Civilization: Beyond Earth is taking the Civilization franchise to the final frontier

Yesterday at PAX East, Firaxis announced an all new game called Civilization: Beyond Earth.  The newest Civilization title takes players to space for the first time in series history (well besides a scientific victory).  Players will travel to an alien planet, colonize it, explore the world, fight or negotiate with other colonist, and battle native alien life.

Your game begins at turn zero in Beyond Earth, as you chose one of eight sponsors like The American Reclamation Corporation or the Panasian Cooperative, each with their own leader and special abilities.  Like in classic Civilization games, if you are an agressive player, their will be a sponsor that fits your play style better.  If you are a looking to achieve one of the three different affinities, Purity, Harmony or Supremacy, their will be a sponsor that better fits that bill.  From their, you will deiced on what to bring with you, with items like colonists, cargo, and type of spacecraft all chosen by you.  From their you set out for the stars.

As I said above, the affinities are Purity, Harmony or Supremacy.  These affinities are  paths that you will head down based on your technological choices, as well as the wars you wage.  Supremacy is a technology oriented path.  It will be heavy on robotics, as humans find safety in their technology.  Purity is a pseudo-religious path.  Lead designer David McDonough told Joystiq the path is one that will work to “keep humanity pure“.  Your focus for a Purity path will be transform the planet into a New Earth, trying to keep in-line with humanity and Earth’s history.  Harmony is a path will find you guiding humanities’ evolution to be well suited for there new environment.  

Civilization Beyond Earth

An in-game screenshot of Beyond Earth, showing that it still uses the Civ V tile system.

Technology trees are a mainstay of the Civilization series, but Beyond Earth changes technology by turning it into a “web”.  While you still have to research certain technologies to get others, you can turn away from one branch, and go down another at any point in time.  If you see the benefits of Ecology starting to wain, head down the engineering route instead.  Naturally, you likely won’t be able to get all of the technology before the end of the match. Designer Anton Strenger told Kotaku “Each decision you make, each thing that you wanna go for is gonna come at the cost of not being able to get something else.”

Of course, if all you want to do is dominate the new planet, you can.  It’s a Civ game after all.  Players can also now perform quests that give different units different upgrades, as well as additional resources.  The game is similar to many previous Civilization games with your ability to negotiate with other colonists, form trade routes, and publicly denounce other players.  There will be eight player multiplayer in Beyond Earth, and it will play out similarly to Civilization V’s multiplayer did.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is not too far away from release either.  Firaxis has revealed the game will be coming to PC’s this Fall.  I’m sure we will be learning more about this game in the next few months, so keep your eyes here for more news as we learn it.

by, Bobby Marquardt

Sources: Joystiq, Kotaku, and Civilization: Beyond Earth’s official website

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