When Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle was announced at E3 2017, many began to highlight the similarities between the colorful RPG and the Firaxis-developed XCOM games. Now, Firaxis has given a response to the comparisons between the games.
Jake Solomon, the creative director of the XCOM 2: War of the Chosen DLC reveals that "there are few times in my career that I’ve been as surprised as when I was watching that presentation." Solomon's "jaw dropped" when he heard the phrase "Luigi has taken half-cover," and the developer just "couldn't believe it."
Despite Solomon being shocked by the comparisons, though, the developer is happy that Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle exists. The creative director explains that "this is finally how I can introduce XCOM to my daughters," and that the upcoming Nintendo Switch game will be a way for him to "introduce the basic concepts" of XCOM. Then, when Solomon's daughters are old enough, maybe then they can make the jump to the Firaxis series.
Many other XCOM-loving parents will agree with Solomon's words. Turn-based and tactical combat gameplay may be a high barrier to entry in other games, but Kingdom Battle seems to be more accessible to younger minds. Developer Ubisoft has detailed the game's puzzles which will get youngsters' minds working when they aren't on the battlefield. Co-op features are also promised and will encourage children to work together with their siblings and friends, which is an important skill for any little one to learn.
Nintendo will also be glad that parents are taking an early interest in the game, as it aims to market the Nintendo Switch as a console for everybody. While games like Skyrim aren't child-friendly, there are plenty of other upcoming Switch titles that appeal to young and old gamers alike. These include games like the unnamed Pokemon game for Nintendo Switch, and the toys-to-life game Starlink can draw in both adults and children. Even Super Mario Odyssey has universal appeal, despite some concerning fan theories that suggest otherwise.
With the Nintendo Switch stock shortages expected all year round, it's not as though Nintendo needs any more help to sell its new console. However, that universal appeal is still important in the long-term, with the sales of the Nintendo Wii being an example of that. The original Wii became a must-have by being family friendly and offering some titles to older gamers too, so if the Switch follows in its footsteps, it could be just as successful.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle will be available starting August 29 exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.