Friday, 4 June 2021

The creators of XCOM are making what sounds very much like MARVEL TACTICS

A leak from the upcoming E3 video game convention has revealed that Take Two and their subsidiary Firaxis are developing a licensed Marvel turn-based tactics game. It sounds like some or most of the team behind the hugely popular XCOM relaunch series are working on the title.

There's been a bit of a fad for properties spinning off turn-based tactical games and whacking the name "Tactics" after the title. This started with the classic Final Fantasy Tactics (1997) and has recently seen entries like Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics (2017) and Gears Tactics (2020). However, the more recent iterations have been somewhat lacking in depth, often featuring passable combat but no strategic metagame to make things more interesting. If the XCOM team are working on this, I'd assume they'd be putting together a really good strategic layer as well. Hell, XCOM 2 and War of the Chosen with their Avenger totally-not-a-helicarrier and increasingly colourful, semi-superhero soldiers weren't far off being Marvel games already.

The last XCOM game, Chimera Squad (notably not made by the "main" XCOM team who were working on another project, possibly this Marvel game), experimented with stronger narrative elements and fully-voiced, pre-generated squad members who could not die in the traditional manner (instead being injured, with a full squad knock-out requiring a reload), which felt incongruous in an XCOM game but makes more sense as a dry run for a licensed game.

More news should come at E3, where Take Two will be unveiling their new projects on 14 June. As well as this Marvel game, reportedly they will confirm a Borderlands spin-off and a new project from the Mafia studio (but not a new game in that series). However, don't expect any news on Grand Theft Auto VI from Take Two's other studio Rockstar, as that game is still likely two to three years off.

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