Alright, here is the lowdown.
I had been anticipating this game since it had been announced. I also had played a bit of alpha centauri, so I was interested to see where this game would go.
- Some of the issues with 1UPT have been solved. I am still not a fan, but floating units helps you siege cities easier, which as somebody who has 500+ hours in civ (playing emperor/immortal) I appreciate this greatly. This effect comes in more late game.
- Cities don't get built instantly, which is great. I think we can all agree that it is annoying when you are 1 tile away from a settler who makes a city right before you get to him, and now suddenly, you have to come back with an army. Instead, they have an outpost, which is far easier to assault. This prevents the computer and other players from making low-risk, high reward cities all the time. They have to actually consider where they are building this outpost and defending it.
- The Tech web is very unique, and doesn't really force you into one direction. (although skipping out on spy tech at the beginning is truly shooting yourself in the foot)
- This game has FAR MORE depth than civ V did at release, and still more depth than CiV V after Gods and kings.
- Aliens are interesting in that they can be passive, or aggressive depending on how you deal with them. (This could use some more fine tuning. (Simply having Green, Light Green, Orange, and Red as aggression markers is not enough, give us more tiers, we need to be informed of exactly how much they feel aggressive to be able to act accordingly)
-Tier bonuses within the Virtue tree allow you to go accross the tree as oppose to just choosing one, and being forced to stick with it.
- The spy system is far more relevant than in Civ V, and cannot be ignored completely. This could be improved further though. (They could give you more choices of what to do)
- The three different ideologies are awesome, they all go in their own path and have their own playstyle. Unfortunately, in Multiplayer I inherit the Ideologies of my allies, which makes no sense to me. I think there should be an option to turn this off at least.
- Runs almost as well as Civ V.
- The technology announcer is a woman, unfortunately this means Civ Guy's voice is gone. So you don't get to hear him tell you "You have discovered COMPASS" Kinda sad, hehe, but I love the woman's voice even better.
-Totally uninspired maps. It seems like the concern here was that players wouldn't be able to understand that a land is fertile unless it is a green grass land. Come on Firaxis, I think we are smarter than that, or else I don't think Civ would appeal to us.
- The landscape is completely like a re-colored Civ V, and is far too afraid to venture into sci-fi at all. It tries to hard to provide us with an easy way to understand the game from the first time we pick it up, and make us feel at home. Unfortunately this causes the land to look incredibly bland, and the color pallet is horrid, it is green, purple, and brown.
- Both of these issues come from the conservative approach that they seem to have take for this game, Make it easy, simple to understand. They were afraid to take risks, FAR too afraid. Look at alpha centauri, they were bold when they made that game, that game had personality; which leads me to my next point.
- I play this game, and I don't really see any type of personality to it. It is a blank slate, just a video game on a screen, no story, no basic theme. They tried to give you the idea that you lead your own future, but instead it just feels like they didn't give the game any spirit. (Maybe adding more themes for each ideology, and unique buildings would give you more of a feeling that your nation has become unique. ( A good example of this is Civ V, when you played civ you feel like nations strive for glory, and we look at the accomplishments of civilizations. In Civ BE it feels like you like land on a planet, and they tell you. OK, go tell your story. (that's it...)
- Teching up in the beginning is VERY SLOW. It pick ups rather fast once you get to the mid late game. But at the beginning, MY GOD, it is slow. I usually play standard on CIV V, but this feels 3 to 4 times as slow when it comes to teching. Maybe the way the game was designed required this, I myself am not sure if I buy this.
- The 1 UPT, although somewhat improved, is still an issue. This issue could be solved if they allowed siege units to fire above hills/forests. I guess they forget how to do that on the way over to Alpha Centauri... Seriously, I understand the distinction between Realism, and gameplay. But let my damn artillery fire 3 tiles away, even if it is for reduced damage. This will open up options for people, maybe let you have elongated sieges. Whether this is for gameplay purposes, or realism purposes, i don't get why artillery fire only 2 hexes away in the beginning.
-Religion is gone. I for one understand why this isn't in the game YET. But it needs to make a re-appearance, this was an aspect of the game that gave Civ V depth. This may have been cut because of the 1/3 rule they have at firaxis. From game to game,they removed 1/3rd of the freatures, and replace 1/3rd. They are so afraid to overburden us with features, but guess what Firaxis? If you want us to stay fans of your game, you have to add a bit of depth(as our mastery increases), or else your fans get tired of your games.
- The map packs aren't distinct, i can't really even remember which one looks like when looking at the map list. I know they have to consider balance when making maps, but these maps have very little to nothing unique about them. At least change up the color pallet, make us feel like we are on a different planet. I just feel like we are on a different version of the same planet every single time I play.
- The wonders make no sense, and aren't even drawn out. It's like they expect you to fill in the colors with your mind. Just have one of your awesome artists draw up something futuristic and awesome. We don't need to fill in every single part of the game with our imagination, give us a base idea or image to work with. Not the quickly drawn up blueprint of a wonder that wasn't even explained properly.
- There is very little Alien diversity. I think there are about 4 aliens, and they are the same 4 in every single map. (2 water aliens for a total of 6) Still, it isn't enough, they should vary, they should be part of the equation when you start the game.
- Give us an intro for each victory, that would be awesome, and help build the "story" that Firaxis wants to help build in our minds.
-Give us more uniqueness for each Ideology.
- Provide us with more ideologies in the long run.
- Bring back religion, and add some depth to it if possible. (Find a way to make it work.)
-Please...Please, please... re-work the maps, they look terribly boring, the color pallet is horrid, and they are the opposite of inspiring.
-Bring some scifi into this, give us farmable deserts, habitable mountains, ocean cities, floating cities. Give us something original, ANYTHING. Make us dream of the future. I believe Firaxis can achieve this while keeping the game balanced.
- Bring randomized aliens into the game. Have a type of alien species that spawn randomly at the beginning of the game. Depending on what it is, you can adjust your strategy.
- Extend the benefits and possibilities that you have when you go beyond level 13 of an affinity. Let it change our civilization even more, and maybe give more benefits.
All in all, the game is good, pretty good, but not great. It needs something more, and it needs to be daring.
The hours speak for themselves : Civ V (500 hours) Civ BE 54 hours
I recommend this game based on the fact that this game is good enough, and I believe firaxis can fix most of their faults. I doubt they will fix everything though, only time will tell.