2K Games and Firaxis have announced the next step in the Civilization series. Take a look at the announcement trailer below.
Picking up after your spaceship launches at the end of Civilization V, Civilization: Beyond Earth puts you in charge of colonizing an alien world and building a new home for humanity. The concept is a familiar one, and some players may think of 1999’s Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. But this game is not a sequel or just an expansion pack, as it’s designed to be its own standalone game. The game will switch from the traditional and linear tech tree that has been used in past Civilization games to a more open ended Tech-web system. David McDonough, the game’s co-lead designer, explains.
“We’re huge fans of sci-fi from every part of pop culture and history, so we went to that and imagined a web where you start in the middle, surrounded by techs that are relatively recognizable based on conventional technology, and you go outward into any frontier you can imagine.”
The game will give you options like cybernetics, advanced AI, or even genetic manipulation to meld together human and indigenous alien DNA. There is no trading of technology between you and other colonies, ensuring that each faction will have its own, unique look. You won’t be able to unlock everything in one playthrough, so that should give the title a bit of replayability. Philosophical “Affinities”, such as Wealth, Purity, Supremacy, and Harmony, further differentiates the colonies from one another. These ideological differences naturally will inevitably spark war, with combat playing out similarly to Civilization V, though you will have a bit more control over how your combat units evolve.
In addition to other colonies, you’ll have to contend with the indigenous life found on the planet. McDonough says, “Civ 5’s barbarians are really more like a speed bump or an early-game punching bag for you to kind of get your military chops before you’re ready to get into a real war. In this game, they’re completely different. It’s really a whole other opponent that plays completely asymmetrically to any of the human players.” The indigenous species, while not sentient, are promised to behave intelligently, and you can make your own choices on how you interact with them, whether that be outright hostility or even domesticating and breeding them for your own use.
Your starting conditions will depend on your choice of eight Earth organizations that will sponsor your expedition, along with the types of colonists you recruit and the cargo you choose to take on your journey. Your leaders won’t necessarily define your culture as in past Civ games, as different starting points will be more varied and the affinities you choose will affect the leader’s diplomatic efforts. The end game will have five different conditions for victory, including the familiar Domination along with making contact with a sentient race.
Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is scheduled to launch for the PC in Q3 2014.
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