Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is a new science-fiction-themed entry into the award winning Civilization series. As part of an expedition sent to find a home beyond Earth, lead your people into a new frontier, explore and colonize an alien planet and create a new civilization in space.
User reviews: Mixed (3,576 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 23, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"A cautious recommendation. A solid entry to the franchise with sci-fi themes and an interesting affinity system. Lacks personality however."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (4)

October 30

An update from Firaxis Games regarding Beyond Earth feedback

Since we launched Civilization: Beyond Earth on the 24th, we've received reports that some of you are having technical issues with the game, in addition to some well thought out feedback on possible balance improvements. We thank you for your feedback and we want to let you know that the team is working on an update to address some of the issues people are experiencing in the game, as well as continuing to make improvements to gameplay and balance overall.

Here is a list of technical issues we are looking to address – (please know this list is not all inclusive and we will continue to track and research issues that are reported).

- Correcting screen resolution problems, particularly related to the 144hz refresh rate full-screen (or lack of full-screen) issue.
- Investigating a start-up problem where the game shuts down with an error immediately following the opening movie.
- Investigating crash issues submitted by users, and through Steam crash reporting.
- Adding an in-game option to disable depth of field effect for players that prefer the game without this.
- Ongoing updates to in-game text, tool-tips, etc.
- Correcting an issue where actions could be missing from embarked workers (like repairing a pillaged water improvement)
- Adding "Completed" section to city production menu so players know what they just finished.
- Adding advanced touch controls, gesture support, pen support.
- Achievements not firing if Max Turns was set in previous games. Also investigating some other possible causes.
- Fixing 2D leader fall-back image support for all graphics quality settings
- Investigating reports of potential multiplayer stability issues

There are also other bugs under investigation. If you’re working with 2K Support, and sending along savegames or dxdiag files, that information is coming directly to Firaxis as well and will help us out. We’ll provide additional details on bugfixes as we verify and correct them.

As you saw during the lead-up to launch, we continue to iterate on design through development (remember the station Adept Blue? It got nerfed a month before launch). As we have done in the past, we will continue to iterate and address issues after launch as well. Our players’ feedback on balance drives the design team’s goals for the game. We’ll have more information on the balance changes as the design team has a chance to evaluate and implement your feedback.

We’ll also let you know more about the timing of the upcoming patch as we assemble more information. Thanks for your patience and continuing dialog with us as we continue to support Beyond Earth.

-The Firaxis Games Beyond Earth development team

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October 24

Get the Complete, Official Civilization Beyond Earth Digital Guide

Click here to buy. Use Coupon Code CIV50 and get 50% off now!

63 comments Read more


“A must play for strategy fans”
9 out of 10 – GAME INFORMER

“Successfully injects new life into Sid Meier's long-running strategy series”
9 out of 10 – POLYGON

9 out of 10 – DESTRUCTOID

About This Game

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is a new science-fiction-themed entry into the award-winning Civilization series. Set in the future, global events have destabilized the world leading to a collapse of modern society, a new world order and an uncertain future for humanity. As the human race struggles to recover, the re-developed nations focus their resources on deep space travel to chart a new beginning for mankind.

As part of an expedition sent to find a home beyond Earth, you will write the next chapter for humanity as you lead your people into a new frontier and create a new civilization in space. Explore and colonize an alien planet, research new technologies, amass mighty armies, build incredible Wonders and shape the face of your new world. As you embark on your journey you must make critical decisions. From your choice of sponsor and the make-up of your colony, to the ultimate path you choose for your civilization, every decision opens up new possibilities.


  • Seed the Adventure: Establish your cultural identity by choosing one of eight different expedition sponsors, each with its own leader and unique gameplay benefits. Assemble your spacecraft, cargo & colonists through a series of choices that directly seed the starting conditions when arriving at the new planet.
  • Colonize an Alien World: Explore the dangers and benefits of a new planet filled with dangerous terrain, mystical resources, and hostile life forms unlike those of Earth. Build outposts, unearth ancient alien relics, tame new forms of life, develop flourishing cities and establish trade routes to create prosperity for your people.
  • Technology Web: To reflect progress forward into an uncertain future, technology advancement occurs through a series of nonlinear choices that affect the development of mankind. The technology web is organized around three broad themes, each with a distinct victory condition.
  • Orbital Layer: Build and deploy advanced military, economic and scientific satellites that provide strategic offensive, defensive and support capabilities from orbit.
  • Unit Customization: Unlock different upgrades through the tech web and customize your units to reflect your play style.
  • Multiplayer: Up to 8 players can compete for dominance of a new alien world.
  • Mod support: Robust mod support allows you to customize and extend your game experience.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows® Vista SP2/ Windows® 7
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 64 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB ATI HD3650 or better, 256 MB nVidia 8800 GT or better, or Intel HD 3000 or better integrated graphics
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c‐compatible sound card
    • Additional Notes: Other Requirements: Initial installation requires one-time Internet connection for Steam authentication; software installations required (included with the game) include Steam Client, Microsoft Visual C++2012 Runtime Libraries and Microsoft DirectX.
    • OS: Windows® Vista SP2 / Windows® 7
    • Processor: 1.8 GHz Quad Core CPU
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: AMD HD5000 series or better (or ATI R9 series for Mantle support), nVidia GT400 series or better, or Intel IvyBridge or better integrated graphics
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c‐compatible sound card
    • Additional Notes: DirectX: DirectX version 11, or Mantle (with supported video card)
Helpful customer reviews
1,285 of 1,542 people (83%) found this review helpful
29.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
I've been looking forward to this game for months. So this review hurts to write.

As a HUGE fan of science-fiction, Civilization, and the Civ 5 engine, I feel obligated to write this review. It is very, very hard for me to not give this game a general recommendation.

Let me preface it by saying it's not going to be bubbly fan-squealing, or one-dimensional vitriol. I have legitimate issues with Beyond Earth - serious ones!

Does that mean I'm not playing it? No, it doesn't. I'm enough of a nerd to love the game despite its failings.

Here's the rundown:

The game takes to the Civ 5 engine like a duck to water. Yes, a lot of the various aspects of it are transparently reskinned (energy is gold, happiness is health, etc.) A lot of the mechanics, such as diplomacy and trade, are just flat out identical to how they are in Civ 5 and its various expansions. Is that a bad thing? I don't think so, because Civ 5 did a lot of things right.

Let's just condense this. It's a great base game. It's a game that I can play and enjoy and then think "wow, I can't wait until this gets expansions and becomes truly amazing." In that sense, it reminds me of Civ 5 at release, way back when. I liked Civ 5 at release. But it didn't grip me. That all changed when Gods and Kings came out. The vast majority of my Civ 5 playtime is post G&K. I suspect it'll be the same for Beyond Earth.

Unfortunately this is just how Firaxis seems to do things now. They release a really solid, if bare and vanilla, base game for the flat fee. Then they release thirty dollar expansions that are AMAZING additions. They wouldn't do it if it didn't work.

Here are some things I just can't excuse, though, and I think really detract from the value of a full-price purchase:

- Very little automation. I have no problem with micro-management. But when that micromanagement becomes clicking my poor old fingers into early arthritis just to refresh trade routes, I get irritated. It was annoying in BNW, it's annoying here. And where are city governors? This game should have improved upon Civ 5's shortcomings, not just reskinned the whole thing, annoyances and all.

-Graphical glitches. Units getting stuck in the upgrade windows and plastering over each other. Visual artifacts. Etc. Will be ironed out. Not game-breaking in the least, just annoying.

-Sound glitches. Sometimes when achieving a new affinity level, and a new technology, the quotes stutter or lay over each other, or jostle for priority. It's distracting and annoying.

- Boring leaders. I like Kavitha a lot. But I play as her, so I don't get to see her much. I have to be subjected to all the boring, rigid, starched sads that run the other factions (except for the PAC leader, she really gets into it sometimes). Alpha Centauri had strong, charismatic, intriguing characters for the individual factions. The leaders in this game seem sedate compared to them, and especially compared to the colorful, bombastic characters littered through Civ 5.

- Boring factions in general. Half the fun of Civ 5 was having your own special war and peace themes as a civ. Identifying with the strong personality and values of your chosen civ, etc. There is very little to attach to in Beyond Earth, because all of the leaders are relatively sedated and dull. They don't even get unique backgrounds or music.

- Limited visual representation of technology progression. It's there, sure. Clothes on your fellow leaders change. You can see some cybernetics later. I haven't seen what they look like at the maximum affinity level (18), maybe it's extreme. It would be cool to be able to look at your own leader and see how they change visually as you progress, but you can't.

- Boring-as-♥♥♥♥-wonders. Each wonder in Civ 5 had a dramatic quote, a beautiful piece of art, and its own brief symphonic score to herald its completion. In Beyond Earth we get some dull, lifeless blueprint picture, no real musical cue, and a simple quote. I also can't see them on the landscape like I could in Civ - no wait, I can see some of them. They're just hard to catch sometimes.

All in all, the game just lacks polish and TLC. And that's what separates a AAA title for $50-60 from everything else. You expect a certain level of polish and refinement, and a lot of that comes from attention to detail in the art and writing departments. You progress through astounding leaps and bounds of technology, yet the sense of impact from those accomplishments is minimal thanks to the slashed art, music, and writing budgets.

So, in terms of just artistic polish, the game is a huge disappointment compared to every other Civ title and Alpha Centauri. It lacks the personality and charm Firaxis usually brings to the table. What gives?

I don't know. We can only really speculate. But it's sad, and ultimately, kind of kills the experience for me.

I only recommend this game to hardcore Civ fans who just love a good strategy romp. It's still fun to play. It just isn't very satisfying in the end. To everyone else, I say just avoid it until the first expansion comes out and the price drops, unless you truly don't care about art, or character, or music, and only want the numbers and the game itself.

Hopefully in the future we'll see more victory conditions, religion mechanics, psionics, another affinity, new factions, new leaders, better art, better music, better expensive non-gamey stuff that publishers hate to fund.

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349 of 412 people (85%) found this review helpful
31.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
A lot of reviews state that Beyond Earth is "unfinished", "unpolished", and similar words and phrases. And in many ways, they're correct. But there's a slightly more insidious truth to the statement as well.

Start up Civ V with all of the DLC expansions and play through a game. It's well-balanced, deep, intricate, and takes a good amount of effort and understanding to make it work. Now start up Civ V WITHOUT any of the DLC expansions.

Drastically different game, isn't it? Suddenly the balancing is gone, the depth has disappeared, even the use of culture points is different. You're playing something that seems... unfinished. Unpolished. Broken. It's not the full game yet.

That is what I feel is happening with Beyond Earth. It's not just the standard glitches and problems that every launch title ends up having, it's that people are comparing it to Civ V with the DLC, and not Civ V as it was when it initially came out. And it's an unfair comparison.

Beyond Earth is not a bad game when judged on its own merits. The graphics are clean, the tech tree is deep, the bugs (both literal and figurative) are not overwhelming. There are definitely aspects that need work; the interface is drastically in need of an overhaul, the civilopedia is missing critical information on some of the structures, some things are never explained at all, and there are graphical glitches here and there among the prettiness. But unfortunately it's never going to be judged on its own merits. It's going to be judged against Alpha Centauri (which, let's face it, people are viewing through rose-colored glasses) and against Civ V.

Having said all of that, though... the fact that we're going to be forced to wait for DLC in order to have a great game instead of merely a finished one does not lend itself to much of a positive review. So even though I still feel that Beyond Earth is being unfairly maligned, I cannot in good faith recommend purchasing it in the form it is now. At least not at full price.

Wait until the next sale, or even better wait until the first DLC and then get them both on sale.
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881 of 1,141 people (77%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
I'm so sad to write this review. I'm a hard-core Civilization fan. I've played Civ since the franchise was first launched. I've literally logged hundreds of hours playing Civ 5 and all its DLC in Steam. I also feel as though Alpha Centauri is still one of the best computer games ever made. I've been looking forward to Civilization Beyond Earth for months.

This game is such a terrible disappointment. And I'm going to be as constructive as I can be in my criticsm.

I hardly know where to begin.

First of all, Wonders of the World are completely nerfed and uninspiring. There are no video sequences upon completing one. There's no sense that youv'e actually accomplished something by building a Wonder. Even more galling, from what I've seen (and I've already played the game over 12 hours just this weekend), Wonders don't even matter much. Most Wonders seem to give palty bonuses that are on par with a single city building. Literally. I mean, c'mon! If building the sci fi equivalent of the Pyramids is no different than building the sci fi equivalent of a Granary, what's the point?

The Civolpedia is awful. The help screens are appallingly unhelpful. They don't link to one another. It's not easy to understand what's going on in this game, and the "help system" makes it worse. The prose of the "backstory" is dense and confusing, without any dramatic hooks to tie in a narrative, and make it interesting. Even as a veteran Civ player, I was floundering trying to figure this game out, and the help system was about as useful as calling Comcast on a Saturday afternoon. After about half an hour *just trying to figure out the Civolepedia* I started to drink.

The Affinity system makes no sense. Why "force" me to adopt certain affinities just because I research technology in a certain order? Why not give me the choice to engineer my society through meaningful decisions, in terms of Affinities? Even more perplexing, how can I be a "humans first" "Gaia loving" "I am the Borg" society, ALL AT ONCE? Affinities should be mutually exclusive.

This game is boring. I played for over 200 turns and no one attacked me, other than some random aliens. No one offered me any interesting challenges. I'll admit, I tend to be a peaceful builder type, but to play in a world where no one goes to war, and where I don't feel the need to attack other factions or pump up my military to prevent being conquered... what's the point of that?

The health system (a.k.a. "happniess") is broken. Until you unlock certain late game techs, or build many, many special terrain upgrades, it's basically impossible to have more than 3 or 4 cities. Yes, you read that right. Forget infinite city sprawl, this game punishes you for trying to found or conquer more than about 3 cities for the first 150+ turns. Absoultely abominable. Dumb.

Firaxis, I'm one of your biggest fans, but I feel like I should get my money back on this one. If a developer were willing to e-mail me, I could offer about 20 helpful suggestions on how to fix this game, but until then, no one else should bother buying it.

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322 of 402 people (80%) found this review helpful
31.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Let me start by saying that I'm a long time Civilization player and fan. I also consider myself a fairly experienced turn-based strategy player with hundreds of hours on record. Coming from almost 400 h. of playtime with Civilization V, I was really excited and looking forward to this new entry to the legendary franchise. I even pre-ordered the title with the hope to spend several hundred hours immersed into the game. I'm also a huge fan of sci-fi setting for videogames as it usually offer more room for innovation and interesting game mechanics.

So, what's my take on Civ BE? I think it's a solid stand-alone turn based 4x strategy game. And I want to emphasize the word "solid" here. It's not great, it's not innovative, it's not complex... It's just solid. To put this in a different way - if you are new to this type of games, you should probably give it a try. On the other hand, If you're long-time Civilization player, you should pass on this one, at least in its current state.

What are my main points of concern with this title? What can be improved and why I believe this game is unfortunately inferior in many ways to its predecessor (Civ V + all expansions)?

1. Lack of content, polish and personality (i.e. units, cut-scenes, factions and their back story, )

The game feels empty and tiny when compared to Civ V. I've put around 30 hours into it and I can confidently say that I'm bored and won't be coming back anytime soon. There's not much stuff to keep me entertained for a long period of time. It lacks replay value because you will always end up in identical scenarios no matter how differently you want to approach the gameplay.
It's been mentioned multiple times, but the lack of personality behind the so-called factions / sponsors is surprising. The only significant difference between them is their "special ability" bonus, and that's it. There's no back story, lack of variety in buildings / units, nothing that you can feel identified with or attached to. They feel empty and meaningless and become annoying after just a few hours of gameplay.

Are you expecting to see a cut-scene video after completing a huge landmark project (50+ turns) to get one step closer to victory? Nope.
But there's surely a small animated piece when you finish building wonders, right? No, you're out of luck here as well...
Well, there must be a small video when you finally defeat your foes by making first contact with an ancient alien civilization that no one has ever seen before!? Sorry, but no.

Everything in this department feels extremely unfinished and rushed out of the door.

The game lacks immersion elements and starts feeling generic very quickly. There are two possibilities: either Firaxis consciously made the decision of removing / "simplifying" these components for the sake of saving development time / money. Or alternatively, they will sell it at some point in form of DLC. Or likely both... Which would be kinda sad.

2. Let's just say that the UI isn't great.

I'm not sure who took the decision to make the UI as minimalist as possible, but in my opinion it didn't turn out well. Let me list a few reasons here:

- Tech tree / City view feel unfinished and outright inferior to Civ V. All icons look the same to me. There's no color icons which make it hard to distinguish between different technologies / buildings. After 30+ hours of gameplay, if you showed me any icon from the game (either from tech tree or city view) I wouldn't be able to recognize any of them.

- Omission of basic info, like: which building you just finished building in your city (HELLO Firaxis!?), lack of strategic view, lack of full list of cities / units / trade routes under your control,

- Victory progress for different players is extremely difficult to understand and follow because this information is not presented in a visual way.

- There's no possibility to know how to get, say an "Emancipation" victory beforehand. You don't know what technologies you need to research, what buildings you need to build or what you have to do with these buildings once you finish building them.

3. RIP World Wonders.

I love building World Wonders in Civ V. It just feels so satisfying and rewarding every single time. Many players base their entire strategy around building Wonders. The whole experience is so "Civ - like" and different in every game.

"Beyond Earth" removes this experience all together. We still technically have them, they just feel meaningless, weak, empty and lacking any significant impact on gameplay. You can't tell a World Wonder apart from a normal building. There's a short pop-up with something I wouldn't dare to call "animated piece" that you will instantly forget. Not sure why Firaxis decided to go this route, I guess they couldn't figure out a good way to integrate World Wonders within a deeply futuristic setting. It's extremely disappointing though.

4. The AI has identical issues to Civ V, maybe worse.

Everything about AI feels like Civ V all over again, just in a bad way. It's as dumb as ever, all the meaningless diplomatic choices, weird decision making, cheating on higher difficulties - it's all there. Even dialog lines are the same, just feels a bit less meaningful due to lack of personality in each of the faction's leaders. Combine this with the fact that every game you play against the same exact factions (due to lack of variety), it becomes old / boring very quickly.

5. Quests are boring.

The quest system is kind of broken. It doesn't matter which faction you play, or which affinity you choose, be sure you will get the same exact "grindy" quests, no matter what. After a few hours, you will start skipping through them without reading or caring about them. On paper, quest system should add a layer of variety and deepen your engagement with the game, but it just fails completely to do so.

It's not all bad news though. This game has potential and I'm sure with some patching love and a few expansions it will become better, maybe even great. It's just that I personally feel disappointed and was expecting way more out of this new entry to the Civ franchise.

Some things I like about the game:

1. The new orbital layer is promising. It has interesting potential and adds a different dimension of strategy and potential development to the game. But as with several other features, it feels a bit unfinished / unpolished.

2. Overall I like the affinity system as it offers three distinct paths to your development. But again, as with orbital layer I don't think it's fully explored yet.

3. The Aliens have meaningful impact on the early gameplay and definitely play out better than their barbarian counterparts in Civ V. That said, they become irrelevant pretty quickly as their Level doesn't scale according to your development. Unlike barbarians (Barbarian marine anyone?), Aliens become obsolete after you get your first affinity upgrades.

Summing up, Civ BE is a solid stand alone 4x strategy game IF we don't compare it to its predecessors. If you are new to this genre and like sci-fi setting, I could recommend it.

I wouldn't recommend this game to any Civilization fan / player nor someone experienced with this type of games. Just continue playing Civ V and wait until patches / expansions come out. Firaxis has some history of making great expansions and improving their games. I hope they will do the same with Civilization Beyond Earth.

Final review score: 6/10
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1,104 of 1,487 people (74%) found this review helpful
54.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
Verdict: Wait for a sale or (desperately needed) DLC bundle

What Beyond Earth is:
1) A sibling of CIV 5 - for better or worse -
- Same engine
- Same unit types
- Same diplomacy
- Same trade system
- Same AI cheats on harder difficulty
2) Some welcome improvements on CIV 5:
+ Improved espionage system
+ Orbital mechanics layer is an improvement on the SMAC version of the same
+ More interesting "barbarian aliens" - similar to the worm boils in alpha centauri

What Beyond Earth isn't:
1) A spritual successor to Alpha Centauri
- No elevation/rainfall
- No terrain modification
- No advanced improvements
- No environmental effects
- No compelling story or narrative
2) A finished game worth the release price
- AI is weak - even on the hardest difficulty (Apollo), players used to CIV V will mop the floor on the first or second play through.
- The usual launch bugs are there: No achievements for some on victory (despite getting them during the game), graphics issues for others, and of course balance issues.
- No post game breakdowns (graphs, rankings, score, ANYTHING)
- Wait for a sale to pick up the base game
- Or wait for the inevitiable expansion DLCs to get the "real game"

I love Scifi, I love CIV games, I REALLY loved SMAC - but this is CIV 5 release all over again. Underwhelming core game that desperately needs to be finished with the DLC that is surely in the works even now. Remember how CIV 5 had G&K and Brave New World? Remember how that finished the game into what it should have been from day 1?

This is exactly like that.
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349 of 467 people (75%) found this review helpful
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Just one more turn... ? Nah....

Honestly finishing my playthrough in Civ:BE has to be one of the most bland experiences i had in a civilization game. It was mostly just "city building" and getting to know the new techs etc, while searching through the ugly UI for infos.
Ah yes, and clicking tedious trading routes again and again, as well as always the same stupid diplomatic null messages of some very generic leaders, which were already annoying in CiV.

I had no war or any great interaction with other civs (except against those pesky aliens, which always pop up if you leave some empty space - which is unavoidable on the "borders"), the AI just kept begging me, mixed with the occasional dennounciation (hopping from friendly to guarded back and forth).

Empire building is limited due to the "health" factor (was happiness in CiV), which annoyingly begins to deteriorate already after your second or at least third city.

Much is similiar to CiV, but with a worse overview for the player or/and less variety.
For example you only have around five standard unit types, mixed in with up to three or so special types for your kind of specialization. The units also get small extras for your "affinity", blocking the other types at the same time.
The affinity specialisation also contributes a big part to which victory condition you can fulfill.
Sadly these conditions (as is much of the whole techtree) are hard to differentiate and just have a bad overview imo.

This is especially sad since the affinity, combined with the quest system and the possibility/requirement to focus your tech research are the main new gameplay elements imo. There also is a new orbit view in which you can use different satellites, but i honestly found them mostly useless.

So, in the end, you have a CiV 1.5 in space, with a terrible UI and interface, a few new elements, many old ones (sadly also the annoying ones).. and - for me at least - much tedious work, instead of fun gameplay.
Will keep watching this game (especially if the modders, once again, can rescue a game), but can´t see me playing it again in the near future.. which really is a shame for a civilisation game.

ps: yes, and the ai movement still sucks too...
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809 of 1,126 people (72%) found this review helpful
42.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
I haven't reviewed anything before, but considering my love for the Civ series, I felt like I should leave some feedback.

Yes, you're aware that the game is just a repackaged Civ 5. But the biggest change I've noticed is its loss of charm. A lot of the enjoyment from the past Civilization series came from its conglomeration of historically-prominent faces, all brought together to rescript human history. There was always something charming about each playthrough, whether it be Ethiopia seizing Seattle and Boston from the United States, the Iroquois researching flight before the 1500's, or Alexander's typical crash and burn just a few turns before reaching diplomatic victory.

Beyond Earth is a different story, and it's one that I've had a hard time getting myself to care about. Although the premise of "a thousand years into the future" itself may be a much tougher sell than literal human history, what has ultimately pushed me away has been its lack of character building and dialogue. Yes, I understand how ridiculous that sounds, but outside of the economic/skill perks of each faction, there hasn't really been much of a discernable personality from leader-to-leader, and as a result, to quote every girl I've ever asked out: "I'm just not that interested." About halfway through each of my four playthroughs, I reached a point where, outside of winning just for competition's sake, I didn't really care too much about the outcome. There's no Gandhi to hate, no Queen Elizabeth to fend off until you research submarines. From time to time I did have some interesting interactions with the AI, one instance being when the nearly-cyborg Slavik leader stole my capital with a spy, but ultimately there isn't much happening between myself and the leaders I know little-to-nothing about to fuel those "one... more... turn..." feelings from the previous games. "Kavitha of the Kavithan Protectorate has denounced me?" u wot m8? That doesn't have much significance to me. It's like saying "Leaderperson of the Red Team has denounced you." There may be some backstory to each of these factions/sponsors/leaders, but after 40 hours of play, it hasn't really made itself evident, and the most I can say about each leader is along the lines of "yeah, he's the African guy, he grows headphones throughout the game, and he hates it when I kill aliens."

And continuing on that, it may be my lack of "affinity" for science fiction, but most of the time, I don't understand what I am researching, or what I am building in each city. I understand the effects, but outside of +7 science, I don't know what the hell a "Cynosure" is, and I don't care enough to find out. It's just not the same as building the Eiffel Tower, but that's not entirely the game's fault. What is the game's fault is that there just isn't much new to gameplay mechanics, and a lot of the issues of the previous games still linger, including:

- Confusing/unintentionally nonsensical AI interaction: In the past games, you'd get some flak from other leaders for settling too rapidly or too close to their borders, but it seems to have amplified in this game, to a pretty unenjoyable degree. in 3 out of 4 playthroughs (the fourth being a 1v1 duel), I immediately received requests to stop settling in "lands considered our own" after settling only my second city. Didn't matter in what direction or where I settled, it happened every time. The bipolar one-turn shifts from "friendly" to "denouncing" still happen as well, still often for reasons unexplained, still leaving me wanting, at the very least, some sort of explanation.

- "Difficulty": The "difficulty" problem seems to still be there, as playing on harder difficulties doesn't actually make the AI smarter, but just gives them boosts to offset their stupidity. I remember feeling a little disappointed after winning my first game on Deity, not just because of that "Well, now what?" feeling, but because I didn't feel like I had beat a better opponent, just an opponent with more stuff. You know those ghost trials on Mario Kart? You know how every one of these games is called Sid Meier's Blah Blah Blah? Maybe it's too difficult to make AI smarter, but it'd at least be cool if we could actually try to beat Sid Meier's score in his own game, or have an extra element of competitiveness.

- Annoyances as opposed to challenges: Still somewhat in the same vein as "difficulty," a lot of the aspects of the game which are supposed to be "challenges" are just kind of more time-sucking annoyances. For example, about 150 turns into my most recent game, a 1v1 duel, I moved my entire military into my opponent's territory to take over for domination. As a sort of penalty, the game sprouts up a couple alien nests, forcing me to spend another few turns to change production so siege worms (and, no, they weren't spy sieges) don't destroy the resources I need. "Quests" have been introduced to the series, and while some of them have been beneficial, they fall into two categories: click one of two boxes and see what you get, or take 30 turns doing this-this-this-and-this just to find out that you get *this*. And although aliens pose a more dynamic challenge than the classic barbarian, after your empire has reached a certain size, doing things like defending trade routes is still just a time suck, one that isn't worth the loss of probably 1-3 trade vessels over the course of the game.

- Multiplayer/Online: I haven't played an online match yet. Because I haven't been able to find one, and when I have, I am either kicked before joining or receive an "error when joining session". The general point here is that Civ has never had proper multiplayer support, something that would have made a new installment of Civ much more intriguing. I see so much potential with Civ online - the random people who join games can often turn out to be much more enjoyable than your standard random gamers, and facing 5-11 people with the same basic start is a much better challenge than trying to beat a stupid computer compensated with handicaps. It might be too early to judge on this yet, but just the fact that I have to go into multiplayer and find a room created by a host, and not on a dedicated server, is enough to tell me that the problem hasn't been fixed yet.

That's not to say that, on it's own, it isn't a solid game. Anything built on the mechanics of Civ 5 should be pretty enjoyable. But as the next step in the Civilization series, I am disappointed. And with the question coming down to "do you recommend this game?", I'd have to say no. I would (and will) recommend Civ 3-5 wholeheartedly as some of the best games ever, but as far as I'm concerned, this should be considered more of a $10 expansion to unlock after completing a science victory in Civ 5. In the meantime, I'll be waiting for a true Civ 6, and hopefully you and I will be able to play a full game online without the damn thing crashing.
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619 of 860 people (72%) found this review helpful
24.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
First of all I must acknowledge that I might be a bit biased in favor of “Beyond Earth”. I love science-fiction and all things robots, genetic manipulation and space. I'm a true disciple of strategy games and especially of the turn-based variety and quite the veteran of many, many rounds of “Alpha Centauri”. I've been very hyped

This said as introduction I'd first like to say that I like the design of Civilization 5, although I consider it a seriously dumbed down game, up to the point of it being the mentally handicapped little brother of its predecessors. But is it fair to use such harsh words? Maybe I should come to peace with the fact that Civilization 5 just isn't the same as the other games and in certain ways it did improve. Despite being dumbed down it isn't an easy game to master when you face human players that operate with the same meta as you. So it didn't get boring too quickly.

“Beyond Earth” kept the best of Civilization 5 (nonstackable units are debatable) and added a whole bucket of goodness to create a truly amazing game with an atmosphere that puts your mind at peace, while focused on the task that lies before you: survive on an alien world.

I love the addition of the affinity system which visually expresses the philosophy you embrace, which means you either play as Col. Quaritch, Robocop or Ray Kurzweil. Additionally you can select virtues divided into might, prosperity, knowledge and industry (basically a different sort of social policy system, but improved as it rewards both beelining as well as grabbing many boni from one section, or combining sections as well as tiers... and so on). I'd wish for “hybrid” affinities that let you embrace 2 main affinities for special units, but I don't see the developers doing that anytime soon. One can still embrace 2 affinities, in rare cases it even pays off (for example the Prime version of the Aegis mech of the purity affinity [Humanity ♥♥♥♥ YEAH!] needs 10 purity affinity and 3 supremacy affinity [resistance is futile, puny meatbags!]. I found out that for units it pays to have up to 5 affinity levels of a secondary affinity, however affinity influences much more than just units, so I'll have to experiment around a bit. I for one enjoyed going Purity as my primary affinity and Supremacy as my secondary affinity in my first game.

Beyond Earth added quests, better neutral city state mechanics (called stations now), better barbarian mechanics (b-but aliens aren't barbarians! They are different! Yes they are. This makes it better, dear reader. That's what I talk about!), better victory conditions and it feels much better writing possible future history, instead of reenacting history in the most ludicrous ways (nuking ancient Egyptians as Gandhi!). AND SPACE COLONIZATION! Is that nothing?

Last but not least you select your colonists' loadout: that is sponsor, equipment and type of colonists. This is a very great addition as it lets you customize your starting conditions in a more unique way than in Civ 5, adds the feeling that you have more control and ownership over your colonists and allows different strategies instead. We'll see more than a couple of viable strategies that will be quite different to each others. A bit irritating is the fact that the sponsors do not include a Northern European race. Sure, Russians are Caucasoid, but so are some North Africans strictly speaking. I'll play the French for now. What I am missing is a member of one of the Nordic, Anglo Saxon and Germanic race. It is quite likely they'll send people to space, although the developer might have wanted to show us a grimdark future where mass immigration replaced the European people almost completely with the grand daughter of Marine Le Pen leading the last Front National enclave of the French into space. Who knows.

Apart from this the personalities and background of the sponsors don't appeal to me. They are quite bland persons. That said it allows the player to use his imagination more. Still given how fleshed out the characters are, one could imagine them to be at least a bit interesting. Yet they are not. The most important issue however is balance. So far I believe all sponsors have their viable ways of working well, so as of now I think Firaxis did that one well.

I could drone on a bit more but this is lost time that I could have used playing this game!

Do I recommend it? Yes, I do. The atmosphere is just great. The scifi turn-based strategy genre is quite sparsely populated so even a game with some imperfections would get a rather positive review from me. I think Beyond Earth actually earns the good vote. It's not actually a breathtaking game, but while it looks like a small step for the turn-based strategy genre, it is a great step from Civ 5.

7.5/10 – It's okay.
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478 of 664 people (72%) found this review helpful
23.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
After reading the latest reviews I finally understood that the reaction to this game probably depends on what you have been doing for the past 5-6 months. It’s very subjective. So, judging from my own experience:
- If you are a 30+ yo Civ and SMAC fan, who only has enough time to play games on weekends and haven’t played a 4X game for a couple months – you’ll probably be ecstatic like me.
- If you are a Civ fanatic, who has been playing Civ5 to death every day up until last Friday and was looking for a brand new 4X experience or a major breakthrough in gameplay – you’ll probably be disappointed.
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240 of 338 people (71%) found this review helpful
50.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
It's a solid game for any fan of the genre or anyone wanting to suffer from stockholm syndrome.

A few things:
- Buying tiles en masse feels like a great way to get carpal tunnel syndrome
- The interface looks like it could be a little more spacey and it is not that intuitive or much of an improvement from previous games. A small "+" at the bottom next to the other icons doesn't really grab your attention for other key aspects such as military, economic and other overviews....
- It's annoying to keep confirming everything. Yes I want to buy that tile. Yes I want to trade there. Yes I want to delete that worker I captured to spite my enemy... people who have a problem second guessing themselves beware.
- The victory sequences feel immensely underwhelming and subsequent game summaries don't exist.
- No nukes.
- Lack of a variety of character leaders or faction distinctions. Why can't I play an alien civilization and dominate the earth refugee invaders. ♥♥♥♥ing christ, coming to my planet and ravaging my resources. ♥♥♥♥ing ♥♥♥♥♥es.
- I have to keep picking my faction and renaming it every game, it does not roll over or save.
- Other than alien species replacing barbarians, the world maps didn't really do anything else than look different with different resources in place of old ones. Why can't there be a ever present raging storm across the map like on ♥♥♥♥ing Jupiter? Why can't there be a subterranean level? Planets can have massive oceans beneath ice? Where the ♥♥♥♥ did they get their inspiration for this game? "Uh, I like how earth looks lets make it look like that".... Um, ♥♥♥♥ you... I thought this game was called beyond earth.
- Barely any story to get you involved. Might as well call it "Civilization: We weren't sure which way humanity is going so we left a lot of it open ended". Earth used up resources yadda yadda we left etcetera etcetera.... Why couldn't they hire one of those alternative history fiction writers to come up with something? Seriously, I think my bowl of cheerios is makes a more interesting story and I'm not even hungry.

I love the Civilization series and this satisfies the megalomaniac in me but it also just feels like it's just banking on the brand name
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295 of 424 people (70%) found this review helpful
30.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
One step forward two steps back.

Still a solid 4x title but for the asking price it doesn't offer a lot (assuming you've already played Civ5). Problems such as the terrible ai diplomacy system still exist, visuals haven't been updated and while the setting is interesting the new factions are very bland. Some odd UI and design choices create a some frustrating micromanagement and a severe lack of information in terms of game victory progress.

Overpriced and underwhelming, wait for a sale and go check out Amplitude's Endless Legend instead. You can tell they care a lot more about their game and won't try to milk your pennies with DLC.
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194 of 273 people (71%) found this review helpful
13.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
If I were Sid Meiers, I would sue for personal defamation....

IT'S PAINFUL TO NOT REC THIS!! As a life long fan of this series, this is the only Civilization game i have played which was simply put: not fun.

The game is incredibly easy yet annoying. It also feels cheaply done. Whoever was in charge of this project has seriously hurt the value of the brand here by putting out such a poor product under an acclaimed series.

I just did my first playthrough (normal difficulty) and won. Not by a small margin but the faction in 2nd place was earning around +20 energy and 60 science per turn at the end. I was earning +250 energy and well over 400 science per turn....(and this was net of my workers building the most expensive terrain upgrades possible).

I was never attacked. I never witnessed an attack except that the other countries would randomly send 2 units to attack a 3rd party post. No, they never destroyed it despite the countries having massive militaries lying in their borders. They just randomly attacked them and then withdrew. This was all the action i saw....and i never felt threatened. I read reviews of the AI's passivity before playing so I spent next to nothing on military units early game.....and nobody ever attacked me.

The aliens.....there is essentially no point to them. You leave them alone and they will leave you alone. I had one worker (who was travelling far outside of my borders) killed. That's it.

Trade routes - you will have nightmares about these. They say a boat owner's two happiest days are when he gets his boat....and when he gets rid of his boat. It was great when I realized that i would have an endless supply of energy (gold) from my trade routes but then.....they just wouldn't leave me alone!!!!!!!! Every 20 turns you will be asked to scan through a MASSIVE list of every city know to the futuristic human race to pick out the most attractive trade route. Now multiply this by the number of cities you have and then times 2 again (some cases 3). This is essentially what you will be doing for most of your time in this game.....picking damn trade routes. By the end of the game, you will wish you never had them.

Affinities......terribly executed. I went the alien / xenomass route (i cant even remember the name) and it just feels totally pointless which one was my dominant affinity as i ended up having high levels in the other 2 with access to most of their units. In no way did my affinity dictate my style of play except that i had to hunt for more xenomass strategic resources. Essentially each affinity leans more so on one resource but other than that - they all get their own graphic and name for troops which are mostly the same.

There are many other problems with this game but you get the idea. Obviouslly there was a severe flaw in the project team overseeing this.......what a shame. This feels like an early beta for a game as it has such massive obvious flaws in the AI, game balance and enjoyability. Sorry, Sid!
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505 of 766 people (66%) found this review helpful
66.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Take Civ V, strip away 80% of the content, slap a coat of Sci-Fi paint on it and ship it out the door.

Very disappointing. Beyond Earth should have been sold as a Civ V mod for a fraction of the price. This game has slightly more content and replayability than the Steampunk DLC released for Civ V.

There are only 8 civs to choose from, but that doesn't matter because they are effectively identical anyway.

There are only about 8-10 units in the game, and it's the same 8-10 units regardless of which civ you choose.

The landscape is crowded with features and resources that have very little purpose. You can comfortably set your Workers on auto and ignore them.

All 5 Victory Paths are Science driven, making everything else largely irrelevant. Even the Domination Victory depends heavily on the Science resource in order to unlock the automatic upgrades for the 2 or 3 units you will need to win.

Trade is crucial to success, but very tedious and not fun at all to manage. Every turn, I would get 1 or 2 messages from Trade units asking me to confirm that I still want it to keep doing what I told it to do the last 20 times it asked.

Diplomacy is irrelevant. All other Civs can be safely ignored unless you feel like conquering them. Other leaders will frequently harass you with pointless offers or empty threats, though, and that gets annoying fast.

Exploration is largely pointless and unrewarding. The whole world is one homogenous smear of resources. Clear out your own little plot of land and don't bother going anywhere else.

Seriously, I want my money back on this one.
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237 of 348 people (68%) found this review helpful
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
I feel ripped off. I was so excited, but eventually let down. This game is Civ5 with an alien planet skin. I thought there would be multiple types of planets with different resources, but no. It's all the same basic map variations from Civ5, broken up into three basic types and land size areas. I expected more ART. Building a wonder no longer shows a brilliant art piece, instead it shows a dinky gray-scale model. The fun, intrigue, inspiration, and excitement is gone. Not worth 50$ at all. Once again just like Civ5 the multi-player is even worse, non-stop crashing, and people getting booted from the game. And all this boils down to, a poorly made mod, for a five year old title. A step down from what the next Civ title should have been. Big Big BIG Disappointment. And I LOVE Sci-Fi. 2/10
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1,102 of 1,699 people (65%) found this review helpful
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
Beyond Earth feels more like a Civ 5 expansion than a totally different game, it's not worth the 50 euro asking price. Wait for a 50% off sale (probably for the Winter sale), and then it'll be viable.

I've been playing this game for a quite a few hours, I've tried different affinities and tech combinations, and I do like how they interact and affect your civilization/colonists, but other than that, there's really not much there that sets this game apart from Civ 5.

Maybe my expectations were too high?

Edit: I'm don't mean to say the game is bad, it's not, it's a good game with some average parts (like the tedious trade if you have more than 3-4 cities, the quests that don't feel that rewarding or the not that differentiated factions and their lackluster backstory).
My main issue is with the price. If this game was <30 euro then I would have recommended it, but as is, like I've said above, wait for a sale.
The combat is exactly the same as in Civ 5, diplomacy is the same, trade is the same, aliens are basically stronger barbarians, city building and unit construction is the same, the only additions are affinities, satellites, non-linear tech tree and quests. Also the game uses the same engine Civ 5 had, there's not much of an improvement visually, which of course isn't something that's really key for a game like Civ, but it's something to take note of.

If you're a Civ fan, of course you're going to like the game, in fact it's going to be addictive. But if you were expecting a different game, something that's not just a Civ 5 with small modifications, then you're going to be a little disappointed, like me.
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379 of 589 people (64%) found this review helpful
10.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Have you ever been playing Civ 5 and thought to yourself "this games good and everything but I really wish there were less factions, but with made-up futuristic names so I struggle to tell them apart” then this is the mod for you!

Did I say mod? I meant £30 full retail game that doesn’t fix any of the issues Civ 5 had. It still suffers from slowdown in late game despite having less factions, the NPC’s still offer utterly insane trades and still throw down whenever they feel like it but all gang up and accuse you of being a murdering despot when you strike first. The end game is still plodding and monotonous and all the AI factions act exactly the same ei: build as many cities as possible as close to you as possible and then declare war no matter what you've done to them in the past.

To be fair there are some new features, the rampaging Dune inspired worm is quite nice, until it decides to just move back and forth between two tiles next to your city so you have to spend turn after turn pecking away at it before you can even leave home.

Also I love how the other civilizations chew me out for attacking the aliens that are harassing my trade routes, random enemy spawners are people too after all! This might have made sense in Civ 5 where you could make the claim your oppressing a local tribe or whatever, but here you are clearly under siegie by mega cockroaches that have eaten all your workers and the other hippy Civ's are telling you to coexist or they'll come over there and murder you.

I just don’t understand how Firaxis can release the same game twice and not fix any of the key problems with it. Why, when I’m being asked to join a war with another faction, can I not check out who it is they are asking me to fight? I can’t remember which faction their stupid space name represents and even if I could surely I’d want to look at their territory and size it up first right?

If you've never played Civ 5, and its on sale, you might enjoy this game, after all it is Civ 5 in space and Civ 5 despite its flaws is fairly addicting. If your looking at Beyond Earth because you want a new experience or because you want some of the problems of Civ 5 fixed then save your money.
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141 of 207 people (68%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Definitely not worth the asked price right now. Maybe it will be better with addons but right now the game is rather shallow, bland and imbalanced.

- The game factions are bland, they lack any personality at all and all feel the same. This is subjective though, but I don't like the game lore a single bit. I don't understand why they had to go with "Earth nations" inspired factions.
- The trade route spam is required for victories but is very tedious. The trade UI compared to Civ5 is lacking: your previous route does not get highlighted properly, you cannot sort the trade routes by yield or science or other stats. Your cities have 2 basic trade routes, with Autoplant quest you can get 3 so it a colony with 5-6 outposts you'll be managing 15-18 trade routes and all the time you'll have to scout the unfriendly interface to find the best one. It's very tedious but if you don't do it - you feel punished.
- Affinities do not shape your civilization TOO differently, they just unlock new units and give them some bonuses. That's pretty much it.
- Diplomacy is pretty much non-existent, the AI is too passive
- Aliens are glorified barbarians, they can be dangerous early on when expanding but the building Ultrasonic Fence does not allow them to enter your territory so once you have that done in your city they are even weaker barbarians. Your explorers can get immunity from aliens by going 1 tier into Purity and you can easily snipe their nests with explorers.
- There are no religions in the game, no ideologies, no world congress, no golden age periods, no Natural Wonders. Alpha Centauri had them but Civ: BE does not. You do not feel that you're truly shaping a new society on a new planet.
- Quests are same pretty much every game. Game designers also call "Constuct buildings, wait a few turn, pick 1 bonus out of 2 for these buildings" a quest. It's a missed opportunity.
- The wonders in the game are kinda uninteresting. Some of them feel really disappointing like a late game tech wonder that gives you 5 science. And that's it. In Civ5 some wonders were amplifying or enabling certain strategies in certain situations, same was for Alpha Centauri where some wonders were really powerful. In Beyond Earth some wonders are strong, some are weak but in general I feel they are not balanced enough and lack meaningful though.
- There is no victory screen. There is no Hall of Fame.
- Victory conditions for different affinities do not feel distinctive enough.

Some of the things developers did right though IMO:
+ The music is great
+ Tech web is a great idea but requires a bit of polish and balancing. Right now it's too easy to slingshot to strong techs with some sponsors but in general it's nice
+ Espionage system I feel is better than in Civ 5, it's not as tedious and allows for some really fun stuff other than tech stealing or election rigging.
+ Social policies (Virtues) can be developed both deep and wide which allows for some interesting gameplay.
+ Lots of different improvements, Orbital layer for sattelites to give temporary buffs over tiles
+ The game has a good feel of actually exploring the planet.

I don't agree with the vision developer had for the game. They tried to develop a spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri but they missed the most important aspect of Alpha Centauri: it's a rich sci-fi story told through turn-based strategy. Here they have a turn-based strategy with story being a mere afterthought. Hopefully addons and patches will change that in future. All in all I wouldn't recommend this game right now. It feels rushed and unfinished. It should get more patches, more polish and more DLC. I'd recommend to buy it if you see it with a nice discount and wait for DLC's. Civ 5 eventually got good, maybe this game will too.
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153 of 227 people (67%) found this review helpful
21.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
I never thought I'd say this about a Sid Meier game... but I want my money back.

Not that Beyond Earth is terrible. It's that it's BORING.

A big part of that is the utter failure to introduce or substantially differentiate any of the factions beyond their in-game stat packages. It's like if you were a baseball-card collector, and Topps decided to put out a series where every player stares lifelessly into the camera for a mug shot. But hey, since all the effort went into doubling the amount of stats you get on the back of the card, that's what you really WANT, right?

Beyond Earth adds some extra complexity, sure. You'll quickly find that the Tech Web is something of a headache to navigate, for one thing. The flavor text becomes meaningless as you irritatedly ignore it in favor of scanning through stats, stats and more stats to try and figure out the best path for your strategy. Which you won't likely be able to formulate on your first play-through, as there are umpteen different routes to take and few of them are particularly intuitive.

So on my fourth play-through, when I finally felt like I had enough of an idea of what I was doing to complete a full game, I'm cooking along and all seems to be well and I've won the two wars someone else picked with me and I'm managing cities and SORRY YOU LOSE.

Wait, what? Yep, there's a screen pop-up saying someone else won. Doesn't say who, or how. The game is just over. I am, of course, invited to play "one... more... turn", but what's the point? No fanfare, no cutscene, not even the zoom-out to show my ruined civilization that Civ 5 has?

Nope. Not a sausage.

All in all, the game mechanics are --- not bad. I'm used to playing much more complex stuff, like Hearts of Iron. You can fumble your way into figuring pretty much everything out. But make no mistake, it IS fumbling about and the Civilopedia isn't much help. Worse, the atmosphere of the game is BLAND, with even the aliens coming in a limited variety of flavors but nonetheless seeming to have more characterization and motive than the human factions.

Since I CAN'T get a refund on Steam (that I know of), I can only hope the modding community saves this game with a healthy dose of creativity.
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134 of 198 people (68%) found this review helpful
25.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Beyond Earth (BE) doesn't feel like a Civ game. Sure it has many similar features & mechanics, and you'll know most of the basics from the first turn, but numerous other changes just don't sit well with me, feeling unbalanced & unintuitive.

For many Civ fans, winning their space victory and seeing their rocket set off for the stars always left you wanting to continue the journey, one day. There was Alpha Centuri off course, but BE is not AC. BE is set about 500 years into the future, a dying Earth, the remaining civilizations (conglomerates of existing nations) reach out to the stars in hope of survival.

One of the first issues you will encounter is the new tech-web. Not necessarily a bad concept, when there is some logic behind the progression. In Civ, this is natural, as a player you understand the significance of your technological advances (its intuitive, part of our collective human history). In BE where there is no basis, no lore, no previous history created to help the player understand where you are starting from at turn one. Most of the sayings, names, wonders or civilizations for that matter hold little meaning or interest.

Technologies for the most do not seem to have any logical steps once you step out the inner circle (few that are familiar like Computing, Chemistry etc.) of the tech-web. It's symmetrical, not organic and although you appear to have so many more paths to potentially explore, in practice I found I just wanted to get the affinity ones primarily as fast as possible to get various bonuses/buildings but most importantly military upgrades. Tech-web is bland & overall is very hard to follow. You will revert to always using filters to make any sense of it all.

Military Units now upgrade rather than becoming superseded. I really like this idea, although I don't like the implementation. Your upgrades are seemingly tied to your affinities, along with requiring certain techs to build some units. These steps up in strength can make a huge difference and when all your units instantly upgrade. You can have a war turn instantly on you! It’s a flaw (or perhaps a limitation); these steps should be more gradual. In Civ, this happens as you cycle through and upgrade new units into your military over many various iterations. In BE, there might be 4-5 main iterations over a game per unit type. This can represent significant stats improvement to receive automatically which seems to widen later in the game. Unit upgrades should be far greater in frequency considering the limited number of unit types and should involve other techs, not affinity related too (maybe more minor improvements but still help players keep pace if exploring other parts of the tech-web). Going a smaller arsenal also should have a high level of customisation than simply choosing the affinity. Affinity is also tied to your victory conditions adding further to its importance.

I did like the aesthetics & more intense colours used in the alien landscapes and thought the musical score was excellent (so was the intro video!). UI was good in places (liked the colours again), but confusing in others. It seems BE is almost a stats free Civ & other management features seems very cut back to almost non-existent. This simply adds to the confusion when you cannot assess how you are tracking. All feels a bit dumbed down really, even further than Civ V. Feeling less strategy, more plain luck at times. Please bring back the stats!

BE is also cut back in other respects, such as no more intros for leaders, no more wonder videos or cool narrators. Diplomacy, is none improved from Civ V and the generic leaders have no personality. Doesn’t really matter much of the time anyways as games mainly turn to war (seems after 500 years nothing’s changed :lol:). One little hex of Miasma clearing can turn your friendly neighbour to the brink of war. AI flip-flop consistently and there is little you can do to avoid it, making it a better approach just to avoid them all together where you can or go strong and wipe them out.

Aliens on the planet are an improvement over barbarians, but still not terribly intelligent (or aggressive). Worms are cool!

Although the health (happiness from Civ) is less penalising if you go in the negative, I have found it harder to keep in the green. Depending on your tech choices you can find yourself very limited in improvements to counter expansion. I would have liked to see both health and happiness included as different measures, and more flexibility to manage your cities. There are more improvement options for your workers which is nice, but being the future, I would have liked to see options to better evolve your landscape.

Satellites (Orbital Layer) are another addition to BE. This could have been a really awesome feature improvement. In practice, I found myself using it very little, as often you had limited choices in launches, and they don't seem to stay in orbit very long for the turns used to build. I would have loved to seen this fleshed out further, options for upgrading satellites to make permanent or increase coverage. Using Miasma killing satellite can send you to insta-war too, so I found myself avoiding using it.

Another annoying feature in the late game is having to keep setting your trade routes every few turns. You have so many to manage too it becomes incredibly frustrating!

BE has bravely tried to be something unique, introducing some new mechanics to the well-established Civ world. Some of it is interesting enough to experience a few times, but overall this world feels generic, unbalanced & frankly uninteresting. Too much of what makes Civ addictive is lost in BE and I come away feeling a bit dirty about it all, especially knowing the premium price charged (should add overcharged for us Australians at approx. ~$80USD) for what is at most an expansion in terms of real content.

For me, this is the biggest disappointment of the year, but Firaxis are known for good after release support, so I am desperately hoping some balance patches and more content might make this more enjoyable. As a big Civ fan I will keep my eye on future progress, but at this stage, in its current state, I don't see it holding my interest for many more turns.
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133 of 202 people (66%) found this review helpful
70.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
I can't recommend Beyond Earth at this time. It feels like a decently designed mod but not a full game release at full cost game, there is just not enough there...

And whats worse ? Its boring, 200 turns in and only 2 or so wonders have been built in the game thus far... No Alien issues whatsoever, more turtle AI from CIV V.

Perhaps after they milk the IP after 2 more expansions... stay away for now.
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