Firaxis Announces Civilization: Beyond Earth
Fans of the Civilization series or the classic Sid Meier’s Alpha Centuri game will have something new to sink their teeth into come this fall. Firaxis promised us something big at PAX East and their idea of a big announcement is to announce that the next game in the Civ series is the spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri with Civilization: Beyond Earth.
A look at some of the early previews of the game, it looks like Civ fans will be happy. The Civilization: Beyond Earth is like a Civ game but is set on another planet where you’re trying to build a human colony in the future rather than play through history as a pre-existing civilization.
Civ:BE seems to be putting an emphasis on customization and creating your own path for your colony and your gameplay. Right from the start, you’re making decisions that will affect the game including your faction (civilization in Civ games), your spaceship for travelling from Earth, cargo carried, people transported and planet to colonize.
The game starts from there as what Firaxis likens to being a bit PVE in that you don’t know what the environment has waiting for you and it will be several turns before you see another human colony. And just because other humans are late to the party doesn’t mean that they’ll be easy to walkover. They’ll be given a boost to help them catch up.
One thing that will be a little different from standard Civ games is the technology web that opens up a few styles of play and victory conditions. You can tech into Purity which is the game’s equivalent to terraforming which turns the planet into something closer to Earth. Harmony tech adapts the colonists for life on an alien planet. Supremacy tech basically disregards the land and environments and moves humanity toward something closer to cyborgish-sounding living.
Each tech path opens up a different victory condition. Apparently, you’ll be able to switch tech paths as you go along so you aren’t locked in by early decisions. Failing that, you get two tech neutral victory conditions.
According to GameSpot, they are:
Harmony: awaken a semi-sentient super organism within the planet and reach a new level of consciousness
Purity: terraform the alien planet into a mirror of Earth and relocate Earth’s populace to this new Eden
Supremacy: embrace cybernetic augmentation, then return to Earth and “free” the people from their bodies
Contact: discover evidence of intelligent life and construct a means to establish first contact
Domination: actually, domination is the same as in every other Civilization
Now, I’m not a Civ guy. My Civ experience is limited to accidentally opening it and not bothering to cancel the install. Still, this sounds pretty neat. Reminds me a bit of Spore to an extent. You set up a settlement and try to defeat those surrounding you to become the dominant race. I’d hazard this is a bit harder but I think the idea sounds similar. Now watch the comments flood in for my sacrilegious statement.
Civilization: Beyond Earth is expected to be released in Fall 2014 for PC.