Four years after the release of Civilization V, the strategy game saga is back with Civilization: Beyond Earth. This new installment abandons the historical simulations of the past and propels us straight into the world of science fiction. The action in Beyond Earth unfolds about 200 years in the future. After events of unprecedented gravity (The Great Mistake), mankind is forced to abandon Earth to seek salvation on a new, more welcoming planet.
Civilization is one of the most prolific franchises in video game history: the series has sold over 21 million copies with barely a change in its 23 years of existence. This makes Beyond Earth a real gamble for the creators of the game.
Did the game trailer leave you wanting more? Me too! With that in mind, I’m going to explain why I’m excited about the release of Civilization: Beyond Earth… and why you should be too!
The spiritual son of Alpha Centauri
Alpha Centauri, the first Civilization to take place on another planet …
If you like strategy games, science fiction and you had a computer in the late 90s, chances are you’ve played Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. Since its release in 1999, this strategy game has given players the ability to extend humanity’s adventure into the stars.
Critically acclaimed at the time, Alpha Centauri hasn’t had a true rival…until Beyond Earth, a worthy successor in terms of both story and gameplay. And when everybody already knows how good the original was, this new project leaves us very hopeful.
New kid on the block
Sid Meier revives the saga with new game mechanics…
Sid Meier and his team intend to revive the Civilization saga by providing new evidence that could change gameplay in a sustainable manner. That’s what Dennis Shirk, senior producer of the Civilization, series told Time magazine:
You’re not going to see an abundance of similarities between Beyond Earth and Civilization V. I mean, obviously you’re in space and colonizing a planet, but the gameplay systems we’ve introduced are all new, from the tech web to affinities to the way that the upgrade system works. We’ve diverged significantly from the original title.
Among the innovations in question, a system of semi-random quests should give rhythm to games, introducing scriptwriting elements which may change from one game to another.
Civilization: Beyond Earth also introduces a new search system replacing the traditional tech tree. In the new chapter, it will have Tech Web, a network of technologies allowing more organic and unpredictable development for searching.
But the most innovative aspect of Civilization: Beyond Earth will surely be its completely new game environment, an unknown planet inhabited by alien fauna. As in Alpha Centauri, players have the choice to live with indigenous forms of life or fight a merciless war against them.
Civilization first and foremost
Can you make the right choices and nurture your civilization?
Let’s get right to the point: Civilization V, the predecessor to Beyond Earth in the series, is quite simply one of the best turn-based strategy games in history. And I’m not the only one who thinks it. The 2010 title impressed everyone with the depth of the game, its graphics engine and historical accuracy.
Nearly 10 years after the release of the first episode, Civilization V has built on the mastery of Sid Meier and his team in a genre they helped to craft. With such a rich heritage and Firaxis at the helm, we can’t see how Civilization: Beyond Earth could fail.
If all goes as planned, Civilization: Beyond Earth will land on shelves in late 2014. To give you an idea of what Civilization in the stars is like, why don’t you play (or should that be that replay?) Alpha Centauri! The game has aged pretty well and is available on Windows XP, 7, 8 and Mac for a small fee from GOG.com (Good Old Games). Don’t deny yourself this pleasure!
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