I initially planned on reviewing Marvel’s Midnight Suns in the middle of December, but it was broken in a few ways for me on PC and Steam Deck at the time. Firaxis’ collaboration with Marvel resulted in my favorite Marvel game alongside Marvel’s Spider-Man Miles Morales, but the PC version was not in a great place. Alongside the PC version, I was also playing Marvel’s Midnight Suns on Xbox Series X, and having a lot of fun with how it blended elements from some of my favorite games while retaining what makes Firaxis’ tactical RPGs worth playing. With it being Steam Deck Verified as of last week, I wanted to resume my PC playthrough and see if it was actually fixed up and worth getting if you were hoping to experience it on Valve’s portable gaming system.
Before getting to what makes Marvel’s Midnight Suns a great game, it has been an interesting journey with it on Steam Deck from day one. When I first tried it during launch week, I was shocked at how it was running a lot better than I expected. I played it for a few days, and even gifted it to a friend on Steam. Each update that arrived since, made it a worse experience for me, and I even had trouble loading my save for about two or three weeks. I gave up on playing it on Steam Deck and decided to focus on it on my laptop. Fast forward to last week, Marvel’s Midnight Suns is now Steam Deck Verified, and a recent update even fixed the Steam Cloud issues and made it a much better experience on Steam Deck. It isn’t perfect right now, but I can safely recommend it to any Steam Deck owner interested in it with a few caveats.
If you’ve not played Marvel’s Midnight Suns yet, it blends in Firaxis’ turn-based tactical RPG combat, card-based battles, and some elements of games like Fire Emblem Three Houses in the downtime between battles. You have excellent tactical battles that I enjoyed throughout the game, a lovely upgrade system, and light social elements as you interact with other superheroes in the Abbey which acts as not only your hub, but also a massive area full of secrets and more. The gameplay style perfectly suits the pickup and play nature of the Steam Deck, but it hasn’t been fun to play on Deck until now.
Since Marvel’s Midnight Suns only launched on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S alongside PC, I wasn’t sure what to expect from it on Steam Deck at launch. My launch setup is not really relevant anymore, but I’m very impressed at how well Marvel’s Midnight Suns plays on Steam Deck right now. I set it to the medium preset and tried the dynamic resolution and FSR options for a better frame rate. Right now, the tactical battles can hit 60fps relatively well with some drops during big skill animations, but the Abbey (your hub) is where performance drops to the 30s from 60. The best current setup would be turning a few things down to maintain 40fps in the Abbey and during battles. This will save you battery life as well as giving you a more consistent experience overall. With that setup, Marvel’s Midnight Suns looks very good on the Steam Deck’s screen, and it plays brilliantly in combat.
Ideally, I’d be able to set it to 60fps for battles and 30fps for the Abbey. Even at the lowest preset, running around in the Abbey can see it drop below 30fps for a bit, but it usually hovers around 40fps at the low preset. This doesn’t surprise me, because even the PS5 version doesn’t hold a stable frame rate in the Abbey, while my Xbox Series X’s support for FreeSync helped make things feel better here. Speaking of the other versions, I wish Marvel’s Midnight Suns had cross progression so I could take my progress across platforms.
My only issues with Marvel’s Midnight Suns right now, have to do with how the graphics settings sometimes didn’t save as I was checking different configurations to see how the Steam Deck handles the game in different scenarios, and in how the hub itself still isn’t optimized too well. The battles were a joy to play with great performance. I only had some drops during the special skill animations that had a lot of particle effects, but no issues during actual movement or gameplay where you have control of a character.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns itself is a bit too bloated, but I had similar issues with Fire Emblem Three Houses‘ downtime sections in between battles. I would’ve preferred if it was a bit shorter, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this much more than I expected. I even started the new Deadpool DLC which has been fun to play on Steam Deck so far.
While I wasn’t really sold on Marvel’s Midnight Suns pre-release, it has continued to impress me more as I played through the story, and it is chock full of a ton of optional content that will keep you busy for a very long time. It wasn’t a great experience around launch on PC, but Marvel’s Midnight Suns is well worth your time right now, and a joy to play on Steam Deck. It already felt like a perfect fit for Steam Deck from the start, and it has finally been fixed for Valve’s portable system with a recent update.
Interested in more lists? Check out our other Steam Deck recommendations!