Ever since Alpha Centauri came out almost a decade ago, Firaxis wanted to take the Civilization franchise back into space, and they finally have with Civilization: Beyond Earth. The game is built on the Civilization V technology, so it has a familiar feel but diverges almost immediately from what you’re used to.
At it’s core, the Civilization series has always been about humanity finding and building a home, and in that aspect, Civilization: Beyond Earth is no different. Set approximately 200 years from present day, after an event called “the great mistake”, the civilizations of earth look to find a new planet to call home.
You start out selecting one of these earth civilizations, which allows you to select what technologies you start with before you end up on your new planet. When you arrive you’ll need to learn how to deal with different terrain and alien species, which act like separate civilizations themselves. Every new play through is like landing on a different planet, and with procedurally generated maps and a very advanced technology tree, every game can be played differently.
Battles are similar to Civ V in that you can see how the battle will turn out before you attack so you can make the efficient, strategic moves with your armies, but unlike Civ V, rather than unlocking new unit types, your unlock ways to upgrade your current unit types similar to Alpha Centauri.
After approximately 0-50 turns, other earth civilizations will start to land on the planet as well and make their own quests for supremacy on the new homeland. As with all Civ games, there are several conditions that you can play towards for victory condtions. As always, there’s domination, taking over the whole planet for your own; technology advancement victories; transcendence (becoming one with the new planet); emancipation (sending war machines back to earth and re-conquering earth in your name); and more.
If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, and you haven’t played Civ V yet, go play Civ V. If you liked Civ V, I think you’ll love this game. Civilization: Beyond Earth is due out in the fall of 2014, on PC, Mac, and Linux via Steam.