Midnight Fight Express Review: Punch After Satisfying Punch (PC)

Midnight Fight Express combines satisfying a satisfying combat system, filled with unique ways to chain combos, with an interesting story filled with its fair share of twists. However, the game's 40 levels aren't perfect and can be downright frustrating at times.

Midnight Fight Express Review: Punch After Satisfying Punch (PC)

After loving my time with Sifu earlier this year, I was excited by the look of Midnight Fight Express when Summer Game Fest revealed it back in June. I am happy to say that Midnight Fight Express scratches the itch of a well-made, modern beat-em-up game. I had a blast unlocking the skill tree, customizing my appearance, and smashing my high scores while uncovering the mystery of why the protagonist, “Babyface,” is wreaking havoc across the City of Tomorrow. Even though several of the 40 levels frustrated me, I still want to go back to earn more unlockables and finally achieve the elusive “S” rating. 

Midnight Fight Express is available to purchase right now on PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Xbox and PC Game Pass and Steam. It will be coming to the Nintendo Switch in Q3 of 2022.

Midnight Fight Express - Gameplay Overview | PS4

STORY: PLOT TWISTS GALORE

Midnight Fight Express‘s story follows Babyface as he fights through the City of Tomorrow with his only friend, Droney. The game begins when you are awoken by Droney in your apartment. Droney informs you that you are a sleeper agent and are on a mission to save the City of Tomorrow by taking out “the Boss.” However, the Boss seems to have the entire city under his control, and everyone and their mother is out to kill you. As Babyface and Droney fight through the plethora of enemy types, you learn more about your past and why the Boss is trying to take control over the City of Tomorrow. 

DIALOGUE

Since there still is a story to follow, each level has a reasonable amount of dialogue. The dialogue is displayed only in textboxes and they pop up before each new fight encounter. While the dialogue from the goons is usually pretty cheesy, most of the interactions are fairly entertaining. However, reading a text box before and after every fight breaks up the flow of the combat too much. Because the story is interesting, you won’t want to click through the dialogue as fast as possible, but you also won’t want to wait a minute or two before jumping into the next fight.

Reading is the least exciting part of the game

Reading is the least exciting part of the game

GAMEPLAY: ENGAGING AND ADDICTIVE

The 40 levels of Midnight Fight Express offer infinite opportunities for you to feel like a professional MMA fighter, a master of martial arts, or an expert marksman. After each level, you earn an unlock point to use on one of the six skill trees. These new skills allow you to craft your own fighting style and use your favorite combos, counters, and finishers as you please. There are also 100 unique weapons littered around the environment. While it is entertaining to smack people around with a wrench or a hammer once a gun is in play, the game seems to lose its creativity. Guns in Midnight Fight Express are overpowered for both you and your opponents. They are not very fun to use and only serve as a way to build a larger combo. When multiple enemies have guns, you find yourself endlessly dodging until you can disarm somebody and turn the tide. 

ENEMY TYPES

Each new level introduces at least one unique enemy type. The 69 different foes range from pirates and ninjas to mutant rat people and zombies. While new enemies offer a fun variety of attacks to learn, some of your skills will not work on certain enemy types along the way. This feels very awkward and a bit upsetting that your hard-earned unlock point was rendered useless by this level’s new enemy. The game forces you to adapt to these new situations, but even the skill that allows you to disarm an enemy will not work on a few peculiar armed assailants. 

LEVEL PROGRESSION

To 100% complete a level, you must get an “S” rank, collect 10 gold teeth, and complete the level’s 3 challenges. The game incentivizes you to achieve this by offering a cosmetic for each of the level’s accomplishments. The only downside to this progression system is that it requires you to play each level multiple times. While completing the challenges and earning an “S” rank is skill-based, collecting golden teeth is based entirely on luck, and you usually find 1-3 teeth per run. 

You'll encounter many different enemies along the way

You’ll encounter many different enemies along the way

GRAPHICS & SOUND: SIMPLE YET STIMULATING

While the art style of Midnight Fight Express is not going for over-the-top realism, the simple look of the character models and environment do nothing to harm the gameplay. However, the game shines with its wonderfully handcrafted soundtrack. Noisecream, who worked on My Friend Pedro and Roboquest, composed 44 different songs to enhance each level’s mood and excitement. While the songs may not be very catchy, each was perfectly designed for its particular level. Nearly every song is filled with a pumping electronic beat that complements the combat exquisitely. 

Midnight Fight Express was reviewed on PC.

Summary
Midnight Fight Express stands out as a worthwhile brawler. The exciting gameplay is well supplemented by an intricate story, which sometimes interrupts a well-paced level. While some enemy types and certain levels may be aggravating they do not overstay their welcome. The nearly infinite replay value may have you coming back hours after you replay the story to crush your high scores and unlock some sweet new costumes.
Good
  • Satisfying combos, counters, and finishers
  • Complete fighting style creative freedom
  • Energizing soundtrack
Bad
  • Boring "boss" fights
  • Dialogue poorly breaks up fast paced levels
7.5
Good

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