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Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a new Avengers tactics game

Marvel’s Midnight Suns was announced today at the Gamescom 2021 Opening Night Live. Developed by Firaxis, Midnight Suns will be a tactics game where players will play as a newly created character known as The Hunter. It was revealed that this character was created for this game by Firaxis with approval from Marvel.

The Hunter will be a fully customizable character who will fight alongside iconic Marvel characters. Some characters revealed in the trailer were Wolverine, Doctor Strange, Ironman, The Gloom, the Robert Reyes Ghost Rider, and Blade.

The trailer showed off the various Marvel characters resurrecting The Hunter, who they need in order to help fight their mother, Lilith, the Mother of Demons. Midnight Suns will also have an emphasis on character relationships. Which characters you bring to battle and who you talk to in the game will shape the relationship you will have with them.

The trailer also showed off the iconic Marvel characters wearing costumes with magical runes on them. This might be a nod to the Original Sins comic crossover event from 2014. The title for the game itself, Midnight Suns, is a reference to a group of magical heroes in the Marvel Universe.

Midnight Suns is being developed by Firaxis, a company known for its iconic tactics series XCOM. The trailer did not show off any gameplay content, but players can expect something similar to the XCOM games. During the Opening Night Live event for Gamescom, it was announced that a gameplay trailer will be released on September 1.

Marvel’s Midnight Suns will be released on March 22.

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Andrew Zucosky
Andrew has been playing video games since he was a small boy, and he finally got good at them like a week ago. He has been in…
Marvel Snap’s Friendly Battles set a new bar for its post-launch support
marvel snap friendly battle mode impressions key art

I’ve been hooked on Marvel Snap ever since I gained access to its beta in May 2022. The core, fast-paced gameplay has allowed the card game to sustain itself on just one match type and very few game-changing updates outside of the Token Shop. That feeling probably won’t last forever, though. If Second Dinner wants to keep the Marvel game relevant after a strong launch period, it needs to keep expanding and spicing it up in exciting new ways. The new Friendly Battle is a solid first step for that.
MARVEL SNAP's NEWEST Feature | BATTLE MODE | Play With Friends Now!
Marvel Snap’s developers teased a Friendly Battle mode that allows players to create private games with friends for a long time. The mode finally arrived on January 31 and lived up to expectations. In fact, playing it whetted my appetite for the future of Marvel Snap as I think about how the game could expand and improve with more social systems and modes to keep players coming back for years to come.
The strengths of Friendly Battle mode
Marvel Snap’s Friendly Battle mode utilizes the same six turn, location, and card ability-based formula Digital Trends has praised thoroughly. What’s different is the length of the fights and who you can compete against. Typically, matchmaking is random, but Friendly Battle allows players to Create and Join matches via a generated Match Code. This means there is finally an easy way to play Marvel Snap with your friends, showing off your deck or testing new strategies with them.
These aren’t just one-and-done matches like normal, though. Instead, each player takes one of their decks into a round-based battle where they start with 10 health. Whoever loses each round will also lose health equal to the Cube Value. This keeps going until one player runs out of health, with higher Cube Value stakes from Round Five and onwards, ensuring that Friendly Battle retains the speediness of the default game mode. The health-based setup is an enjoyable variation of Marvel Snap’s core formula.
It gives another purpose to snapping during a match outside of account progression. Meanwhile, the round-based setup allows players to stretch their strategic muscles as they adapt to each new round, finding the opposing deck’s weaknesses and trying to avoid their own. Plus, even when I was joining games using codes players posted on Marvel Snap’s Discord, there was a greater sense of community in discovering what decks other players were using and communicating with my opponent more via the in-game messages and emotes.

Seeing the strengths of Friendly Battle mode, it has become evident what elements of the game the developers need to focus on and expand going forward.
Setting a precedent 
Looking at games like Magic: The Gathering and Hearthstone, their communities are what have allowed those card games to stand the test of time. Marvel Snap may be just as good as those from a gameplay standpoint, but it needs interested players to continue supporting it over the long term if it wants to be more than the mobile gaming fad. With players getting increasingly mad at its microtransactions and progression, it is a critical time to renew interest.
Friendly Battle is an excellent first step for that. This new mode finally gives Marvel Snap players a more direct way to connect and potentially set up tournaments that can keep the competitive scene alive. Second Dinner still needs to add more social features in-game, though. Second Dinner teased that it considering the addition of Player Guilds last year, and being able to join a Guild or at least Friend another player’s account would encourage players to stick around and play and socialize with their friends more.
Being able to trade cards with other players is a feature I’d like to see because of how odd Marvel Snap’s progression is. For something like that to work, though, Guilds or an account friending system are necessary prior additions. The necessity of a dedicated social community of players also means that the developers must add more new modes so veterans have a reason to stick around and new players have new reasons to join.  

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Marvel’s Avengers to be delisted in September as support winds down
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Crystal Dynamics has confirmed that it will stop working on Marvel's Avengers, with the final significant update coming March 31 before official customer support ends on September 30.
In a blog post on the game's website, Crystal Dynamics says that the "decision was made in conjunction with our partners that now was the right time to make this change," and that "no new stories, features, or Heroes will be added to the game" going forward. It added that Spider-Man will remain a PlayStation exclusive character. Thankfully, the post also confirms that both single-player and multiplayer will still be available to play in Marvel's Avengers after September 30. Update 2.8, which releases on March 31, will disable the purchase of Credits and convert remaining Credit balances into in-game resources for players alongside some other balance updates. There will be no refunds to players who have spent money on the game, though. 

As is to be expected with an update like this, the developers are also making content previously only available behind a paywall free to players. That means all Marketplace, Challenge Card, and Shipment cosmetics will be free for players to redeem after March 31. If you haven't picked Marvel's Avengers up yet, you'll need to do so by September 30, as it will be removed from digital storefronts then. 
Marvel's Avengers was just never able to find its footing despite its use of a great IP. Hyped up as the next great live service game ahead of its release, the game was plagued with problems upon its launch in September 2020, and post-launch support has been slow and delay-filled. Rumors suggest that the team working on this game has only gotten smaller and smaller as Crystal Dynamics has moved on to projects like Tomb Raider and Perfect Dark, so the game never really had a chance to come back from a rocky launch like Destiny or No Man's Sky did.
Ironically, even this closure announcement didn't go smoothly, as the entire website for Marvel's Avengers went down when Crystal Dynamics tweeted a link to the news at 5:30 p.m. ET today. A follow-up tweet from the game's account says "high traffic" caused those issues. 
Marvel's Avengers is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. 

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The best video games of December 2022: Midnight Suns, High on Life, and more
Hulk shouts at an enemy in Marvel's Midnight Suns.

While December is historically a quiet month for the video game industry, that was not the case in 2022. Delays caused several AAA games to launch in the final month of the year, while some charming indie titles also tried to carve out a spot for themselves in what would turn out to be a surprisingly busy month. While a couple of this month's releases were hit-and-miss, the December 2022 game lineup featured a diverse array of experiences that will please players of all kinds across all platforms. 
In particular, seven titles stood out to us most throughout December. From an ambitious Marvel RPG to a simulator 20 years in the making, these are the games released in December 2022 that you should check out. 
Marvel's Midnight Suns
Marvel’s Midnight Suns - Release Date Trailer | D23 Expo 2022
Superhero games aren't a rarity nowadays, but few are as ambitious as Marvel's Midnight Suns. Created by the former XCOM team at Firaxis Games, this is a full-blown Marvel RPG where players can spend a lot of time getting to know characters from the Avengers and beyond. On top of that, battles are fun turn-based strategy affairs where cards are used to perform special abilities, and players can explore a large open world around their Abbey home base in-between missions. At 40-plus hours, it's a long game that takes a while to get going, but any Marvel fan will appreciate the solid worldbuilding and deep gameplay once they get into its rhythm.
"Even at a time where Marvel is more popular than ever, Marvel’s Midnight Suns finds a way to stand out by going the extra mile," I wrote in a four-star review of Marvel's Midnight Suns. "The boring level design and issues with Abbey exploration can dampen an otherwise fantastic experience, but my appreciation for these characters and the well-thought-out nature of the card-based combat encouraged me to play until the final hours."
By finding a middle ground between XCOM 2, Persona 5, and Slay the Spire, Firaxis created a game that has all of the hallmarks of a solid Marvel experience, but in a way that still feels fresh. It's worth checking out if you are a fan of Marvel, card games, strategy games, or RPGs. Marvel's Midnight Suns is available now for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S, and is in development for PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. 
Need for Speed Unbound
Need for Speed Unbound - Official Reveal Trailer (ft. A$AP Rocky)
Need for Speed Unbound's launch earlier this month might have been muted, but that has no bearing on the game's quality. While its trying-way-to-hard-to-be-hip dialogue will get on your nerves after a while, this is a fun street racing game with a wide selection of cars, lots of customization, and tough AI opponents. Those latter three elements always make for an entertaining racer, and Need for Speed Unbound sticks out even further thanks to its distinct cel-shaded art style. 
"The racer eventually hits its limits due to sometimes cringe-inducing writing and repetitive objects, but the ride there packs in a lot of fun," my three-and-a-half star Need for Speed Unbound review explains. "Need for Speed Unbound is surprisingly challenging, making each race important and engaging, and it has a lot of style. During this gap between Gran Turismo 7 and next spring’s Forza Motorsport, this open-world racer refuels a series that has been running on fumes."
While you'll get the most out of Need for Speed Unbound in single-player, it also features an open-world multiplayer mode for those who want to race around a city based on Chicago with their friends. There haven't been any major racing game releases this fall, so this game thankfully fills that void quite nicely. Need for Speed Unbound is available now for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S. 
High on Life
HIGH ON LIFE - Official Game Trailer - Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland's game studio Squanch Games just launched High on Life, a Metroid Prime-inspired sci-fi shooter where every weapon can talk (and spout quips). It's a comedy game first and foremost, so your mileage will vary depending on your sense of humor. Thankfully, it's also fun to play. 
"Like Rick and Morty’s Pickle Rick episode, High on Life doesn’t build to a grand punch line," Giovanni Colantonio writes in his three-and-a-half star review of High on Life. "It’s more focused on those immediate hits of fun that’ll keep players entertained in the moment — you probably remember “I’m Pickle Rick!” clearer than any actual plot details of that episode. Satisfying combat, smooth traversal, and a smattering of hilarious vignettes make for an admirable adventure game whose individual parts are more memorable than the full picture."
If you enjoy watching a good episode of Rick and Morty or playing Metroid Prime, High on Life is one of the more novel and refreshing releases this month. Comedy games are inherently divisive, but it's nice to see Squanch push the boundaries of what humor in a video game can look like. High on Life is available now for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S via Xbox Game Pass. 
The Callisto Protocol
The Callisto Protocol - The Truth of Black Iron Trailer
The Callisto Protocol, Glen Schofield's spiritual successor to Dead Space, finally released this month. While reception has been mixed due to some tech issues and divisive combat, it still provides lots of scares, gross gore, and top-notch visuals on current-gen platforms. It's a fairly short experience, so you should see everything the game has to offer in under 10 hours. It also features a star-studded cast featuring the likes of Josh Duhamel, Sam Witwer, and Karen Fukuhara.
"The Callisto Protocol does more than enough to scratch the Dead Space itch that’s been lingering for a decade," Colantonio claims in his three-and-a-half-star review of The Callisto Protocol. "It’s familiar without feeling like a rehash, putting its own creative stamp on the horror genre. It’s not without its fleshy weak spots though, as overworked combat and performance instability leave room for the new IP to mutate into something more powerful down the line."
For those looking for one more solid horror experience before the year ends, The Callisto Protocol provides that in abundance. Although it doesn't seem like it will outright replace Dead Space in horror gamers' hearts anytime soon, playing through the game seems like a nice way to whet your appetite ahead of the Dead Space remake's release in January 2023. The Callisto Protocol is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Chained Echoes
Chained Echoes - Launch Trailer
Retro-inspired JRPGs aren't a new concept, but the games that get it right can be just as fun as the classics. Thankfully, Chained Echoes is a nice throwback RPG. Solid pixel art backs up interesting worldbuilding that blends fantasy and sci-fi, and the battle system centers around an Overdrive meter. Using attacks will fill the meter, and moving into a certain sweet spot will buff your attacks; use too many though, and you'll overheat and get debuffed, forcing you to use attacks that move you back down the meter.
It's a clever way to balance the risk-and-reward systems seen in RPGs like Bravely Default, but it also keeps things engaging as players aren't locked to just one attack or battle option with Overdrive. Of course, lots of other gameplay elements, as well as a hefty amount of story and overworld exploration, keep this RPG experience fresh over time. For an RPG mostly made by one person, it's quite impressive. Chained Echoes is out now for PC, Mac, Linux, PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. The game is also available via Xbox Game Pass. 
Dwarf Fortress
Dwarf Fortress Steam Edition - Launch Trailer
Dwarf Fortress is a 20-year-old game that's never looked this good. It's hard to explain in its entirety, but in essence, Dwarf Fortress is a fantasy simulation game where players build and manage a colony of dwarves. Its open-ended nature makes it a great simulator for emergent fantasy storytelling. Previously, Dwarf Fortress was a freeware game with minimalist ASCII graphics that gained a cult following as developer Bay 12 Games slowly updated it over the past 20 years.
This month, a version of the game with more contemporary graphics hit Steam and, making Dwarf Fortress more accessible than ever. It's a very daunting game to get into because of its complex systems and overwhelming UI, but once you get the hang of it, it's really hard to put down. Dwarf Fortress is available now for PC via Steam and 
Aka - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch
Aka is the best chill and wholesome game of this month. Players control a red panda living its life in a tropical archipelago after fighting in a war. The game can get quite somber in tone at times, but it typically has a positive, reflective outlook on life. It balances relaxing exploration with crafting and gardening to create an experience that might not be groundbreaking, but is always entertaining. This is a cute little indie game that's not getting that much attention, but it should be on your radar if you enjoy wholesome games, life and farming sims, or red pandas. Aka is available now for PC and Nintendo Switch. 

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