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 (10,563 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 (12)

March 30

Winter 2015 Update hotfix now available

The release of the Winter 2015 Update brought a number of changes to Wonders and their effects. This hotfix is intended to correct some bugs which players have experienced.
- Quantum Computer and Promethean now function correctly.
- Ectogenesis Pods now give the correct Food per population.
- New Terran Myth now correctly applies culture to trade routes between different factions.

This is available for the PC version now, with the Mac version to follow in a few days.

33 comments Read more

March 11

Winter 2015 Update is now live

The Winter 2015 Update for Civilization: Beyond Earth is now live! Your game should automatically update itself through Steam - if you are encountering issues, try restarting your Steam client. You'll know you have the new version if you see version number 1.0.2.658 below the main menu.

Full list of changes in this update can be read here: http://www.civilization.com/en/news/2015-02-information-on-the-civilization-beyond-earth-winter-2015-update/

28 comments Read more

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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    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)
    Minimum:
    • OS: 10.9.5 (Mavericks), 10.10 (Yosemite)
    • Processor: Intel Core i3 (2.2 ghz)
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon 4850 / nVidia 640M /Intel HD 4000
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: NOTICE: It is possible for Mac and PC to become out of sync during updates or patches. Within this short time period, Mac users will only be able to play other Mac users. NOTICE: The following video chipsets are unsupported for Civilization: Beyond Earth (Mac) • ATI Radeon X1000 series, HD 2400, 2600, 3870, 4670, 6490, 6630 • NVIDIA GeForce 7000 series, 8600, 8800, 9400, 9600, 320, 330, GT 120 • Intel GMA series, HD 3000
    Minimum:
    • OS: SteamOS, Ubuntu 14.04
    • Processor: Intel Core i3, AMD A10
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 260
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: Don't meet the above requirements? That doesn't mean your configuration wont run Civilization: Beyond Earth. Visit the Beyond Earth community page to share your experience with other Linux players and learn about how to send bugs to Aspyr. Your feedback will help us improve Civilization: Beyond Earth Linux and future AAA Linux releases!
Helpful customer reviews
4,176 of 4,550 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
70.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 28, 2014
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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1,435 of 1,615 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
228.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
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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833 of 957 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
A technically polished, but otherwise soulless, modification to the Civilization V engine. While it tries to take its cues from 1999's fantastic Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (SMAC), it lacks all personality and spark that made SMAC special.

It's not a bad game, it just never gets out of second gear. Dissapointing given Firaxis's history. Maybe expansions will help the game (as they did with Civ V), but I can't give Beyond Earth a recommendation as-is and at full AAA price.

The good stuff:
- Novel try at a "three dimensional" tech tree.
- An orbital map layer where you can deploy satellites.
- Crisp graphics and inventive alien design.
- A clever new social policy "talent tree" that awards going wide as well as deep.

Underwhelming stuff:
- Very limited unit selection and customization.
- Bland AI whose only difficulty comes from production and gameplay bonuses.
- Diplomatic screens ripped right from Civ V. They didn't even bother to rewrite the flavor text.
- The affinity system. It tries to organicly grow your culture in the form of a pure human, cybernetic singularity, or human/alien hybrid civilization. Unfortunately, you have to commit very early to one of these affinities, so it ends up being a forced and uninteresting choice.
- Uninspiring technology quotes. You'll miss SMAC's philosophy and witty commentary.
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910 of 1,104 people (82%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
If you haven't played Civilization 5, I recommend you doing so first, since it's a much more complete game with it's DLCs and the price tag is way below this one.

The past Civilization games are pretty much just upgrades of each other, but with Civilization: Beyond Earth, the developers have thought different. This time the "story" takes place after you launch the rocket in Civilization 5 to search for a new place for humanity to continue it's living. The game includes new creatures and a new life beyond earth.

I really like the new thinking and the idea of this game, it's a step in the right direction. However, this game could have been alot better, it's not on the same level as the rest of the Civilization franchise, yet. I don't feel like paying another $40, 3 times, for DLCs, I want the game to be good on release due to the price tag of $60.

To be honest, I do not recommend this game to anyone, atleast not in the current state and it's price tag, but some free DLCs makes no harm huh? I still belive in this game, and I'm looking forward to play this game when it's in a more finished state.

Pros
- Creative and new environment
- Well done
- Decent graphics

Cons
- Expensive
- Some functions could have been improved
- Expensive DLCs in the future (like usual, getting really tired of this)
- Bad multiplayer

Overall this game is just overhyped due to the fact that Civilization 5 was such a great game.
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714 of 863 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
32.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
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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517 of 623 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
46.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2014
I really tried to like this game but I have to give it a thumbs down.

Short review:

- the game lacks personality.
- the leaders are bland.
- diplomacy is worse than Civ V
- colour palatte/graphics make it hard ot distinguish tiles
- buildings are boring and non-descript
- wonders are underpowered and unimaginative
- there are better games out there (Endless space, endless legend, Gal CIV III (when it comes out).

Don't buy it.

Long review:

Problems:

(1) Leaders: It's certainly been said before, the leaders are boring. They have no personality. They're animations are basically the same as well.

(2) Diplomacy: Civ V's diplomacy was a huge stepdown from Civ IV but what made it passable was the excellent leader animations which made the model tolerable. With BE, you have the exact same diplomacy from V but with bland leaders.
They had a real opportunity to make this game stand out but they decided to add in feature after feature rather than refining what was there. One common complaint regarding Civ V was the diplomacy but it seems the Devs here could really care less. Too bad. Great diplomacy could have rescued this game

(3) Graphics: Certainly the graphics are different than what you see in V but they are ultimately forgetable and very frustrating. The biggest complaint I have is it's impossible to tell what some tiles are without hovering the mouse over them. On some planets you'll have purple tundra which looks very simlar to purple grassland which looks similar to plains. ARRGH.

(4) Too many buildings: I think what ended up happening is when they were making the game the Devs realized you run out of things to do quickly since the game isn't very deep. Hence, they added more buildings to give you something to do with your cities rather than just allocating them to wealth, research, production. The end result is you get building 1 which give 1 health, and building 2 which gives 2 health and 1 science, and building 3 which gives 2 health and 2 science. None of them are interesting or something you'd b-line a tech to get because it will help you. They are all forgetable.

(5) Wonders are horrible: Wonders in every Civ game were something that ultimately could give you a good boost. In BE they are basically slightly more powerful verisons of the normal buildings you'd already build but they cost 5-10 times as much. I don't even remember the names of any of them. Again, they're forgetable.

(6) Victory conditions are too similar: Three of the 5 conditions are pretty much the same: Build special building, then in 30 turns you win the game if you remember to click the buildling every turn (yes, this is a simplification but that's pretty much it). Again, forgetable.

Really the entire game is: forgetable. There are other games I'd try before spending any money on BE. Endless space, despite it's shortcomings really had more charm and gameplay. Endless legend is way better.

If you doubt my review, check out the latest game play stats. Despite getting a huge patch a day ago the number of players hasn't jumped beyond 6200. Civ V, 4 years since release, is still at 35000.

Firaxis dropped a rare bomb here. I truely hope that the Devs who worked on this don't play any significant role in Civ VI.
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524 of 635 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2014
If BEyond Earth were a mod for Civ5, I would be singing its praises for the ingenuity of the changes made to its underlying engine, the amount of work that went into revamping the graphics, and the willingness to venture beyond Civ's historical framework out into the unknowns of science fiction.

But I have to consider that Beyond Earth is in fact not a fan-made modification of Civ5, but a release by Firaxis themselves, and billed as a complete standalone game valued at a release price no less than that of its "parent". In this light, the game feels lackluster and incomplete. It has none of the boldness that characterized the changes made in the step from Civ4 to Civ5, and most changes are superficial in nature. Worse yet, despite being so evidently a spin-off of a larger, more developed game (because let's not forget that Civ5 has two expansions under its belt by now, which hugely improved its scope and depth), Beyond Earth adds too little of its own to the Civ formula besides aforementioned superficial changes. Affinities are merely a replacement for Civ5's late-game Ideologies; the tech-web is structurally different and at first glance the most intriguing change, but navigating it devolves into a race for affinity points. The unit customization feels tacked on, barely even replacing Civ5's more complex promotion system.

For something that can count Alpha Centauri among its forebears, which remains the benchmark for the 4X genre in science fiction, Beyond Earth simply falls short of achieving orbit.
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493 of 613 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
73.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 1, 2014
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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449 of 582 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
53.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
(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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332 of 424 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
36.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
Doesn't come together

I cannot recommend this game. I've put in only 33hrs and already find myself not starting it up anymore, as opposed to the 600+ hrs on Civ V. (+DLC)

I was so excited about the new systems and the rpg/story elements, the new opportunities the space exploration setting would allow for that i bought CivBE as a pre-order, a first and certainly a last for me.

The problem, as stated in other reviews, is that there's no soul to this game. I'm contantly asking myself 'why should i care?' and the mid-to-end game even has me clicking next turn without making any moves, something that would never happen in the previous Civ games.

I wonder if 2K/Firaxis realise the shortcomings of this game have nothing to do with polish (it looks good!), ui (still quite allright), the concept (it's Civ!) or the mechanics but rather with it just being uninteresting. I do not feel as if i'm a representative of (a faction of) planet earth fighting for a new place among the stars to continue human civilization.
The ingredients are there but it just doesn't come together. And no tweak-patch is going to fix that i'm afraid.

Guess we'll have to wait for the expansion packs before it is a game worth your time.
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713 of 965 people (74%) found this review helpful
727 people found this review funny
29.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 18, 2014
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9gC1GiSDDA ...YUP that about sums it up! Next to Civ V It's a flop and I got pre order.. Kinda painful since I was so excited for this game, It is however in no way shape or form worth the price tag on it.
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424 of 563 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
14.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
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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300 of 403 people (74%) found this review helpful
11.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 17, 2014
A grand waste of my money, time, and thought.

Thusfar, I have played 11 online hours and a total of 32 offline hours (recorded with a secondary software since I have no wifi at work) and I can say that I greatly regret this purchase. $49.99 for a game that is, at best, a reskinned Civ 5 with less playable Civs, a confusing tech tree, and very little explanation of what is needed and why the player should care.

As of now, the only redeeming factor for this game is the mod community which adds several new Civs, better wonders, and reasons to CARE about what you do. With this being said, it is a very, VERY sad day in which I say that a game is only decent (at best) simply because of the modding community. Without them, this game wouldn't be good enough to use for toliet paper.

Until 2K starts putting effort into their products, I will continue to share with others how utterly terrible this game is. If you want to waste your money and don't have anything better to do, then you should buy this game. If you enjoy half-baked ideas with very little effort put into them, then you should buy this game. If you like severe limitations and no reason to care about the "important" choices you made throughout the game, then this game is for you. If you enjoy not being able to differentiate terrain types, unit types, or map types, then this game is for you. If you enjoy relying on user-made additions for the game to even be decent enough to tolerate in short durations, then this game is for you.

If you have a lick of common sense, do NOT buy this game until the untold amounts of paid bloatware make this game somewhat entertaining.
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240 of 319 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Like many fans, I was really hyped for this game, having played the crap out of Civ 5. Unfortunately, it feels like an inferior Civ 5. Cities, units, combat, and geography are mostly the same. That's fine, but what's not similar to Civ 5 is typically worse.

IMO, the tech web is a mess. I understand that it's now non-linear, and you can't research everything, but it's so clunky and disorganized that I often feel like I'm just researching random things that I don't even need. I see something I want but it's 5 techs away, with 100+ turns of research required, so instead I research some smaller thing that doesn't help me at all.

Aliens replaced barbarians, but again it feels clunky. Befriending them seems great, but more than anything they simply get in your way. They keep spawning infinitely, and so if you don't kill them off they overrun your space, especially on a small space like an island. If you do kill them, then AI players hate you, just for defending your space. Civ is a game about expanding and placing cities, is it not? Barbarians worked in 5 because they were annoying but rewarding too, whereas aliens are annoying, take up space, and get you denounced by AI players.

The interface is crap as well IMO. It's designed in a "futuristic" style, but it just comes off as busy and user-unfriendly. Hell, for the first two games I couldn't even find the Trade Overview screen because they did such a good job of hiding things instead of having everything displayed at once (but still cleanly) like in Civ 5. Some things are too big or too small, and like I said, things aren't clear, they're hidden for some reason.

Altogether, it just feels like a less interesting Civ 5 in space. For me, I can sink hours at a time into a Civ 5 game because the tech race is so fun, competing for wonders and grabbing that good area before your neighbour does. In BE, there's no tech race, because everyone does their own thing, except on top of that, tech in BE seems quite disorganized. Instead of racing players for space, you're racing annoying aliens that don't stop spawning, and also get you known as the BE equivalent of a "warmonger". Not enjoyable.

TLDR, if you haven't played Civ 5 (with the DLCs), then do that instead. If you have, well maybe you should just play it more. That's what I've been doing.
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235 of 314 people (75%) found this review helpful
78.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
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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202 of 267 people (76%) found this review helpful
25.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 6, 2014
Anticipated this game a lot. Hoped for a space themed Civ5 and some more.

What I got was a game that consists mainly of clicking 'next turn'. Even on medium-high difficulty the game is just incredibly shallow.
There's a new 'virtue' system that allows you to go through 3 different paths, but you scan score points in these paths only through research and literally three random quests that you might, or might not run into.

I'd recommend waiting a couple of months for the next updates and content packs and hope that firaxis steps up their game. Right now, Civ5 on launch day was more complex than this.

The price is not even close to being justified.
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128 of 163 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 19, 2014
While I enjoy the new aesthetic and premise of this new title, this feels an awful lot like Civ Lite. The Sponsers don't have any personality like in previous Civ games and their bonuses feel fairly Lack-lustre. Affinities are cool, especially how it changes the architecture of your cities and have cool unique units who's aesthetic reflects the sponsor's primary affinity, but otherwise feel fairly similar to eachother in terms of abilities. The fact that i can get all the affinity bonuses for each affinity in a single playthrough feels a bit, well, unvaried and cheap to me. Otherwise, mostly everything else feels like Civ 5, which is good; but then again, i'd rather play Civ 5 if i wanted to feel like i'm playing Civ 5.

In conclusion, for Civ veterans who own every bit of DLC for Civ 5, i would recommend sticking to that, IMHO. For
new-comers to Civ, Beyond Earth is a fine introduction to Civ. Similar mechanics to Civ 5 make it a good stepping stone for those that may look at getting into previous Civilization games. Overall though, Beyond Earth feels a bit empty for me. Perhaps in a later patch or DLC they may add stuff that will bring me back into it, but otherwise, i'm sticking to Civ 5 for now.
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228 of 312 people (73%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
35.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
I loved Civ 1,3,4,5. I tried to like this game. I played a few games of it and left it on overnight a couple of times (probably have played closer to 18 hours than 35). It just didn't grab me. It's disappointing all-round and not worth buying. I'd say maybe get it when it falls to 10 dollars and you're REALLY in love with the civ franchise. Otherwise please buy Civ V with the Brave New World expansion if you want to play a good game.
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165 of 221 people (75%) found this review helpful
165.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
Latest patch (Fall season) that was supposed to fix all the previous problems entirely broke a perfectly working installation on my system. I can't create a new game, nor load a saved game. Nothing else has changed except this patch that I couldn't choose to NOT install, nor revert.

Considering how long it'll take 2K to get around to even recognize this issue (based on their last record of 2+ months), DO NOT attempt to look at this game for at least another year until some heads at 2K roll.
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277 of 391 people (71%) found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
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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