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    Marvel's Midnight Suns

    Game » consists of 14 releases. Released Dec 02, 2022

    A dark turn on the Marvel Comics in this tactical RPG from Firaxis and 2K Games.

    This is the Marvel Firaxis Game?!

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    constantk

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    I'm almost certainly in the minority, but this game could not appeal to me more in concept. I love the recent X-COM games, and growing up in the 90s I adored the Midnight Sons comics. Of course they're also including non-traditionally-Midnight-Sons characters, but that's to be expected in a world where the MCU is so popular. I'm just happy that they're putting a spin on the other Marvel characters' looks to make them fit with the vibe (black and yellow, runes, etc.)

    Of course the gameplay reveal is going to be really important, but as far as teaser trailers with no gameplay I couldn't be more interested (I didn't even hate the cover of Enter Sandman, though I agree that the trend of putting this style cover in trailers is tiresome).

    I'm really trying to keep my expectations in check since we know so little about it. Anyone else out there super looking forward to hearing more about this game? Also, I haven't regularly read Marvel comics in probably 20 years, did I miss a resurgence of the Midnight Sons?

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    chaser324

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    #2 chaser324  Moderator

    The trailer and concept are extremely my jam. I'm a huge fan of the new era of XCOM games, and I'm excited to see that team get a shot at doing something new. Can't wait to see the gameplay next week.

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    brian_

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    I'm not a comics guy. I have no idea what Midnight Suns is. If this thing is just another traditional XCOM game, I think that trailer will have been highly misleading.

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    chaser324

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    #4  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

    @brian_: It seems like the gameplay is going to be quite a bit different.

    From Jake Solomon in an interview with Polygon:

    “There are zero mechanics shared between XCOM and the Midnight Suns,”

    It sounds like the combat is much more focused on doing big large scale moves rather than the typical XCOM thing of sneaking around and managing a smaller number of powerful enemies.

    The out of combat progression also seems very different. You'll have an area that you can move around freely in third-person to meet with the rest of your team. Your main character, The Hunter, is customizable but the rest of the team is filled out with the Marvel heroes. No permadeath.

    https://www.polygon.com/22641096/marvels-midnight-suns-announcement-trailer-xcom-firaxis-gamescom-2021

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    Mezmero

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    On it's face it seems like a slam dunk considering that my end-game soldiers in new XCOM are basically superheroes. If my most powerful Ranger was reskinned as Wolverine not much would change beyond him having no gun. Never read Midnight Suns myself so I can't really speak to that aspect. Am I correct to assume that this is the first video game with Robbie Reyes as Ghost Rider? Pretty cool if true.

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    zor

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    The concept seems great, but from what i read in the polygon article, the gameplay is going to be... well... not Xcom at all.. so yeah. Am interested, but preparing myself to be disappointed.

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    brian_

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    @chaser324: Interesting. I don't think I've seen a TRPG try to tackle larger scale crowd control before. I'm curious to see how that turns out. I also think it's funny that they're including friendship mechanics. What gift do I have to give Blade to increase his bond level?

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    BaneFireLord

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    It sounds almost more like a Fire Emblem: Three Houses-alike than an XCOM-alike. My old roommate with the closet full of Marvel shirts and 500 hours logged in FE:TH is going to scream.

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    Mezmero

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    #9  Edited By Mezmero

    I know 13 Sentinels probably leans a little closer to RTS but that's the most recent thing that comes to mind when I think about hero units who are meant to engage big groups. I still haven't tried Troubleshooter to know how that game handles it.

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    brian_

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    I hope I don't need to import the Japanese version to be able to rub Wolverine's face

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    Nodima

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    @mezmero: And it might've been simple, but honestly, 13 Sentinels' combat sections were cool. I loved the look and sound design, and once you were getting some of those abilities up to +6 and upwards it was a truly chaotic level of voxel art going on.

    Obviously this game won't look like that and may not even much play like it, but I'd love to see a game with a more fleshed out take on what that was. When I finally gave the game a shot I was shocked that most reviewers considered the battle mode a means to an end, but I suppose I've always prioritized aesthetic and fun over difficulty.

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    Undeadpool

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    I miss "Freedom Force," and if this game is like a turn-based version of that, I am 100% on-board.

    @brian_ said:

    I'm not a comics guy. I have no idea what Midnight Suns is. If this thing is just another traditional XCOM game, I think that trailer will have been highly misleading.

    Midnight Suns is kind of a catch-all Marvel team for city-based magical stuff. Got a floating roster, but usually Dr. Strange and Ghost Rider are in it. It's weird to see non-magic heavy-hitters like Wolverine and Captain Marvel, but they gotta move units is my guess.

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    constantk

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    @chaser324: Thanks for linking the Polygon article. I wonder how much of that "zero mechanics" talk is semantics vs. really a different feeling game. Later in the article, Solomon says:

    “You’re doing these very large moves, these epic moves, and so the mechanics are just completely different,” Solomon said, “which results in you still scratching the same itch, because it is turn-based tactics combat where you’re controlling the team. But the fantasy is very different. And that means the mechanics are 100% different.”

    Done well, that could absolutely mean a different feeling game, but it could also end up being more of a difference in animation, not necessarily mechanics. Some abilities in the X-COM games have felt pretty epic, though he's right you generally feel outgunned.

    @banefirelord: I'm ok with a Fire-Emblem-Alike, too! I'm curious to see the social activities, too. In their previous games, when building your base and researching things between missions, it's always felt like compromises are constantly being made. If you have similar limitations, like limited "friend time" with the other heroes, to force you to compromise, I wonder about min-maxing or ending up in the endgame without a strong enough team.

    I'm probably thinking about this too hard. They're removing permadeath so there's a decent chance that with that license they're making a much more forgiving game. Let's hope there's at least some variability in difficulty modes to let players tune it to their liking. I'm all for accessible design, but Firaxis is so good at providing challenges that push you almost to the limit it would seem like a waste to not have options.

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    chaser324

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    #14 chaser324  Moderator

    @constantk: I'm sure saying it's 100% unique is an exaggeration, but I think there's a lot of room to make something adjacent to XCOM that's distinctly different. Even if all they do is ditch cover and emphasize mobility, that alone could make for a much different experience. I'm assuming they'll change up more than that though.

    @nodima: @mezmero: The combat in 13 Sentinels is extremely underrated. I would absolutely be down for more games doing a similar large-scale pseudo-realtime thing.

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    MezZa

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    #15  Edited By MezZa

    I'm certainly down for a Marvel turn based strategy game. Whether it be more like XCOM or fire emblem or something else, I'm in.

    Gotta be honest though, seeing that trailer gave me some real 2021 Dark Alliance vibes with the music setting the tone. If this wasn't firaxis I might be kinda worried, but I generally trust them to make decent games.

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    glik

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    Wolverine is too tall

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    FinalDasa

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    #17 FinalDasa  Moderator

    I am curious about this game but also cautious. I don't know if I want to play as a new/my own character rather than a known Marvel one.

    I still want to see more. That opening cinematic was pretty boss and I really want to know more about what's going on. You kinda had me at rune-covered Wolverine.

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    sparky_buzzsaw

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    Show me gamepkay. And also, yup, those sure are the Marvel characters we've warmed over a few thousand times.

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    constantk

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    @glik: 100%

    @sparky_buzzsaw: I hear you, and I think that's one of the things that drew me to the supernatural/occult characters in Marvel when I was a kid. Demons and magic seemed just different enough to make me like the offbeat characters that never got talked about in Avengers comics, even if it's only in a "Ryu is still a wizard" kinda way.

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    El_Blarfo

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    #20  Edited By El_Blarfo
    @finaldasa said:

    I am curious about this game but also cautious. I don't know if I want to play as a new/my own character rather than a known Marvel one.

    I still want to see more. That opening cinematic was pretty boss and I really want to know more about what's going on. You kinda had me at rune-covered Wolverine.

    Reminds me a bit of how Marvel would wedge Wolvie into a guest appearance in any comic with sagging sales back in the 90's. (And possibly now. I haven't bought weekly comics in a while.)

    Anyway, FIraxis certainly knows their way around turn-based strategy, and I'm glad to see a corner of the Marvel Universe that's fallen by the wayside get some love; if only because Dr. Strange is a big player in at least two upcoming movies.

    Also, the pedantic comic nerd in me wishes they hadn't changed the title from "Sons" to "Suns" but that is a completely silly quibble.

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    BaneFireLord

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    @constantk: Yeah, thinking on it more, if they are indeed going in an FE-esque directuon that actually sounds more up my alley than just an XCOM reskin. I’m not an anime person by and large but I really like the social sim-plus-RPG formula from Persona, FE:3H and the like, and getting a spin on that with Western comic book bullshit instead of anime bullshit sounds great. I have also just realized that I have actually beaten FE:3H and never actually managed to finish an XCOM campaign, so yeah, bring it on!

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    jagerxbomb

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    I'm curious how it's going to work. These characters don't have guns, and since they're Marvel characters there can't be perma-death. The thought of Wolverine being right next to an enemy for a 33% chance at a melee hit sounds weird.

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    LonelySpacePanda

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    A little upset Firaxis didn't do right by fans on the last XCOM, leaving in a buggy, broken state. I bought the game and never played since controller support never worked right and never got patched. I guess that really was just a beta test for this game.

    Game seems very promising. I have to ask though, is that fire guy Ghost Rider? I loved Ghost Rider but that new design stinks, if that's him?

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    El_Blarfo

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    #24  Edited By El_Blarfo
    @lonelyspacepanda said:

    Game seems very promising. I have to ask though, is that fire guy Ghost Rider? I loved Ghost Rider but that new design stinks, if that's him?

    It's him. there's been a new Ghost Rider named Robbie Reyes in the comics for close to ten years now, and that's pretty much exactly the character model from the comics. He no longer drives a bike but a flamin' muscle car. Turned up in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. if you were one of the three people who were heavily into that show.

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    wollywoo

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    The trailer sucked. It was just a bunch of superheroes fighting each other, like a commercial for action figures. I kept waiting for something resembling gameplay but I guess we'll have to wait on that. I'm very much over Marvel, but, I do enjoy me some tactics games so this could be OK.

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    glik

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    @jagerxbomb: I think the chance to hit system is the big thing they're talking about when they say "no XCOM mechanics". I get the impression from the mention of big, epic attacks and the roster having a clear split of crowd controllers (Strange, Marvel) and close quarters fighters (Cap, Blade, Wolvy) that the strategy will be more about managing hordes of enemies. "Wolverine will be able to shred the enemy in one hit but he can only hit one/a couple, so you have to pick and choose targets carefully" kinda thing.

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    deer

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    @banefirelord: I just screamed reading that. and it certainly won‘t be as easy as FE, thankfully.

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    FinalDasa

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    #29 FinalDasa  Moderator

    @wollywoo: They announced a gameplay stream in a week or so.

    All game marketing is like this now for bigger games. There's the teaser, then the trailer, then some gameplay, then another trailer, then in-depth gameplay, all with "pre-order now!" plastered everywhere.

    Best is to just wait and see if it's something you're into either after they show gameplay or after release when people actually review it.

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    Nodima

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    Not really loving the look of this game now that they've shown it, and the card/upgrade system seems about as obtuse as Injustice's upgrade systems in that it seems kind of unnecessarily dense.

    I'm not unsold on the idea, but the UI and amount of busy work that gameplay reveal implied doesn't leave me stoked either.

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    deactivated-6357e03f55494

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    Just from the footage they shown and how they detail the gameplay, it sounds like someone really likes Marvel Champions(the FFG LCG) and wanted to make a video game version. Like what Pirahna did with Battletech...I'm down.

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    constantk

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    @nodima: I'm kinda with you. I want it to be good so bad.

    I haven't watched the whole stream yet, but I did see the 6 minute gameplay section in the middle. I'm skeptical and a bit disappointed that the combat is card-based, but I'm keeping an open mind. With only 3 squad members and a random set of cards, it will be super important for the game to make it feel like you have viable options in each encounter. I don't mind being forced to get creative with tactics, in fact that should be part of the fun, but if the balance isn't right and you're waiting for the right cards to come out of your deck, that's rough.

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    chaser324

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    #33 chaser324  Moderator

    A deckbuilder isn't what I was expecting, but I am generally a fan of the genre and trust Firaxis to make a solid strategy game. So, I remain hyped.

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    El_Blarfo

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    #34  Edited By El_Blarfo

    I dunno, I'm intrigued. Firaxis has a lot of goodwill built up with me, but of course that's no guarantee. Barring absolutely terrible reviews, I'm probably onboard.

    Trying to figure out who the two leftmost characters are in the shot of everyone walking dramatically towards camera. The guy on the far left looks like maybe Sebastian Druid? (If so that's a really deep cut.) Can't figure out who the woman in the headdress is.

    (Edit: Unless those are just alternate costumes for Dr. Strange and Magik.)

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    chaser324

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    #35 chaser324  Moderator

    @el_blarfo: They are just Dr. Strange and Magik. Full current list of announced heroes is:

    • Dr. Strange
    • Magik
    • Iron Man
    • Wolverine
    • Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes)
    • Blade
    • Captain America
    • Nico Minoru
    • Captain Marvel

    Based on what Firaxis has said, there are three more heroes yet to be announced.

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    El_Blarfo

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    BaneFireLord

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    I like everything about this...except the core deckbuilding mechanic. Ah well, maybe this will finally be the one I like.

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    FinalDasa

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    #38 FinalDasa  Moderator

    Gotta see how the deck building works in the grander game. Seems both ripe for some fun gameplay and terrible microtransactions.

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    sparky_buzzsaw

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    Hey, you folks like cards, right?

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    Undeadpool

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    @chaser324: Give me Elsa Bloodstone, you cowards.

    She's in "Ultimate Alliance 3," and she's FUCKING GREAT!

    I'll just be over here, mourning the Agents of HATE game that never was.

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    hughj

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    The Marvel IP doesn't really do anything for me if it's not drawing from the 60s-80s era stuff that I'm familiar with, so this feels like a game made for a demographic that I've aged out of.

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    Mittens

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    Even as someone that actually likes deckbuilders, this looks disappointing: it just screams "made for mobile". A bland look, enemies packed in small maps with no interesting terrain or features, , a simple card-based system that doesn't seem to mesh well with the rest of the game, a lot of focus on what seems like bog-standard RPG progression instead of the combat...

    If this was 10 years ago, I might give Firaxis the benefit of the doubt, but their output since XCOM 2012 has been a mixed bag at best. The little they've shown of this game doesn't fill me with confidence.

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    constantk

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    May not get to it right away myself since I'm at work, but apparently Game Informer has a few pieces on their site about this game, including some hands-on impressions.

    https://www.gameinformer.com/midnightsuns

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    constantk

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    Ok, GI had a section of a larger podcast that they dedicated to hands-on impressions posted here (https://www.gameinformer.com/video-feature/2021/09/02/marvels-midnight-suns-exclusive-impressions) and I just let it play in the background while I worked. I don't know much about these editors and their histories as critics, but it does make me more optimistic to hear how positive they are on it despite some early skepticism. They describe the card mechanics in a bit more detail and it sounds like something that could work for me.

    They describe the mechanics as "empowering" and that they were mopping the floor with large groups of enemies. That sounds cool for a few battles, but they can't make encounters feel trivial, especially knowing permadeath is off the table.

    Pure speculation paragraph: perhaps long-term bonds with heroes will suffer if you lead them in a battle and they get "knocked-out" (or whatever they call the fail state). I could also see tension arising from mechanics similar to Into The Breach. You know everything about your enemy's movements and attacks and you have a pretty limited skillset (though not random) and yet it's still tense as hell because you have to figure out how to use your limited skills and characters to get through the next turn without losing innocents, power grids or special objectives.

    It could work. Still a lot of unknowns, but I'm more optimistic the more I hear.

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    Humanity

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    A very hard pass from me since I'm not into anything card or deck builder related.

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    chaser324

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    #46 chaser324  Moderator

    @constantk: Some of the units in War of the Chosen and Chimera Squad could feel incredibly powerful. If every unit in Midnight Suns can basically be that, I would be super into it.

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    constantk

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    @chaser324: Yep, Firaxis has done this effectively in the past. Again, my question is can they keep up the challenge and variety with such powerful hero units. I believe they can, but as an example, the missions in XCOM 2 where you’re blasting through hordes of The Lost felt great as a counter-balance to missions where your focus was so concentrated on a few units. If they can strike that balance again, this could be really fun.

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    yyninja

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    I'm interested but I know I'm in the minority. I kind of gravitate towards any deck building game. The deck building kind of makes sense in that there are already Marvel trading cards. Being able to social link with the different Marvel characters also looks fun.

    Probably the only thing that disappointed me was that this game looks decidedly last gen. Looks like Firaxis is still on the same engine they used for XCOM.

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    ThePanzini

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    @constantk: Wasn't Chimera Squad an X-Com light essentially? Simpler game more accessible to a wider audience. You'd assume with the Marvel branding Midnight Suns would continue this trend.

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    noobsauce

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    Between this and Chimera squad, I think Firaxis is a little unsure what to do for an Xcom 3 and are fishing for what style is working right now.

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