Thursday, 26 August 2021

XCOM creators spill the beans (a bit) on upcoming Marvel XCOM-alike, MIDNIGHT SUNS

Following rumours from the start of the summer, Firaxis have confirmed they are making a Marvel tie-in game. Midnight Suns melds the turn-based, tactical gameplay of their enormously successful XCOM series with the Marvel superhero IP.

In the game, the player creates their own hero, The Hunter, who joins forces with a roster of Marvel heroes to battle Lilith, the Mother of Demons. Heroes to appear include Iron Man, Wolverine, Blade, Ghost Rider, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Magik, Nico Minoru and Dr. Strange. 

The game has been described as a "tactical RPG", suggesting there won't be a deep strategic metagame as in the XCOM series, with instead a more story and character-driven between-battles section. Aside, presumably from the turn-based combat, the game will not share any mechanics with the XCOM series.

XCOM franchise head Jake Solomon has led development, with Marvel Comics artists and writers lending support and assistance, including help in designing The Hunter (who will be customisable in terms of appearance, gender and powers) and The Abbey, a hub area which the team will retire to between missions.

It sounds like the game will be drawing on The Rise of the Midnight Sons comic arc in 1992, in which a group of Marvel heroes and antiheroes join forces to fight Lilith. 

This does beg the question of whether Firaxis is developing more XCOM games; both XCOM 2 (2016) and Chimera Squad (2020) had substantial cliffhanger endings that seemed to be setting up more games in the series. However, a second team at the company helmed both XCOM 2's expansion, War of the Chosen, and Chimera Squad, so certainly they have the scope to develop more than one game at a time.

Marvel's Midnight Suns is due for release on Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Xbox One and Xbox X in March 2022. Firaxis will unveil the first gameplay trailer on 1 September.

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