First Look- Civilization: Beyond EarthFiled inside: Games
In addition to the new changes in the technological trees, Civilization: Beyond Earth introduces several new natural hazards that will hard-press the players’ colonies to survive in the early-game phase.
The planet surface has been previously inhabited by alien lifeforms that, when provoked or pressured by the player’s expansion, will lay siege to fledgling cities. Continued conflict with these aliens will worsen relations with the environment to the point where normally docile life-forms will harass you as well. In extreme circumstances, particularly xenophobic players will draw the ire of Siege Worms: giant serpentine leviathans that can wipe out entire groups of units as a time with its claws.
The alien landscape also works against you in the early stages of the game. Scattered in pockets throughout the map lie tiles laden with a green natural gas called miasma. It is corrosive and toxic to your units, causing them to lose health every time they move through or stay in the fog. With new tech, the miasma can be manipulated by players to serve their strategies, allowing for more interaction with the alien environment.
Another new feature introduced to Civilization: Beyond Earth, is a quest system, which serves as the storyline of the game. While some are one-and-done quests that offer instant rewards such as resources or units, there are other chain quests that offer other incentives such as a possible victory condition. Others will offer points to specific affinities, which will help alter the course of their colony’s evolution.
Civilization: Beyond Earth also introduces colonial virtues, which will replace social policies. Like previous titles, these virtues are purchased with culture points but have been reduced into four deeper categories: Industry, Might, Prosperity, and Knowledge. Each tier purchased unlocks bonuses in the corresponding tree and award the players for branching out into others. This allows for even greater specialization of a player’s colony, even when compared to another colony founded by the same faction and affinity.
In classic Civilization fashion, there are several unique ways to achieve victory in Beyond Earth that are introduced to the series. The method common to all games in the series is Conquest, in which the player wipes out the opposing colonies in a hostile takeover. At the moment, it’s still in the air as to whether or not the Civilization V model, where the player need only to conquer all of the game’s capital cities, will be utilized in this version.
The most unique method of victory in the game comes in the form of Contact. The win condition is achieved by building a beacon to attract the former sentient inhabitants of the planet to return and further the future of mankind. This ending is achievable by all affinities, provided that they complete the quest chain to do so.
Those who selected the Supremacy affinity are also able to win via Emancipation. By constructing a portal back to Earth, the player can send back military units to “emancipate” the human race from their squishy mortal coils. That’s right, one victory condition is subjugating the human race ala Reaper-style from Mass Effect.
Harmony players have access to the Transcendence ending, where the player’s civilization constructs a machine that allows humanity to join with the greater consciousness of the planet. By adapting to the “gaia” of mankind’s new home, colonists with the Harmony affinity effectively become something greater.
Purity can find victory in Promised Land, where they have finally terraformed the planet surface to the point of sustaining the populace of Earth. With the construction of the same portal as the Supremacy ending, Purists instead allow people from Earth to relocate to the effective “New Earth”- a fresh start for humanity.
Regardless of the way that victory is achieved by the players, Civilization: Beyond Earth promises to make the journey of humanity’s survival as a species exciting and fun. The latest installment of the critically-acclaimed Civilization series is sure to enchant new players and veterans with features such as: new factions, tech tree, quests, a new environment, and more, the game’s release in October of this year can’t come soon enough.