Review: ‘Marvel’s Midnight Suns’ Morbius DLC means that it’s that time, you know the one
I imagine the DLC plans for Marvel’s Midnight Suns were cemented sometime in late 2021, though it got me thinking about how the discussion on new characters unfolded. I like to imagine it went something like this:
“Deadpool is a fan favorite, so that’s a no-brainer. Venom is already in the game as a villain, so he’s due for a redemption arc. And Morbius? Well, Marvel’s top living vampire is about to have a big-budget blockbuster land in theaters. That’ll almost certainly be a smash hit, after which the world will be hungry for Morbius. No doubt his DLC will sell morbillions of copies, right?”
It’s safe to say it didn’t pan out like that. The movie was a laughable stinker and quickly developed a reputation as one of the worst superhero movies of the modern era. To add insult to injury, the titular character became a memetic laughing stock, picking up a fun, new fictional catchphrase along the way. So, with Morbius now entering the Abbey, gamers can finally discover whether it is indeed Morbin’ time.
The answer is… kinda. The game already has a bloodthirsty melee-focused hero on the team with Blade: both characters are vampires, both play remarkably similarly, and unlike Deadpool and Venom, there’s not much in the way of new Morbius mechanics to get your head around. The game even seems to recognize this, with the Hunter saying “Help me understand what you bring to the team that I cannot get elsewhere?” That said, there’s some fun to be had with his ‘Conceal’ ability, which sees him take on a misty form to evade attacks, and we liked that his chain attack draws cards from his deck.
That’s about it for mechanics though, and the end result is a character that’s useful but doesn’t specialize in any one thing. We suspect you could swap him out for Blade or Wolverine and not notice much difference.
It’s also a little sad that Morbius doesn’t significantly factor into the ongoing DLC storyline. Without getting into spoiler territory, the Deadpool and Venom DLCs have been establishing a vampire threat, led by Red Skull’s daughter, Sin, and Count Dracula himself. The Morbius DLC doesn’t push that story forward in any substantial way, instead building up a threat that should be a huge deal, but is actually wrapped up very quickly.
Even more annoyingly, there’s a repeat of the ‘Protect the civilians in Central Park’ mission from the last DLC and, unlike Deadpool and Venom, there’s no new boss fight — just repeats from previous DLC episodes. These content packs aren’t exactly cheap at $15 each (with the season pass coming in at $50) and, to be honest, we expect a little more bang for our buck. It’s possible that Firaxis has recognized that Midnight Suns is a money pit and is cutting back spending on additional content that few people are buying, though these plans were likely set in stone long before the disappointing sales figures arrived.
There is one silver lining here. Morbius is actually a pretty fun character to hang around with. Spider-Man opens the DLC trying to convince the skeptical team that Morbius isn’t a villain, but he’s the first to admit he’s definitely not a hero. This opens the door to some dark deadpan comedy from the living vampire, who jokes about his extremely unethical experiments, is open about his constant craving for blood, and freely admits it’s possible that he could lose control and start eating Hunter’s buddies. We guess having Blade hanging around is a nice safety net if they run into any internal vampire trouble.
All that’s buoyed up by some great voice acting from Jake Green, who previously played Morbius in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. Green delivers some sardonic humor, as well as delivering an impressively melodramatic Darth Vader-style “Noooooooooooooo!”.
Sadly, at least as far as I saw, Morbius doesn’t ever say “It’s Morbin’ time” in this DLC, which feels like a missed opportunity. I figured teaming him up with Deadpool would be the best way to pack in some references to his memetic success, and was pleased to see the Merc with the Mouth commenting on a particularly brutal vampiric attack with “Whoa, you got your Morbs all over ’em!”. I’ll take it, I guess.
The Midnight Suns DLC campaign will wrap up next month with the X-Men’s Storm, and given the game’s paltry performance, we’re not optimistic about a second season of new characters being unveiled anytime soon. That’s a shame, because a new hero landing in the game every month feels like what Marvel’s Avengers was trying to achieve before Square Enix realized they had a dud on their hands and hung it out to dry.
Here’s hoping Storm brings some fun and unique mechanics to the game. We’ll see you next month with our thoughts on the upcoming DLC!
Marvel's Midnight Suns' Morbius DLC isn't bad, but it pales in comparison to the Venom and Deadpool add-ons and shamelessly recycles content. While Morbius is a fun character, he adds nothing new to battles. If there's one episode to skip, this is it.