Marvel’s Midnight Suns from XCOM team announced at Gamescom 2021
The next game from Firaxis’ XCOM team takes place in a dark corner of the Marvel Comics universe. Title Marvel’s Midnight Suns, the development of the turn-based role-playing game is led by Jake Solomon, designer of XCOM: Enemy unknown and XCOM 2.
The big draw here are the heroes and anti-heroes, many of whom have never worked together before in any previous Marvel storyline. Firaxis has confirmed that Iron Man, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Blade, Nico Minoru, Magik, Robbie Reyes as Ghost Rider and Wolverine will all be playable. There will be a total of 13 Allied Heroes, drawn from the Avengers, X-Men, Runaways and beyond.
Revealed at Gamescom 2021 on Wednesday, publisher 2K Games plans to bring Marvel’s Midnight Suns on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC (via Steam and Epic Game Store), Xbox One and Xbox Series X in March 2022.
Polygon met up with Solomon ahead of time to learn more about the ambitious new game.
The Rise of the Midnight Sons arc began in 1992 with a series of Ghost Rider comics. In it, a gallery of rogue anti-heroes, including Dr. Strange, Frank Drake, Morbius, Jonny Blaze, and Blade, must come together to stop Lilith, Mother of Demons, from taking over the world. Solomon told ServerPlay that it was his favorite arc from this time in Marvel Comics history, but the game itself wasn’t quite his idea.
“It was Marvel who contacted us after making XCOM 2“Salomon said.” When I had a call with the Marvel team, there was an executive vice president of Marvel on the call and they had very specific comments on [that game’s notorious] final mission, and a bunch of people started stepping in, and I was like, well, these guys are actually big fans. Right away, they understood the kind of games we make.
During game design, Solomon said his team had to throw out almost everything that came before him.
“There is no mechanic shared between XCOM and the Midnight suns“said Solomon.
In Marvel’s Midnight Suns, players will take on the role of The Hunter, an all-new character designed in partnership with Marvel Comics. The hunter is there to replace the player and will be highly customizable in both appearance and combat ability. Solomon said there are over 40 different superpowers available to the player across a broad spectrum – from light (reflecting the game’s more traditional superhero, like Iron Man and Captain America) to darkness (reflecting more occult anti-heroes such as Ghost Rider and Blade).
Players will embark on turn-based missions with three other superheroes. The skills of them and their compatriots will improve and improve over time. The way these skills are advanced is perhaps the biggest deviation from the XCOM franchise. Between missions, players will have carte blanche to explore The Abbey, a brand new headquarters designed in partnership with Marvel Comics, and its grounds. Solomon said players will explore it in the third person, using their time to develop relationships with other superheroes.
“Robbie Reyes, the new Ghost Rider, he might want to play video games. Captain Marvel may want to train with you. Tony Stark might want to go play cards, ”Solomon said. “You choose how to spend time with them, choose how you talk with them, give them gifts. There are [also] social clubs around The Abbey that you can join, and that affect your friendships with the heroes. […] Some of them are quite light [since] the story is pretty dark.
As a newly resurrected hunter, only players can stop Lilith and her minions from destroying the world. But, while the stakes are high, the game won’t include permanent death – yet another departure from the classic XCOM formula.
“We don’t have permanent death because the fantasy is so different,” Solomon said. “XCOM’s fantasy is the fantasy of soldiers clinging to a superior enemy. Midnight suns very, very quickly – very early on – I realized that the superior enemy in this game was the superheroes. Instead, the bad guys are terrified of you.
Focusing fire in order to take down a single powerful enemy was the key to conquering the puzzle-type missions in XCOM and XCOM 2. This time around, players will take out multiple enemies at once with powerful attacks that have much greater impact and range than traditional plasma or laser weapons. Solomon said players will also interact more with the environment, jumping cars, shooting down light poles, and hitting objects throughout the map.
“You do these very important moves, these epic moves, and so the mechanics are completely different,” Solomon said, “which always makes you scratch the same itch because it’s a tactical turn-based combat where you are. controlling the team. But the fantasy is very different. And that means the mechanics are 100% different.
Solomon said the high-flying fighting style was not initially in the game. Over two years ago, his team came together to create something much closer to the original XCOM formula. But the theme of the game itself and the characters on the map demanded that they change course, ultimately developing something very different. In fact, during the gameplay overhaul, his team spent a lot of time hacking their own tabletop game with an assortment of collectible HeroClixes. digits between them.
“It was surprising and terrifying at first,” Solomon said, “to realize like ‘Oh man, we have to do a whole different game.’ But it’s cool, because it gives you that different XCOM feel for sure.
Today’s announcement was accompanied by an elaborate CGI trailer. Firaxis plans to show the gameplay for the first time on September 1.