Civilization: Beyond Earth Hands-On: Sci-Fi Skinned Strategy - Update

I like the addition of a quest system, that sounds like it'll provide a little more structure to the game. The idea of discovering leader personalities as well is a nice touch... I wonder if they'll always act in similar ways in every game or if they'll change their traits every time? That would add a delicious bit of uncertainty to each playthrough, never knowing exactly how your competition are going to behave.

The redesigned technology system sounds interesting as well, I imagine it will allow for more customization of your civilization than before. Moving away from a linear progression structure is probably the best idea they could have implemented in my opinion, it will allow civilizations to be more varied and unique.

The more I hear about this game the more I want it. I love Civilization V, after BNW was added it has become a genuinely fantastic strategy game that I have sunk hundreds of hours into. Now they're creating a sci-fi version of that? Hell yes, give it to me now! I want to colonize my new planet already!

I do hope they let go of the previous Civ titles enough and dare to make the gameplay "Beyond Earth" as the name implies.

That was one of the strengths of Alpha Centauri: there were so many similarities with the main series, but at the same time you had a number of gameplay and story elements that were totally new and alien by themselves.

Seperating factions in terms of Earthlike geopolitics instead of things like ideology would be a mistake imo. Unless the potential to evolve beyond that on the alien world is presented.
Otherwise they're not really going "Beyond Earth", they're just presenting Earth-like problems on an alien planet skin.

I for one am ready to be the robot overlords.

Supremacy master race.

Drummodino:
IMoving away from a linear progression structure is probably the best idea they could have implemented in my opinion, it will allow civilizations to be more varied and unique.

This x10 is the main reason I'm looking forward to this game after accepting the hard truth this won't "just" be an Alpha Centauri v2.0.

The ability to shape your civ and have it's esthetics and abilities reflect some of your own choices and idealogies sounds really sweet.

I can't wait to play this one!

So if I'm getting the gist of this there are, in effect, only three different Civs in terms of what you can do/end up as. Supremacy/Harmony/Purity, with various mongrel breeds of all of them being represented by the "end-game", and the significant differentiating feature of each Civ from an origin standpoint is race. Am I the only one finding something seriously wrong with this?

"Pan-Asian-Cooperative", really? Because as we all know when the shit hits the fan all the yellows just zerg up? Did they not get the memo on how naive and childish, and frankly insulting, building a whole section of your game on what they're trying to argue is geo-political but is essentially totally racial groupings? I can already guess that the Kavithan Protectorate will be some sort of oligarchy with military overtones, the American Reclamation Corporation has a whole slew of stereotypes that are jumping to mind...

Chances are by the time the game comes out someone will have brought this "issue" to the fore and they'll have responded in a way that makes sense, I can even see a few obvious paths myself, but right now the throwaway idea that it was a good plan to racially segregate the future... it doesn't sit right with me. One of the things I liked about AC was it didn't matter who you were, only what you believed in, and perhaps their three Civ system will deal with that... right now though...

The term "end game" itself is, from my perspective, a really bad term for developers of a turn based strategy game to use but that is an issue for another post if I'm willing time to what is quickly looking like a disappointment.

Fdzzaigl:
I do hope they let go of the previous Civ titles enough and dare to make the gameplay "Beyond Earth" as the name implies.

That was one of the strengths of Alpha Centauri: there were so many similarities with the main series, but at the same time you had a number of gameplay and story elements that were totally new and alien by themselves.

Seperating factions in terms of Earthlike geopolitics instead of things like ideology would be a mistake imo. Unless the potential to evolve beyond that on the alien world is presented.
Otherwise they're not really going "Beyond Earth", they're just presenting Earth-like problems on an alien planet skin.

Exactly, aligning with racial likeness? That is what made AC so good, it was moving towards ascendancy, valuing the, moral, valuing the ideal vs racial stereotyping.

Initially I can see where the designers intended to say "hey you can craft your own path". Sounds good, eco preservers with robo bio enhancers? Ok no problem. But then later they emphasize how important we line up with one of three main paths and we must do it in order to gain the big bonus benefits later? Ok now that breaks the supposed openness entirely.

What was so wrong with the AC ideologies to begin with? Are they saving it for an expansion pack or are they afraid of too much AC likeness - fear of EA and their lawyer drones?

I hope there is enough time for design rethinking, yes Civ V in space is a safe bet but really is that the right thing to do for a supposedly _new_ series?

Jburton9:

I hope there is enough time for design rethinking, yes Civ V in space is a safe bet but really is that the right thing to do for a supposedly _new_ series?

But it isn't exactly a new series, it's a spin-off. It's called Civilization: Beyond Earth. And I'll grant you right now it seems more like a really detailed mod or expansion pack at the moment but I don't think it was every meant to be an entirely new series.

DeimosMasque:

Jburton9:

I hope there is enough time for design rethinking, yes Civ V in space is a safe bet but really is that the right thing to do for a supposedly _new_ series?

But it isn't exactly a new series, it's a spin-off. It's called Civilization: Beyond Earth. And I'll grant you right now it seems more like a really detailed mod or expansion pack at the moment but I don't think it was every meant to be an entirely new series.

Thanks I know what the game is called, it is right up at the top there, can't miss it. : )

You have a point, this feels more like an expansion pack or a reskin mod. That is why I emphasize that this is a new release and needs to act like a new game. In a previous article, the devs said they want to break new ground, I would like to see them follow through on that.

Jburton9:

Thanks I know what the game is called, it is right up at the top there, can't miss it. : )

You have a point, this feels more like an expansion pack or a reskin mod. That is why I emphasize that this is a new release and needs to act like a new game. In a previous article, the devs said they want to break new ground, I would like to see them follow through on that.

Yeah I hope so to, that we can both agree on.

I see they took the easy way out and just made another Civ sequel where every faction plays the same except for maybe a unique unit that isn't all that unique and some generic bonus stat.
Alpha Centari actually felt like each faction had a specific agenda and was meant to be played a certain way resulting in massive verity in multiple playthroughs whereas this is just another boring Civ set in space where flag waving idiots can just pick their favourite nation and pretend there's a difference.
Why not just make the Alpha Centari reboot we all actually wanted?

No mention of Terra-forming. That was one of the best and most interesting and unique aspects of AC, and it was a really cool way to show how futuristic and powerful your civ was without breaking the game's balance.

So. Much. Want.

wwmcfar:
I see they took the easy way out and just made another Civ sequel where every faction plays the same except for maybe a unique unit that isn't all that unique and some generic bonus stat.
Alpha Centari actually felt like each faction had a specific agenda and was meant to be played a certain way resulting in massive verity in multiple playthroughs whereas this is just another boring Civ set in space where flag waving idiots can just pick their favourite nation and pretend there's a difference.
Why not just make the Alpha Centari reboot we all actually wanted?

I think if you're playing all the Civs in Civ V the same way then you're not using them properly, especially post-BNW/GAK. Sure, you can play most Civs in the same way, but you won't be using them to their full potential and you won't be nearly as good as you could be. If I tried to use say, India like I use Mongolia, then I'd get my ass handed to me on a plate.

AdagioBoognish:
I can't wait to play this one!

Kvelertak are awesome! Your avatar is awesome!

PuckFuppet:

"Pan-Asian-Cooperative", really? ... building a whole section of your game on what they're trying to argue is geo-political but is essentially totally racial groupings?

You realise that Asia is a continent with whole bunch of races/ethnicities on it? How is it a racial grouping?

someonehairy-ish:

PuckFuppet:

"Pan-Asian-Cooperative", really? ... building a whole section of your game on what they're trying to argue is geo-political but is essentially totally racial groupings?

You realise that Asia is a continent with whole bunch of races/ethnicities on it? How is it a racial grouping?

Which is my point.

greenflash:
No mention of Terra-forming. That was one of the best and most interesting and unique aspects of AC, and it was a really cool way to show how futuristic and powerful your civ was without breaking the game's balance.

Uh, oh You are right! I have looked back and I do not see any mention of terraforming. I agree that is a big aspect of AC and what separates it from a typical Civ game. I think back and remember all those little terraformers poking along, making roads, adding improvements.. hmm.

Well, I am keeping my fingers crossed and hope things turn out better, as we all know there will be more press release info, hopefully we will see more AC influences to be revealed.

PuckFuppet:
Did they not get the memo on how naive and childish, and frankly insulting, building a whole section of your game on what they're trying to argue is geo-political but is essentially totally racial groupings?

It is not difficult to imagine that in times of great hardship nations will align themselves with those who have a similar culture and geo-positioning to pool their resources together for a common goal, in this case colonizing other planets. So yeah, I don't think a union of African countries or Asian countries or Baltic countries are too out of left field. It's quite a smart move, actually.

Anyways, I'm sure that that is just how your faction is suppose to start out as, the remenates of Earth with all of their earth-bound divisions. As you advance in one of the affinities I'm sure your faction will begin to reflect less and less their earthly geo-political origin and more their chosen path they took in the new world.

Civilization: Beyond Earth Hands-On: Sci-Fi Skinned Strategy - Update

After playing the first 50 turns twice, Beyond Earth feels closer to Civilization V than Alpha Centauri.

Read Full Article

One thing I have not seen or heard about is... will the game have a unit creator or will we be saddled with the same pre-generated units that we have had to muck about with traditional Civ? That was one of the best things that kept AC so playable, being able to customize, tailor, and name all your nation's units... so if I wanted hover tank colonizers or formers, I was able to do so if I had the money to do so.

Would really hate to think they dumped this extremely good aspect with this new title.

Okay, there's some innovation in there, and a lot of stuff that appears to have been ripped straight from AC. I think the jury will be out for a while on this one, especially since it looks very similar to Civ V.

PuckFuppet:
"Pan-Asian-Cooperative", really? Because as we all know when the shit hits the fan all the yellows just zerg up? Did they not get the memo on how naive and childish, and frankly insulting, building a whole section of your game on what they're trying to argue is geo-political but is essentially totally racial groupings? I can already guess that the Kavithan Protectorate will be some sort of oligarchy with military overtones, the American Reclamation Corporation has a whole slew of stereotypes that are jumping to mind...

Yeah, because there's absolutely no historical basis for an entire continent comprised of different ethnic groups forming a collective governing body...

Seriously, there's zero evidence so far that it's racially segregated. Zero. You're clutching at straws.

Alpha Centauri had a similar series of imperatives that I think added a bit more "shades of grey" in regards to tech and ideology/ies: Explore, Discover, Build, and Conquer. Having said that, the technology web seems like it would probably do a decent job of replicating that 'shades of grey'.

It's also worth mentioning that you never had control over how your factions employed technology like Beyond Earth will do, with the exception of the society model system.

Burn the Heretic and Xenos! Can't wait to try to build my Imperium of Man

Blaine Houle:
One thing I have not seen or heard about is... will the game have a unit creator or will we be saddled with the same pre-generated units that we have had to muck about with traditional Civ?

Pandora: First Contact out on Steam right now does have custom unit creation. And xenofungus. And tree-hugging hippies. :)

About the only thing I've seen in Beyond Earth that isn't in Pandora is the satellite layer.

I'll probably end up picking up both games, just to see...

 

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