Marvel's Midnight Suns is not a short game. You can easily spend over 90 hours on a playthrough, soaking in its warm bath of comic book easter eggs, turn-based tactics, and especially the BioWare-style team building talks. It contains "something like 65,000 lines of voiced dialogue", as lead engineer Will Miller said. Which is why it's surprising to learn it was originally going to be even longer.
In a recent interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Midnight Suns' creative director Jake Solomon revealed a significant number of dialogue scenes were removed in the final year of development, saying, "we cut 30 conversations from the game, like 30 scenes. We cut a ton, because we realized this is just simply too much."
Midnight Suns is as much a social sim as strategy game, part Persona as well as part XCOM. Between some missions you join the members of your team on hangouts and in clubs, and go on talky deep dives into the personalities of your superfolk. That's in addition to all of the narrative cutscenes. "It's crazy, if you go online, you can see all the Midnight Suns cutscenes and they're three hours long. That's as long as a movie," Solomon said.
As for why these cuts were deemed necessary, he gave two reasons: "Number one, it's too much for the team. They already had so much that they were working on. And two, for the player. There a lot of these things that were not necessary conversations, and so we ended up cutting [them] in the last year."
While they may not have been considered vital, I do kind of wish Midnight Suns had been delayed so a few more scenes could make it in. There are a couple of moments, especially toward the end, where it feels like story beats have been passed over. Apparently narrative director Chad Rocco thinks some of those moments should have stayed in too. "We're very close, but he still texts me angrily about it," Solomon said. "But we had enough. When you ship the game, you realize, 'Oh, there's plenty.' There was so much there."
The final DLC for Midnight Suns, which is adding Storm as a playable character, will be out on May 11. We've got our fingers crossed for a sequel, but if there is one it won't involve Solomon, who has moved on from Firaxis as well as from turn-based tactics.