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XCOM studio are making a Marvel turn-based game, rumours say


E3 is almost upon us, which means E3 rumours and supposed leaks are ramping up. Here's a curious one: Firaxis, the studio behind the rebooted XCOM, are making a turn-based game with Marvel superheroes. The evidence supporting rumours of this 'Codename CODA' are pretty flimsy but welp, pre-E3 is the time for gossip and speculation. Honestly, I can see superpowers being a good fit for XCOM-esque action, but didn't XCOM 2 already give soldiers so many more interesting and varied abilities than your average Marvel wizard?

The chain of rumour is: someone on Reddit says someone told them that Firaxis are making a turn-based action game, with their source describing it as "XCOM with Marvel heroes". And supposedly famous actors are voicing characters, though that's vague enough that it could mean anything from famous voice actors like Laura Bailey and David Hayter all the way up to, like, actual Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth. That's it. No evidence, just second-hand whispers.

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The rumour was backed up by Bloomberg journalist Jason Schreier. He tweeted, "Yes this 2K leak is real but I'm not sure all of it is going to be at E3. Can't wait for Marvel XCOM though." No source from him either.

Superhero powers could certainly work in an XCOM-esque game. Attacks, defensive options, support powers, movement abilities, combos, they're all there. XCOM 2 already offered pretty superhero-y powers, then its expansion cranked that up with ludicrous options ("we're way off in superhero territory now," Alec Meer said in our XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen review). Marvel wizards sound mundane in comparison, constrained by their comic counterparts. Maybe a more apt comparison would be Chimera Squad, the 2020 cop spin-off which had a lineup of distinct characters with personal skill trees (see our XCOM: Chimera Squad review for more on that.)

I mean, not that we know this Marvel game is real, or that we have any idea what it's actually like, or that it's ever a good idea to assume a game you know nothing about will basically be the same as another game that studio made. Take it all with a chug of salt (chug! chug! chug! chug! wuuuuuaaaayyy!).

The initial rumourmonger also mentioned a Borderlands spin-off starring Tiny Tina, and a new game currently known as 'Codename Vault' which their source described as "Cthulhu meets Saints Row". Again, just second-hand whispers.

Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Firaxis and 2K as well as publishers of Borderlands, do have a presentation at E3 this month. They haven't yet said what they'll show on Monday the 14th, so maybe it could be some of this? Or it could be none of it. E3 will also bring Marvel news from Square Enix about the upcoming Black Panther update for their Avengers game. See our E3 2021 schedule for info on these showcases and so many more.

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.