When the team behind the XCOM franchise at Firaxis Games set out to make a Marvel game five years ago, the path it would take was pretty obvious to everyone involved. Marvel’s Midnight Suns would focus on something of a deep cut from Marvel’s 1990s comics runs, drawing inspiration from a crossover story about some of the company’s more supernaturally focused characters, but the gameplay would be “XCOM with superheroes.”
That’s not what Firaxis wound up with, though. Marvel’s Midnight Suns isn’t a tactical turn-based strategy game. It’s a tactical RPG–and it contains none of XCOM’s mechanical elements.
“It’s one of those things where I guess you don’t know what game you’re making until you start making the game,” Midnight Suns creative director Jake Solomon, who was also the creative director and design lead on the XCOM franchise, said in an interview with GameSpot. “And as we were making it, we went into it thinking, ‘Well, we’re going to make XCOM, but we’re going to add superheroes to it.’ And of course, of course, of course, that idea fell apart. Within weeks, we realized the design from tactics on up doesn’t make any sense.”