Former XCOM boss Jake Solomon says he doesn't play XCOM-likes, but "Into the Breach is incredible" and he's honored to have inspired it: "I'll put that on my resume"

 Into the Breach.
Into the Breach.

Into the Breach, the acclaimed 2018 turn-based strategy game from Subset Games, is getting some high praise from XCOM and Marvel's Midnight Suns director Jake Solomon.

Into the Breach was created by former FTL developers Justin Ma and Matthew Davis, ostensibly inspired by the success of XCOM. And as it turns out, Into the Breach happens to be the only game like XCOM that Solomon has played - and he's a massive fan. "If something is an XCOM-like or if it's clearly an XCOM-like, I've never played those games ... not because there's anything wrong with it, it just doesn't sound fun to me."

Into the Breach, however, is the sole exception. Although it isn't considered an XCOM-like per se, it does seem to be influenced by it.

"I love that game," Solomon said during an episode of MinnMax. "I don't really see the XCOM [inspiration,] but I saw somewhere they told a friend 'oh yeah we were inspired by XCOM'. I was like 'really? I'll put that on my resume, because Into the Breach is incredible.'"

For what it's worth, I couldn't track down an actual quote from either Ma nor Davis definitively proving XCOM was an inspiration for Into the Breach. There is a Shack News interview from 2017 in which Davis says Into the Breach was designed with a limited amount of player turns in response to games like XCOM. "You have to shrink down the experience to where it's something not exactly like XCOM with its hour-long battles," he said.

That said, I don't doubt that Solomon did hear from someone that XCOM inspired Into the Breach. The game certainly has a lot of similarities to XCOM in its grid-based, turn-based design, but there are plenty of innovations that make it feel distinct. Chiefly, each battle only lasts five rounds, making for a much more compact experience compared to XCOM, and then there's the puzzling elements and the fact that RNG plays a much smaller role in Into the Breach. Still, it's easy to see the XCOM inspiration in its foundation.

Find out where XCOM 2 and Into the Breach ranked on our list of the best strategy games ever.