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 (5,218 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 (5)

November 3

How to get your free Beyond Earth soundtrack

While the soundtrack for Civilization: Beyond Earth has been located inside of the game files since launch, many players found the structure of these files, as well as the file format, to be confusing. Following this feedback, we came up with a way to deliver the soundtrack files in friendly .mp3 format, all through the Steam client. So here's how to access the soundtrack files:

1. Open Steam, go your library and right-click on Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, then select "Properties"

2. Now select the "Betas" tab in the new window

3. Type in the password "soundtrackplease" (without quotes) into the access code field and click "Check Code"

4. Select the "soundtrack" beta from the pull-down

5. Open up your Beyond Earth directory (default location is [disk drive]:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth\) and feel free to copy the .mp3 files to anywhere else on your drive

And that's it! You'll find all 42 tracks from the Beyond Earth OST inside of that Soundtracks folder. All files have been properly labeled and are in .mp3 format, so now you can savor the sounds of Beyond Earth whenever and wherever you like. Enjoy!

43 comments Read more

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).

[ENGINE]
- 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.
[UI]
- 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]
- Achievements not firing if Max Turns was set in previous games. Also investigating some other possible causes.
[MODDING]
- Fixing 2D leader fall-back image support for all graphics quality settings
[MULTIPLAYER]
- 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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Reviews

“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

“Stellar”
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.

Features

  • 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

    Minimum:
    • 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.
    Recommended:
    • 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
1,331 of 1,548 people (86%) found this review helpful
54.6 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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1,665 of 1,980 people (84%) 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.

Hopefully.
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333 of 384 people (87%) found this review helpful
190.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
This bun left the oven far too early. Not worth $50 and if they charge $30 for the first "expansion", they'll have a very irritated customer (who will probably buy it anyway, argh).

Good:
- Feels like Civ5 (it is)
- Tech Tree is less linear
- Affinities are interesting and change gameplay styles (or fit your favorite style)
- Lots of building options... (though this becomes a scrolling nightmare later in the game)
- The Virtue "table" is interesting and helps you tailor your civ
- Wonder are less epic, but more numerous
- Much more difficult early in the game to capture capital cities (militarily you're quite weak early on)

Bad:
- Feels like a Civ5 mod (and not a super deep one either)
- UI and gameplay mechanics have gone backwards badly (some simple things in Civ5 are missing here)
- UI that is standard in many other 4x titles is not here (click on cities in a city list and going to the city, etc.)
- Massive micromanagement issues (trade units regularly require mindless retasking just to do the same action)
- Diplomacy is useless (they've had years to come up with a better system and it still stinks)
- Aliens are an afterthought after a few levels in Affinity (as your units get tougher)
- Factions are weak (essentially just a way to give different bonuses) with little personality
- Terrain coloring/graphics leave many things an indistinguishable mash (is that basalt? a crashed satellite? titanium?)
- Quests are easily achieved and after a few playthroughs are ignored (you'll likely complete them by accident)
- Spying system is very one-dimensional, gets very repetitive/annoying after a while ("fine, siphon energy again. ugh.)
- Endgame is an afterthought. "You win." No score, no ratings board, no comparisons, etc.

If you're a Civ5 fan, wait until they have an expansion or two under their belt and this goes on sale. Right now you're buying a slap-dash game that misses most of the beauty and fun of Civ5 and doesn't add enough of the new...
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1,173 of 1,522 people (77%) found this review helpful
19.8 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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272 of 330 people (82%) found this review helpful
73.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
It's the Civ we all know and enjoy but bland and lacking innovation or vision.

On the positive side of the equation the game is stable, the Aliens spice it up a bit, the tech web allows a lot of options in research order, quests are included as part of the victory paths and the affinity system is cool.

But there is so much that could be better. Trade routes require excessive micromanagement, the quests are one dimensional, there is no surprise or story around the Aliens (e.g. more powerful units), the Aliens do not become aggressive quickly enough, the factions and leaders are bland and alike strategically, the victory screens are appallingly lame, the differences in the various worlds are very minor (opportunity lost to add massive replay value by having unique features on each map), the Diplomatic AI is inept, there is no story beyond the intro movie, and there are no Colony Governors (so it can become quite micro intensive on large maps).

I'll play it plenty regardless because I enjoy 4X so much. But for those that have limited gaming budgets, the game represents appalling value for money.

This game really is just a reskin of Civ V and feature wise we've gone backwards from a Brave New World. We'll need at least one expansion just to get to Brave New World level. There really is no excuse for this given it's the same engine.

Secondly on Steam the game cost is US$90 in my region (Australia) with the price set by the publisher. Yes you can go elsewhere (e.g. OzGameShop) and pay about US$50, which is what any avid gamer would do, but more than a few casual gamers will spend US$90.

You put those factors together and it's clear that management at Firaxis are focusing on milking the cow. I would rather they had a vision for the future of 4X games and led the pack. Ironically, a focus on leading the pack is likely the better long-term business strategy anyway.

As Devildog said in the eXplorminate review:

"despite many cries of frustration from fans and well documented examples, leads me to believe that they’re both incapable and unaware of how much we hate these things."

http://www.explorminate.com/civilization-beyond-earth-review/

Unless you are a huge fan of 4X games and Civ, I do not recommend this game. Either wait for Expansions to improve the game and buy it during a sale or purchase Endless Legend instead which is a vastly superior game.
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501 of 642 people (78%) 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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169 of 200 people (85%) found this review helpful
53.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
(Too long to read? This review is also available in video format below for your convenience.)

It's been fifteen long years since Sid Meier has given us the opportunity to conquer the cosmos with Alpha Centauri.

Set 600 years into the future where the earth is on the brink of destruction. The nations of the world send some of their best and brightest into space as a last ditch effort to colonize another planet. With an uncharacteristically utopian view on things, many nations have combined and cooperate with one another. For instance, Australia and Polynesia merge to become Polystralia, America, Canada, and Mexico become the American Reclamation Corporation and the entire continent of Africa becomes the African Union to name a few examples. These alliances take to the stars to begin anew on the wild frontier of alien planets.

Utilizing the core of Civ V, Beyond Earth is a turn-based strategy featuring hexagonal tiles on a grid without unit stacking. The terrain offers benefits in the same way its predecessor does. Mountains are impassible, hills provide extra defense, and rivers are difficult to cross. You start the game by picking a plot of land to build your first city, while each of the tiles offer different bonuses, such as food, production and energy.

After founding your first city, you’re able to explore the alien landscape, searching for resource pods and artifacts for your explorers to excavate. It's here that one of the games’ first alterations comes to light: quests. Players will be given quests to complete and choices to make that help dictate the evolution of your civilization as well as providing additional buffs and bonuses.

Diplomacy is alive and well among these new colonies allowing you to trade with other civilizations, and you have access to all the diplomacy options seen in Civilization V, as well as the inclusion of favors which can be cashed in on later trades.

The Alien life-forms are the game’s equivalent to barbarians albeit a lot stronger. They are however not as aggressive and will generally leave your units alone unless they happen to path towards a tile you’re occupying. This changes throughout the game though based on the Affinities you choose. Also if you go out of your way to attack an Alien or approach a nest, they will become hostile for a few turns. Certain bonuses and abilities make it worthwhile to actively exterminate these pests but later in the game that can become a diplomatic blunder with civilizations that are more sympathetic to alien life.

The Affinities are by far the most unique feature to Beyond Earth. They allow you to specialize your Civilization with a specific ideology. Players who follow the Harmony path will have players synthesizing with their new planet and the alien life that inhabits it. Supremacy takes a page from the cyberpunk playbook with a focus on augmentation and improvement through technology. Finally there is the path of Purity, which focuses on retaining humanity and destroying anything that threatens that. Not only do these Affinities grant you special units and buildings, but they also change the way that other civilizations react with you. Think of it as being on-par with Religion or Political Doctrines from other Civilization games.

The technology tree is also non-linear in this, allowing for you to choose any number of paths which allows for a lot of variety between different civilizations. It did seem like there were a few very specialized paths that were far superior to the others though, as you generally want to amass whatever Affinity you’re going with quickly, as it will immediately upgrade your troops without the need to do things manually like the past Civ games.

This is where the differences in Beyond Earth end though, as everything else is simply re-skinned from Civilization V. Happiness has been replaced with Health, Gold has been replaced with Energy, while food and production remain the same. There are also a lot of things that don’t really make sense, such as having the technology to colonize another planet without having anyway to unveil the map. You’ll uncover the mystery planet much the same way as your primitive warriors will back in 4000BC like past Civ games. The tech-tree also has some inconsistencies such as having to research Physics, Chemistry and Computers despite the game taking place in the year 2600.

All of the units function the same way as well, with the majority of units being melee along with a few ranged, naval, and air units. The fact that naval technology is used at all is a bit strange with hovercrafts only being unlocked late-game. One would think the majority of units would be flying in a time like this while the few air units in the game function exactly the same way as jets from previous Civilization games.

The world in general feels exactly like past civ games, with no option to move on to other planets and what’s worse is that the game seems to have lost any charm or personality that was apparent in other Civ games. Leaders like Genghis Khan, Gandhi, and Montezuma are all replaced with overly polite, boring politicians. None of the civilizations displays any semblance of personality or is anyway memorable. Having a few alien civilizations would have been a great way to add some personality to the proceedings.

Espionage has also been completely buffed and is now nearly game breaking, as spies are now able to stage coup-d’états and take over other civilization’s capitals without any resistance. Should you take a capital, the AI civilizations barely seem to react and will still not declare war on you.

If you were expecting this installment to not have bugs, you would be sadly mistaken as the multiplayer is still barely playable. You’ll constantly be faced with disconnects and crashes where you’ll have to re-host the game. You could of course continue the game and have your friends rejoin you, but that will be at the cost of the AI temporarily taking over their civilization and rerouting all production, scientific research and virtues. Even when playing single player, I faced the odd random crash to my desktop which had me frequently reloading auto-saves.

The game also feels a lot more tedious when compared to past Civilization games as you'll have to babysit trade convoys and orbital units every few turns.

Ultimately, Civilization: Beyond Earth feels like a mod or scenario for Civilization V. It doesn’t stray away or do anything innovative enough to warrant being a standalone title. While the non-linear tech tree, quests and affinity system are welcomed, they allow for some unbalanced combinations. Beyond Earth is also missing many features from past Civ games such as Corporations, Religion, and Great People. Having more meaningful interactions with aliens would have been welcomed as well but the game feels like it was inspired by Sid Meier watching the movie Starship Troopers.

Beyond Earth isn’t a bad game; it just fails to meet the standard set by past Civilization titles and can feel a lot more tedious in the process. We suspect that like its predecessor, Beyond Earth will improve immensely with the addition of expansions but as of now, any cravings you have for space exploration might be better satiated by taking a trip to the theater to see Interstellar.

This review is also available in video format:

http://youtu.be/ZDLDyqckq7o

Pros:
+ Affinity system welcomed
+ Has that one more turn syndrome
+ Great Soundtrack

+/- Could improve with DLC

Cons:
- Multiplayer is buggy and almost unplayable
- Lacks originality, feels like re-skinned Civ V
- Doesn't have much personality or charm


If you enjoyed this review, feel free to follow me as a Steam Curator:
http://store.steampowered.com/curator/4886473/
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234 of 290 people (81%) found this review helpful
32.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
The Short End

Don't waste your time or money on the game in it's current state, particularly if you're someone who enjoys the civ multiplayer experience. Either wait for the inevitable expansion packs or don't bother with it at all.

The Long Haul

I'm going to preface this with a disclaimer - I play civ for it's multiplayer, and the perspective I'm writing this review from is a multiplayer one. As such I'm leaving out a lot of core single player complaints (such as it's poor ai) in order to touch more on the multiplayer aspects of the game.

The Good

  • The sci-fi atmosphere is rich and enjoyable
  • The evolution of your unit and city aesthetics as you gain affinity points is interesting and adds some much-needed visual flair to the game
  • The concept of being able to choose from a variety of bonuses for your civ as opposed to each one having a specific set of them is nice and (sort of) opens up multiple approaches to your starting strategy

The Bad

  • The game looks, feels, and functions more like a total conversion mod or an expansion pack than a full release game
  • The factions lack a sense of identity, and would all sort of blend together were it not for the fact that some are very, very poorly balanced in relation to the others
  • Also, there are only 8 of them.
  • The nonviolent victory conditions lack variety (two of them are almost exactly identical, one just being easier than the other) and are far too simple to accomplish to really present much of a challenge
  • Trade routes are extremely powerful, so powerful in fact that they more or less completely mitigate unhealthiness debuffs
  • The health system is far too lenient, and strongly incentivizes infinite city sprawl strategies. It simply does not penalize you enough to make you care about being unhealthy
  • TIle improvements take an incredibly long time to build, making things like the terrascape and biowell, improvements that would ordinarily be amazing, ultimately a waste of time in most scenarios since they can take almost a tenth of a game to complete
  • Even something as simple as cutting down a forest takes 8 turns on quick speed, which is completely absurd
  • Almost every wonder in the game is pointless to build - they simply don't produce meaningful enough effects to be worth it, particularly in the case of some of the late game wonders
  • While the aliens at first seem to be a threat, they ultimately don't amount to much more than a slight annoyance and take enormous amounts of punishment before they ever get upset with you enough to outright attack your settlements
  • There is virtually no unit variety whatsoever, outside of affinity upgrades
  • Ruins are enormously strong and being lucky enough to find the right ones can net you free virtues, free affinity levels, and even skip over part of a victory condition

The Ugly

  • The UI is god awful and, in many cases (such as the city screen), is totally unusable if you aren't zoomed in nearly all the way due to just how enormous and clunky the buttons and graphics are
  • Without turning on yields it is extremely difficult to tell certain biomes apart from each other (particularly on the fungal map type)
  • Just in general the overall visual and colour schemes the game went with are very dark and muddy, it's hard to distinguish many different resources and tiles from each other and, if you're visually impaired or have any form of colourblindness, you really have no option but to keep tile yields on at all times
  • Multiplayer is riddled with bugs and dysynch issues, most notable of which being that half the time when you resynch or have to reload a turn, some players will lose techs or buildings and be totally unable to reacquire them (the most common example being a player losing the computing tech and then being unable to build a spy agency for the rest of the game, even losing the one they built if they already had one)
  • Players are completely unable to spy on capitals that have landed before them, and in some cases even if captured the player is still unable to place a spy in their newly-acquired city
  • Settling on any resource tile will remove the resource that spawned there. As a general concept this is less than great but in practice what this means is that if you decide to land your capital on any tile other than the center one being suggested to you, there is a very high chance that you will settle on top of a vital titanium or oil node, costing you greatly in the early game
  • Affinity units are absurd. If you rush down your affinity techs and get your first units out before your opponent does you will win, absolutely no question. You can just slam them into cities at very little cost and virtually anything short of a city shot won't even scratch the paint
  • Covert ops are broken, particularly in the case of the ARC faction since they recieve a bonus to spying that renders it impossible to stop them from building intrigue in your cities early on even if you have a counterspy present. Intrigue can be built up extremely fast, far faster than you'll probably be capable of defending against if you didn't rush down your spy agency. Operations at the highest level of intrigue have a much higher chance of success than they should, meaning that even if you have a mid level spy trying to initiate a coup d'etat in an enemy capital that has a counterspy present, you will still probably steal the city
  • The questing system as it stands is extremely random and leaves games more up to chance than skill. Being lucky enough to get your extra trade route from your autoplant quest the next turn instead of 30 turns later, or getting 2 easy affinity quests in a row while other players get the much longer ones (or in some cases, broken ones that are uncompletable since the city it spawns for doesn't have the resource it requires) can and very often does decide games
  • The resources, bonuses, virtues, and quest descisions are all very poorly balanced and don't seem to have been thought through very well. Many are just objectively better than their counterparts, resulting in standard builds that no one deviates from and making diverse strategy in multiplayer games difficult to impossible
  • The purity affinity is heavily imbalanced early game, offering the best bonuses early while also having their first affinity unit only require titanium instead of their affinity resource, making battlesuit rushes a very real possibility and severely limiting interesting strategies and styles of play
  • Stations are a joke. Not only are they not useful to trade with since internal route benefits are so much better, but they also appear in the worst places possible. More often than not I've found my capital flanked in every expandable direction by stations, forcing me to invest in early military while my opponents are free to expand as they please

The Last Word

There's plenty more I could talk about here, but I only have so much space to write this. Ultimately, the game is a barebones, poorly thought out mess. The overall design philosophy behind the game seems to have been "hey wouldn't this idea be cool in a game?" instead of "how can we make this idea work in a game?", overall resulting in a sloppily balanced, short-lived, and unsatisfying spiritual successor to a much better game that any long time fan of Firaxis' work will be wholly dissappointed by.

Beyond Earth is truly a product of it's time: a game that was released in an unfinished state in order to justify the purchase of patchwork dlc that will eventually make it a whole product. I personally detest this trend in modern gaming and I hope that sometime soon we'll see a game released once again that doesn't ask us to buy it twice in order to have a complete experience.
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1,167 of 1,576 people (74%) found this review helpful
143.1 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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295 of 382 people (77%) found this review helpful
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
This is coming from someone who also has 1245 gameplay hours of Civilization V

This is Civ V Lite. If you absolutely love Sci-Fi world building, then you will have fun with this. This game fails at anything beyond that.

Balance:
-You are given the illusion of "choices" but there is generally one best path to take with very minor differences in what technology, virtues, affinities, and units you need. Taking any other route is impractical even in a friendly game.

-Tech Web is full of requirements, not options.

-Lack of tailor-made units: You get 2 promotion options for individual units no matter how high the unit gets in veterancy. One is healing damage (which increases the amount healed based on veterancy) and the other is a 10% combat boost. Any other additional abilities are applied to all units of that type based on affinity.

Replayability:
-Affinity-exclusive units are only minorly unique. All other units that change based on affinity are more for aesthetics than strategic prowess. The statistical differences are below minor and almost not even worth mentioning.

-Stations (City-States): One station will always want to spawn near you around the same point in the game. You are always guaranteed a station to work with.

-Civilizations' abilities have minor impacts. You will notice the differences in civilization abilities for the very early part of the game, but, as with other aspects of the game, these differences fall off not long after.

-No Unique Units/Buildings: It doesn't matter what nation you play as. It is more simple to just identify the different civilizations as "red team" or "blue team" and so on. Affinity-exculsive units try to pick up this slack, but fail at it due to the game's static nature.

-Absence of luxury resources further takes away from a civilization's unique role on the game board.

-Replayability is practically non-existant.


Beyond Earth is it's own machine that follows it's own set of rules. The player is just one cog in that machine. If these rules were not made and enforced, the game's balance would fall into shambles because there are very few ways to succeed and stay on the same level of the other civilizations on the board. It lacks the true freedom of choices that are provided in Civilization V. Despite the existance of Beyond Earth's "tech web," I feel as if I have more freedom of choice with Civ V's tech tree.


Beyond Earth would have been better off being added onto Civilization V as "Future Era" technologies. The aesthetic concept is appealing, but the execution is absolutely horrid and fails to apply concepts that have already been proven to work in Civilization V.
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887 of 1,244 people (71%) 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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457 of 632 people (72%) 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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629 of 883 people (71%) 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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669 of 955 people (70%) found this review helpful
54.3 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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215 of 295 people (73%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
As a classic CIV game player and after playing through Civ:BE once the impression so far can be summed up in the word "void". And not in the sense of the vast void of exciting and unexplored outer space, but more of completely devoid of content and soul.

There is nothing there to grab ones attention. It is CIV in space, so far fair and fun enough but there is nothing there to keep the interest burning. The alien planet is interesting in the beginning but quickly becomes plain. The small stories (quests) are entertaning and spark ones imagination, for a while.

It is simply CIV in space with earth resources such as marble and bananas swapped with potatoelike tubes and firaxite. Without the history of real earth, which supports CIV on Earth, the game quickly feels like a generic CIV. The current storyline and tweaks compared to CIV on Earth is not enough to keep it afloat.

If this was created by modders for free it would be really impressing. But as a full price corporate game one feels almost cheated paying for it.

If you like CIV and space buy it on discount, but only after they released anyform of DLC to fill out the glaring gaps.
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111 of 144 people (77%) found this review helpful
78.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
I am quite dissapointed, I've put hundreds of hours into its predecessors, and was looking forward to another take on Alpha Centauri with updated Civ 5 Mechanics. Here are my opinions after 78 hours.

The main thing I have against this game is it'd linearity despite its attempts to spread the tech tree and offer more varied victory conditions. Its all basically research a few things to improve research generation, then rush 2-3 techs into your main vicory based techs to start building a tedious waiting-game based wonder. This may have been balanced if the AI was made to attack when you're about to win, but it just placidly sits by and lets you win without a struggle, even as global announcements state that "X has built Y!!!", they dont react.

Trade based research generation is very unbalanced, especially in harder modes where the AI has tech boosts. All I had to do was build as many cities and trade vessels as I could and not build too close to my opponents. There is a basic building that makes your trade vessels immune to aliens, allowing you to have far too much energy ($) & research. The negative health (sort of like civ 5 happiness) effects of spamming cities is negligible compared to the benefits of more trade vessels, and once tech gets good enough, you just buy all the buildings with your hoard of money to abruptly fix all health issues.

I won on Apollo -the hardest difficulty- on my first try of it, without anyone declaring war on me.

The game does suffer from not having the bulk of human history as flavour, but that may have been remedied by adding more "sponsor" based flavouring, the logs and encyclopedia were actually very well written, but the game just does'nt present it in either an easily legible or interesting fashion.

I'll check it out after a patch because based on Firaxis' prior games, I know they can make this work, but as it currently stands, I cannot readily reccomend this game. -Nov 13 2014
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143 of 194 people (74%) found this review helpful
22.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
This game looks as a Civ5 DLC, nothing more. I do not know how it may have so many positive reviews from so-called "experts". Nothing impressive, nothing innovative, nothing new in game mechanics.

Moreover, this game is full of technical issues and errors. For example, owners of high refresh rate monitors (120hz, 144hz...) can not play full screen in full hd (1920x1080). Since the release of the game had passed two weeks, but the error is still not fixed.

I do not suggest to buy this game, just play Civ5 better.
Also I suggest not to buy anything from Firaxis for at least two-three weeks after release. Better wait until they will fix tons of bugs. Also read "real" user reviews, not those from "experts" before deciding whether to buy the game or not.
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96 of 123 people (78%) found this review helpful
25.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
One word to describe Civ: Beyond Earth?

Yawn... boring.

Having played and loved every Civ game since the first, I must say this game was a big dissapointment. It is basically a mod of the last Civ release with little added and a lot taken away. There is really no challenge in the game, no... point. You don't ever really have any sense of purpose to the missions and goals other than the fact that it is what you are supposed to do. The game basically becomes a single line path to reach a research goal ahead of everyone else and win. There is no creativity or flexibility in it and ultimately no real purpose. The final end screen sort of sums up the whole game - when a side wins, it just dumps you out of the game. No summary, no evaluation of your performance, and if it is not you who won, no information on who did win. The conclusion is as dull as the game. It seems that even the AI itself is bored and just couldn't be bothered. A bit like playing poker with Marvin the android...

Skip it, go play Civ Revolution - even that was more exciting...
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403 of 602 people (67%) 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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311 of 460 people (68%) found this review helpful
17.4 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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