, but playing Daemonhunters is more entertaining/interesting (also a bit more annoying at times because of the limits on squad size and the numbers you run into), but I don't think I like Midnight Suns, or I'm not as impressed with it as I thought I would be based on the reviews.

I think Hard West 2 is actually the best of 2022's tactics games, personally...

Avatar image for bigsocrates
bigsocrates

6663

Forum Posts

184

Wiki Points

0

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#22  Edited By bigsocrates

@himsteveo: There are a number of ways to negate incoming damage besides resisting it, the most obvious being to eliminate or stun the enemy.

This is a game about offense and your defense IS your offense. Threat management and crowd control are two of the most important elements of any encounter.

It would be thematically inappropriate to have your superheroes ducking behind cover to hide from enemies because that's just not how superheroes fight in their media. Can you imagine Ghost Rider crouching behind a chest high wall? Speaking of Ghost Rider, another way to deal with damage is to tank it and heal.

That's why the game shows you who is being targeted by whom. So you can manage the threats. To me it's an interesting and more fun/aggressive take on the genre. Instead of meticulously planning your turns so that your squad is protected you focus much more on offense and cutting down threats before they overwhelm you. I wouldn't want every tactics game to be that way, but it makes this one stand out. I don't really think it has that much in common with Fights in Tight Places beyond, of course, the card-based tactics because of the way movement and placement work in Midnight Suns.

Like all good superhero games it's a power fantasy. You're not running a squad of squishy mortals who have to hide from an alien menace. You're charging into battle with Blade and Wolverine. Wolverine doesn't use cover, he uses his mutant healing factor, and this game's system is set up with that in mind.

I would agree that the game is long though. Arguably too long when you take into account the abbey and relationship stuff, though you can skip most of that if you want. But even just with combat encounters there's a whole lot of them and I do think that the somewhat shallow tactics system wears out much of its welcome before you get to the end.