XCOM designer Jake Solomon reveals inspiration for the combat in Marvel’s Midnight Sun partly came from watching a scene in the Wonder Woman movie.
According to XCOM designer Jake Solomon, the inspiration for Marvel’s Midnight Suns’ combat came from a fairly unlikely place.
While speaking to GamesRadar, Solomon spoke of the creative freedom given to him and the team by his publisher, 2K and Take-Two, and how that can sometimes be a problem, saying, “There’s a lot of creative freedom with my publisher, 2K, and ultimately Take-Two. When you’re in a place as a designer of ‘this isn’t working’, every show you watch, every game you play, you’ll take any lifeline.” He expanded on that point, saying, “I watched the Wonder Woman movie, and there’s a scene where she jumps up into a sniper tower, kicking stuff and taking out four or five guys. And I was thinking, ‘Man, that’s what I would love for the game to look like.”
Solomon also referenced the deck-building roguelike Slay the Spire as a source of creativity, wondering how he could turn abilities into a similar game style, saying, “It evolved from pulling everything in.” He went on to say that, unconsciously, Marvel’s Midnight Suns became like the reverse XCOM, where players aren’t stuck on a map with terrifying aliens; instead, the enemies are terrified of the player.
However, to that point, the storied designer also expressed certainty in the game’s design, saying, “Both XCOM and XCOM 2 were very fraught games as we were developing them. I wasn’t confident in them. But with Midnight Suns, from our very first playable milestone years ago, we were like, ‘There’s something pretty cool here.’”
Marvel’s Midnight Suns was released on Dec 2, 2022, by Firaxis Games in collaboration with Marvel Games. It is a somewhat loose adaptation of the comic book series of the same name — though the first appearance of the “Midnight Suns” team was in Ghost Rider (vol. 3) #28 from writer Howard Mackie with art by Andy Kubert and Joe Kubert. Like XCOM, the game is a tactical turn-based RPG with deck-building elements. The game was released to mostly favorable reviews.
The game includes a Season Pass with multiple DLC characters and stories missions being added in the future, the first being Deadpool who was reserved for DLC because, according to the developers, he “sucks the air out of the room.” Other characters will include Morbius, Venom and Storm. The Season Pass will also have multiple upgrades to the player’s central hub and new outfits for existing characters.