Whilst this game has most of the features Alpha Centauri had, it does things a little differently and lacks the polish and sofistication of the older game.
It uses a Armour = health, weapons = power + Bio, Light mech, heavy mech or air system to make users good or bad against various things which works nicely.
It also features events that trigger some pretty big game changing attacks by native wild live and alien invasions.
You do not have to research everything either, you can skip some things to research something else. Plus research is randomised per tier so each game is different, each nation is different, lots of good ideas here. Unfortunately this makes the science victory pretty much obselete due to the way the cherry picking of research works.
Over all a nice ideas but they do negatively affect the gameplay....
AI is utter ♥♥♥♥ unfortunately... seriously, even during peace time they all build agents and send them against the richest nation or the most advanced nation. So who ever that is, gets every agent on the planet attacking them in wave after wave of agent infiltrations turn after turn.
War is the same, the most disliked side is attacked by everybody and if you sign the open borders treaty with everybody, they will all come to your land to fight each other. Even if your at peace with everybody. In all my games, my own land was always full of AI units fighting each other.
If you stay friendly with everybody you do not achieve an allied victory, you simply become the last one to die.
The alien invaders do not heal, but are twice as tough as your best units, so you have to wear them down, throwing wave after wave of troops against them in suicide missions. The alien mother ship works the same way only it has way too much health. I saw it defeat a stack of about 40 AI units in a single turn.
Due to the way the research cherry picking works I saw an AI build a group of troopers that utterly smashed a group of 40 units of all types. The stack of 40 had a rich variety of troops, where as the AI only had colonial troops, so should have been slaughtered. But it wiped out the stack of 40.
The AI also seems to be able to build with out interference, whilst I end up in a constant battle with the native live from the very start of the game. Even when I made a point of clearing all native hives early on with flamers, the eclispe event ensures native live still attack anyway. Enemy seem to be able to destroy in provement instantly just by walking on them so its really not worth improving anything early on, it will all be destroyed anyway by the natives or the aliens.
And that was all on very easy... the easiest difficulty the game has to offer.
Nice idea, but without meaningful diplomacy and AI decisions that do not involve all AIs ganging up on 1 player or AI , this game really is not worth much.