Prep your boosters and prepare the launch pad, Beyond Earth, the latest entry to the strategy series Civilization is set to blast off on October 24th, 2014.
Civilization: Beyond Earth promises players the ability to expand mankind's reach to the stars and beyond in the latest addition to the ever popular strategy series. Beyond Earth adds such features as brand new and hazardous terrain, aliens with ranged attacks native to the worlds you will visit, and all new systems like affinity.
Beyond Earth makes some drastic changes to the blockbuster Civilization V, and Firaxis would argue for the better. The tech tree has been replaced by a "Tech Web", which the developer admits was placed because "we don't know how the technology will evolve". Quests are another new feature being introduced in Beyond Earth. Quests function to create narrative within the game and appear to help the game evoke a more narrative and story driven experience, something that was never really a focus in games of Civilization past. Quests not only provide context, but also rewards upon completion for your newly founded intergalactic empire.
As shown in Firaxis' gameplay walkthrough, espionage is still a major factor, coupling with a quest to provide additional benefits to your culture, on top of the already added intrigue gained from within the occupied area or city. As intrigue levels rise, so do the related espionage activities, going from the likes of smuggling, to sabotaging the city from the inside out.
The Affinity system is another bold new direction for the Civilization series, providing a "vision for how humanity's future might evolve". Affinities come in three flavors, Supremacy, Harmony, and Purity. Supremacy, demonstrated in the linked video, states that the humans believe they need to be independent of the worlds they settle. Supremacy factions believe that human beings will be able to settle any world, Purity that new worlds should be settled and developed as a brand new earth, and Harmony as wanting to transform humanity to a somewhat native species on the new worlds. Affinities will not only change what units might be available, but also affect the overall architecture and aesthetic of all units produced by your civilization.
Firaxis is certainly not coming up short providing value in the upcoming pack, as to be expected after such stellar expansions to Civilization V as Gods and Kings and Brave New World. Both expansions offering not just new units, but all new systems, factions, and avenues to achieve victory. Each new addition to the Civilization universe constantly changes the game in unique and challenging ways, requiring even the most seasoned of players to re-engage with the game in order to become efficient leaders again.
Beyond Earth also may strike a chord with those wanting to relive fond memories of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri a similarly sci-fi inspired take on the Civilization franchise, released in 1999. Although Beyond Earth looks to enhance the qualities of both Civilization and Alpha Centauri, those begging for nostalgia right this minute, can still pick up Alpha Centauri over at GOG.com.
Civilization V was released on September 21st, 2012 in the United States on PC. Beyond Earth launches globally on October 24th, 2014.