Marvel's Midnight Suns

Posted:  December 06, 2022
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Disclaimer: This is an initial impression of the game. Our review and recommended settings will be updated when we've completed a full and thorough analysis of how it performs on Steam Deck. Check back soon for our full analysis!
SDHQ Settings
Review
Game Info

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
30 FPS
Limit
60
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
9
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
Disabled
Proton Version

Proton GE 7-41

Game Settings

Video:

Renderer: DirectX 11

 

Graphics:

World Detail: Medium

Draw Distance: Medium

Textures: Medium

Effects: Medium

Foilage: Medium

Post Processing: Medium

Anti-Aliasing: Fast TXAA

Screen Space Reflections: Off

Depth of Field: Off

Motion Blur: Off

Number of Shadows: Low

Shadows: Medium

Volumetric Fog: Medium

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
12W - 17W
63c - 77c
2.5 - 3 hours

Review

Midnight Suns was provided to us by 2K for review. Thank you!

A patch released that broke loading into the hub. To fix this, set the launch command for Midnight Suns to:

-dx11

Marvel's Midnight Suns is a turn-based strategy RPG from the minds behind XCOM and Sid Meier's Civilization. Lilith has been resurrected and now, with the help of The Midnight Suns, you must fight back against the demon army and the elder god Chthon. Utilizing strategy, your environment, and a configurable card-based system, you will fight your enemies with a plethora of heroes, including Iron Man, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and The Hunter, who you can customize to your own liking and control throughout the game. When you aren't fighting, you can explore The Abbey to discover hidden items or just build friendships with your allies.

I had a lot of fun playing Midnight Suns, more than I really expected. I enjoy the card system a lot, interacting with the marvel heroes wasn't tiring, and the combat was flashy to watch. Some missions did feel like a slog and it went on a bit too long, but I liked being able to customize the cards, upgrade my heroes, and choose which ones from the decent roster go into the field with me. It is a little weird to see a $50 season pass that only includes 4 characters and 23 skins, but having premium currency in a single-player game like this is a bit much, even if it is just to individually purchase the season pass skins if you choose not to get it. Also, I very much like the photo mode.

MSPhotoMode

Overall, I did have a great experience though and I found the game worth playing. And, with that out of the way, now we get to take a look at the performance on the Steam Deck.

DISCLAIMER:

Before we begin, I want to mention that Firaxis and 2K have mentioned that they will be putting out a specific patch to optimize for the Steam Deck. Due to this, we will be considering this review as a First Look that we will go back over once the patch is out. We will, however, go over the released build and all the issues we do have. We fully expect this this to change once the patch is out, so please keep this in mind as we go over the current state of Midnight Suns.

Midnight Suns: Max Performance

On the Steam Deck, Midnight Suns behaves very differently in combat and at The Abbey, the hub for the heroes when you aren't carrying out missions. In combat, the game can actually run really well. I was able to keep a TDP of 9 with a 30 FPS cap on the highest graphical settings (Epic) without any issues and 40 FPS with a TDP of 8 was possible with graphical settings on High and anti-aliasing set to Fast TXAA.

With the combat being so well optimized, the hub is a direct contrast. On the highest settings, the hub drains at around 25W with FPS hovering around 28-30. Moving around will pull framerate even further down as well. Luckily, we can make some adjustments and have a much better, more stable experience!

Left ImageRight Image
Left ImageRight Image

Midnight Optimizations

To optimize the game in its current state, I decided to focus on the hub since the combat is already performing fantastically. With all the testing I have done, the hub will not easily breach 40 FPS without serious battery drain, so I decided to stick with a 30 FPS cap and focus on stability. First, I decided to keep the settings at the lowest and run around the hub, which did make my game fluctuate a bit. I did see that using DirectX 11 did perform better than DirectX 12 overall, with not much of a visual change, but definitely more stable overall.

I also did use the DXVK_ASYNC launch command paired with Proton GE 7-41, but I didn't find a big difference when using it or not, but I kept it on just incase. You can put the launch command in the preferences if you decide to try it.

DXVK_ASYNC=1 %command%
Left ImageRight Image
Left ImageRight Image

As you can see above, the framerate graph fluctuates much more with DX12 over DX11. That stability is consistent with DX11 when moving around the hub.

While the game also has FSR included, my tests didn't show a sizable boost to performance or battery life overall, so I didn't feel it was necessary. It can save a little bit though, so I would leave the decision to use it up to the player. The game still looks great with FSR on, but it is definitely sharper looking, whereas no upscaler looks more soft, which I like for this visual style.

Left ImageRight Image

After I figured all of that out, I slowly started increasing settings and TDP to find a stable balance. I figured I was able to bring most of the settings to Medium while keeping TDP at 9. This kept the hub and combat at a similar stable framerate. This definitely made playing much more enjoyable for me as I don't enjoy any fluctuations if I can help it.

Bugs and Issues

After playing for as long as I have, I came across a multitude of issues that I want to go over here. Some of them small, some annoying, but none of them hurt my experience when playing.

The biggest 2 would be the hub and real-time cutscene performance. While I did go over the hub's performance above, real-time cutscenes are even worse. I have noticed that cutscenes from missions perform a bit better, but the ones in the hub can dip to around 23-24 FPS at times. It does recover relatively quick, but it's not uncommon.

Marvel's Midnight Suns

I also noticed that battery drain will draw too much power in missions if you are coming from the hub. If you launch the game and load into combat from the main menu, the power draw will be less than if you load into the hub area and start a mission there. This didn't always happen, but if you go into combat and see a 16-17W drain when it should be 11-12W, that could be the reason why. Again, it didn't happen every time, but it did happen.

I did encounter two crashes from my playthrough. The first I got when I was skipping real-time cutscenes and it closed my game. The second time was running through the portal Magik makes to go to missions from the hub. I tested both of these multiple times and didn't crash again, but it did happen.

There is also no cloud save support, even though it shows Cloud Status both on Desktop PC and Steam Deck. This could mean it is coming, but I am not sure.

There are also a couple small issues I noticed. Regardless of settings, the opening and main menu stutters a little bit, the mouse cursor is visible until you enter the game, changing graphical settings defaults to the top drop down option instead of whatever is currently selected, loading times can be a bit on the long side, and I did notice some ghosting on the white marker you control in combat.

Midnight Suns

It is small, but if you look closely, there are ripple effects (and look, the mouse cursor is there too). That ripple was caused by that middle white marker from me spinning it around.

Conclusion

Even with all of these quirks, I had a ton of fun playing this game on the Steam Deck. I felt 16-17W max drain was pretty reasonable and, all things considered, it ran really well with the 30 FPS cap. Thankfully, 2K and Firaxis will be putting out a patch that I hope will optimize the hub, real-time cutscenes, and the other little issues we found, but if you had to decide whether to get this game now, I would say it is still very worth it.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back!

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Marvel's Midnight Suns is a fun strategy game using a unique card-based system, and while it does have some minor issues, it overall runs well on the Steam Deck.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Noah Kupetsky
Steam Profile
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$59.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

Review

Midnight Suns was provided to us by 2K for review. Thank you!

A patch released that broke loading into the hub. To fix this, set the launch command for Midnight Suns to:

-dx11

Marvel's Midnight Suns is a turn-based strategy RPG from the minds behind XCOM and Sid Meier's Civilization. Lilith has been resurrected and now, with the help of The Midnight Suns, you must fight back against the demon army and the elder god Chthon. Utilizing strategy, your environment, and a configurable card-based system, you will fight your enemies with a plethora of heroes, including Iron Man, Wolverine, Spider-Man, and The Hunter, who you can customize to your own liking and control throughout the game. When you aren't fighting, you can explore The Abbey to discover hidden items or just build friendships with your allies.

I had a lot of fun playing Midnight Suns, more than I really expected. I enjoy the card system a lot, interacting with the marvel heroes wasn't tiring, and the combat was flashy to watch. Some missions did feel like a slog and it went on a bit too long, but I liked being able to customize the cards, upgrade my heroes, and choose which ones from the decent roster go into the field with me. It is a little weird to see a $50 season pass that only includes 4 characters and 23 skins, but having premium currency in a single-player game like this is a bit much, even if it is just to individually purchase the season pass skins if you choose not to get it. Also, I very much like the photo mode.

MSPhotoMode

Overall, I did have a great experience though and I found the game worth playing. And, with that out of the way, now we get to take a look at the performance on the Steam Deck.

DISCLAIMER:

Before we begin, I want to mention that Firaxis and 2K have mentioned that they will be putting out a specific patch to optimize for the Steam Deck. Due to this, we will be considering this review as a First Look that we will go back over once the patch is out. We will, however, go over the released build and all the issues we do have. We fully expect this this to change once the patch is out, so please keep this in mind as we go over the current state of Midnight Suns.

Midnight Suns: Max Performance

On the Steam Deck, Midnight Suns behaves very differently in combat and at The Abbey, the hub for the heroes when you aren't carrying out missions. In combat, the game can actually run really well. I was able to keep a TDP of 9 with a 30 FPS cap on the highest graphical settings (Epic) without any issues and 40 FPS with a TDP of 8 was possible with graphical settings on High and anti-aliasing set to Fast TXAA.

With the combat being so well optimized, the hub is a direct contrast. On the highest settings, the hub drains at around 25W with FPS hovering around 28-30. Moving around will pull framerate even further down as well. Luckily, we can make some adjustments and have a much better, more stable experience!

Left ImageRight Image
Left ImageRight Image

Midnight Optimizations

To optimize the game in its current state, I decided to focus on the hub since the combat is already performing fantastically. With all the testing I have done, the hub will not easily breach 40 FPS without serious battery drain, so I decided to stick with a 30 FPS cap and focus on stability. First, I decided to keep the settings at the lowest and run around the hub, which did make my game fluctuate a bit. I did see that using DirectX 11 did perform better than DirectX 12 overall, with not much of a visual change, but definitely more stable overall.

I also did use the DXVK_ASYNC launch command paired with Proton GE 7-41, but I didn't find a big difference when using it or not, but I kept it on just incase. You can put the launch command in the preferences if you decide to try it.

DXVK_ASYNC=1 %command%
Left ImageRight Image
Left ImageRight Image

As you can see above, the framerate graph fluctuates much more with DX12 over DX11. That stability is consistent with DX11 when moving around the hub.

While the game also has FSR included, my tests didn't show a sizable boost to performance or battery life overall, so I didn't feel it was necessary. It can save a little bit though, so I would leave the decision to use it up to the player. The game still looks great with FSR on, but it is definitely sharper looking, whereas no upscaler looks more soft, which I like for this visual style.

Left ImageRight Image

After I figured all of that out, I slowly started increasing settings and TDP to find a stable balance. I figured I was able to bring most of the settings to Medium while keeping TDP at 9. This kept the hub and combat at a similar stable framerate. This definitely made playing much more enjoyable for me as I don't enjoy any fluctuations if I can help it.

Bugs and Issues

After playing for as long as I have, I came across a multitude of issues that I want to go over here. Some of them small, some annoying, but none of them hurt my experience when playing.

The biggest 2 would be the hub and real-time cutscene performance. While I did go over the hub's performance above, real-time cutscenes are even worse. I have noticed that cutscenes from missions perform a bit better, but the ones in the hub can dip to around 23-24 FPS at times. It does recover relatively quick, but it's not uncommon.

Marvel's Midnight Suns

I also noticed that battery drain will draw too much power in missions if you are coming from the hub. If you launch the game and load into combat from the main menu, the power draw will be less than if you load into the hub area and start a mission there. This didn't always happen, but if you go into combat and see a 16-17W drain when it should be 11-12W, that could be the reason why. Again, it didn't happen every time, but it did happen.

I did encounter two crashes from my playthrough. The first I got when I was skipping real-time cutscenes and it closed my game. The second time was running through the portal Magik makes to go to missions from the hub. I tested both of these multiple times and didn't crash again, but it did happen.

There is also no cloud save support, even though it shows Cloud Status both on Desktop PC and Steam Deck. This could mean it is coming, but I am not sure.

There are also a couple small issues I noticed. Regardless of settings, the opening and main menu stutters a little bit, the mouse cursor is visible until you enter the game, changing graphical settings defaults to the top drop down option instead of whatever is currently selected, loading times can be a bit on the long side, and I did notice some ghosting on the white marker you control in combat.

Midnight Suns

It is small, but if you look closely, there are ripple effects (and look, the mouse cursor is there too). That ripple was caused by that middle white marker from me spinning it around.

Conclusion

Even with all of these quirks, I had a ton of fun playing this game on the Steam Deck. I felt 16-17W max drain was pretty reasonable and, all things considered, it ran really well with the 30 FPS cap. Thankfully, 2K and Firaxis will be putting out a patch that I hope will optimize the hub, real-time cutscenes, and the other little issues we found, but if you had to decide whether to get this game now, I would say it is still very worth it.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back!

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Marvel's Midnight Suns is a fun strategy game using a unique card-based system, and while it does have some minor issues, it overall runs well on the Steam Deck.

Performance: 
VISUALS: 
Stability: 
Controls: 
Battery: 
Reviewed By:
Noah Kupetsky
Steam Profile

SDHQ Recommended Settings

SteamOS
30 FPS
Limit
60
Refresh Rate
HRS
No
TDP Limit
9
Scaling Filter
Linear
GPU Clock
Disabled
Proton Version

Proton GE 7-41

Game Settings

Video:

Renderer: DirectX 11

 

Graphics:

World Detail: Medium

Draw Distance: Medium

Textures: Medium

Effects: Medium

Foilage: Medium

Post Processing: Medium

Anti-Aliasing: Fast TXAA

Screen Space Reflections: Off

Depth of Field: Off

Motion Blur: Off

Number of Shadows: Low

Shadows: Medium

Volumetric Fog: Medium

Projected Battery Usage and Temp
12W - 17W
63c - 77c
2.5 - 3 hours
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$59.99
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

8 comments on “Marvel's Midnight Suns”

  1. Just picked this up on a Steam Sale and I just downloaded GE 7-41 to try and get through a cutscene that keeps crashing about an hour into the game. Anyone know tricks to get around this?

      1. Don't worry about the haters. You're doing a great service here for us SteamDeck owners. I just bought this on steam sale. Lucky I have a back log of things to play. By the time I get to it, hopefully it will be optimized and patched to play even better.

        "You will never in life meet a hater doing better than you." ~ David Goggins

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