Sid Meier‘s Civilization is heading into space in Beyond Earth

Gare – Monday, April 14, 2014 10:30 PM
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Much like the pioneers of its new game, Firaxis is about to take a bold step with its recently-announced title Civilization: Beyond Earth. We face the question: if human history and civilization is fully explored, where to proceed next? The answer, naturally, is quite simple indeed. “To outer space, of course!” – echoed the order from Sid Meier, who, soon enough, will cast brave players into the dark unknown of outer space and a human civilization that – as the title implies – goes beyond just Earth. The title is also, in a way, a spiritual successor to the 1999 classic Alpha Centauri, Firaxis tells us.

According to the grandiose trailer of Beyond Earth, our time on the planet is entering its final stages – despite their major technological advances, the days of humanity, so to speak, are numbered. The groups of modern adventurers commandeered by the player therefore face the mission of finding a new planet, establishing living conditions on it and effectively building a new home for mankind. Among the features promised by Firaxis is a branching, non-linear upgrade system – a technology web for us to explore –, alien life forms and artifacts, a multiplayer mode of up to 8 players and full mod support to enhance your experience if you so desire.

Certain members of Firaxis were also out at this year’s PAX East, and PC Gamer, jumping on the opportunity, inquired in detail about various aspects of the game. Will Miller of Firaxis places an extra emphasis on replayability, as well as the inclusion of memorable, unpredictable characters – Alpha Centauri is definitely the example to follow, they said. “We really liked the strong personalities of Alpha Centauri. People really latched onto that, we wanted to keep that.”, Miller began. „We never want there to be this very quick analysis of the map at the beginning, and I build this and I research that and I build this building, etcetera. We want it to be a much more adaptive, organic experience.”

Tech web instead of a tech tree, three broad affinities

Civilization: Beyond EarthPlatform: PC, OS XGenre: TBSDeveloper: Firaxis GamesPublisher: 2K GamesRelease: 10/24/2014Rated: RPESRBThere will be three major Affinities to choose from, says Firaxis. These are Harmony, Supremacy and Purity – which one of these wildly differing paths we choose to follow is up to us, and will, in turn, influence how the nation under our command adapts to space colonization and what sort of mindset guides them while dealing with new, radically different environments. For instance, those choosing Harmony will attempt to become a natural of the new world, focusing on peaceful co-existence without repeating the mistakes of the past, while the Supremacy route holds technological advances above all else. The affinity of Purity, as its name implies, firmly rejects the alien and wishes to violently preserve human values above all else. Firaxis sees a fascinating number of possibilities in the system: „You can imagine how they start to become playstyles, how they become conflicts, how they become wars when you're the Purity player with your big strongholds and the harmony territories are around you from all sides. That sets up a lot of options for both players.” Victory conditions are also custom-tailored to each playstyle, each affinity, they go on. „There's the transcendence victory, this is the Harmony victory, this is a nod to Alpha Centauri of course. In this victory you discover that the planet is a living being, like Solaris almost, a living thing, and find a way to communicate with it, and integrate yourselves into its consciousness.”

The full-length interview is available on PC Gamer’s website.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is currently scheduled for a Q3 2014 release window, launching on Windows, OS X and Linux.

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