The announcement that XCOM studio Firaxis was working on a Marvel-themed tactical game came as a welcome surprise for fans of the studio’s previous work. Marvel’s Midnight Suns was an unfortunate case of a game that was critically beloved but fell far short of sales expectations, in part due to the game’s release window and the niche game genre used for a mass-appealing IP. . While game director Jake Solomon has left Firaxis and is expected to be starting his own studio, there’s still a strong case for Firaxis to release a sequel that improves on what worked in Marvel’s Midnight Suns while discarding the more controversial elements.
Some have bemoaned the incorporation of deckbuilding into the XCOM formula due to an apparent addition of “chance” to combat, but the truth is, strategy was more important than ever in Marvel’s Midnight Suns. Unit placement and movement took on greater importance, and players were able to create decks that catered to their play style. Marvel’s Midnight Suns also has an incredible roster of heroes from across the Marvel universe for players to use in their squad, allowing for some “dream team” compositions in combat. A sequel to Marvel’s Midnight Suns that repeats these elements while removing the life simulator activities between missions could be more of a success than the first title.A potential Midnight Suns 2 should expand the roster and cards
Marvel’s Midnight Suns’ ability to appeal to a wide range of Marvel fans through its roster is impressive considering the sheer number of potential characters the game could have included. Of course, the inclusion of the Midnight Suns members was a given, but having famous teammates from both the Avengers and the X-Men present in the game was a welcome surprise.
A potential sequel should greatly expand not only the number of heroes, but also the corners of the Marvel fandom and the history they come from. The game not including any members of the Fantastic Four or Guardians of the Galaxy as the base game or DLC characters felt like a missed opportunity. Also, the lack of other street-level heroes like Daredevil alongside the inclusion of Spider-Man was a scratch. By adding more heroes to the pool, Marvel’s potential sequel to Midnight Suns could also greatly diversify the types of attack and support cards available for experiments.
For all the fans who enjoyed the unique version of Marvel’s Midnight Suns in the XCOM formula, there are just as many who would have preferred to see the game adhere more closely to the template established by Enemy Within and XCOM 2. One of the most controversial aspects of The Departure of Marvel’s Midnight Suns of these games were the life simulation elements present between missions, with conversations and character interactions necessary to build friendship levels that increased stats and allowed for greater synergies on the field of combat.
The Abbey of Marvel’s Midnight Suns is a great location that would have been perfect for base building for Enemy Within and XCOM 2, and the sequel should eschew the sim elements in favor of building the Suns base of operations. In the event that fans get a sequel to Marvel’s Midnight Suns, the title would also benefit from mixing up the flow of combat compared to the first game. To make battles more dynamic, characters should have stats that determine their combat order and alternate between hero and enemy turns.
Not only would this make combat more exciting, but it would also allow players to skip certain characters’ turns so that they would perform more varied combo attacks on a later turn. Marvel’s Midnight Suns was a great experiment using Marvel’s license, and Firaxis deserves another chance to perfect its formula in a sequel.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns is available now for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.