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A science victory in Civilization is awfully anti-climatic. Thousands of years of research, exploration, art, diplomacy, trade, war, survival, and human progress, and all you have to show for it is a little spaceship popping out your city then flying off the top of the screen. It’s nice, but lacks drama. That’s where Civilization: Beyond Earth begins, exploring what happens after humanity reaches the stars, so its intro movie offers an extended take on that blastoff. It’s all hope and fear and EMOTIONS. Imagine this next time you win a science victory, and try to hold in those little sobs of pride.
A whole new world. A new fantastic point of view.
…I’m so sorry.
However, I am pleased to report that sci-fi strategy game Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is not simply Civ V with green face paint on. It has the same hexes and it does have much of the same infrastructure as its historical-themed predecessor, but its transformation into something alien goes far more than miasma-coated skindeep. The essential framework of Civ remains, but the final frontier – for the 200 turns with beta code I’ve spent there – requires a very different sort of thinking.
Joking about booking time off work for a video game’s release is awfully hackneyed, but I have known people to do it for two series: Grand Theft Auto and Civ. So, just so you know, Civilization: Beyond Earth now has a release date so WINK you might want to WINK book time off work or WINK consider laying the dramatic groundwork for a WINK illness to strike you on October 24.
The news comes alongside a new video with Beyond Earth’s co-lead designers talking about the kinda-Alpha-Centurai-ish-but-really-more-Civ-y game, over footage that’s mostly cinematics but does give a few tantalising peeks at things including the new web-like tech tree.
Is… Is this E3 news? On day three, I can’t tell anymore. Did Sid Meier swing on a trapeze across the E3 concourse to announce that Civilization 5 was now available on SteamOS and Linux? Did Aspyr gather the world’s press in an art deco theatre to reveal that this was their first Linux port, after years of porting popular games to Mac? Or is it the case that there was a simple post on Civ V’s Steam forum to declare that users of Ubuntu could now begin conquering 4X strategy worlds?
Probably that last one.
The release of Civilization V: The Complete Edition rather suggests we’ve reached end of the line for Firaxis’ latest history-spanning strategy game, and thus can start drawing up our mental wishlists for Civ VI. Though if I’ve learned anything in this business, it’s that there’s any number of final-sounding suffixes left in the game names cupboard. Be braced for Civ V: Ultimate, Civ V: Director’s Cut, Civ V: What They Couldn’t Show Gandhi Doing In Cinemas, and Civ V: In A Different Box.
Back to that shortly, however. The Cool Thing happening off the back of this new omnibus edition is a new and free Civ V scenario that’s being given to existing and future Brave New World owners for no-pennies. Said scenario is also a little bit Colonizationy (but only a little bit). … [visit site to read more]
The latest Humble Bundle offers the chance to own three complete Civilizations, as if you were trying to recreate the British Empire. Along with Civs III, IV, the lowest tier contains the recent Ace Patrol games, which are fairly lightweight, but clever, replayable and oddly adorable considering the World War dogfighting subject matter. All of that, along with the latest incarnation of Railroads! can be yours for any chosen price. Pay more than the average (at time of writing, $8.16) and you’ll receive Civ V, and the Gods and Kings DLC. More than $15 unlocks the Brave New World DLC as well. BONUS: approximately two days of a Humble Paradox sale remain.
I’ve founded religions, spied on my neighbours and sent a spaceship in search of a new home on a distant star. The promise of a Brave New World was enough to bring me crashing back down to Earth though, and I’ve been making new friends, meeting old enemies and creating great works of art. This latest expansion takes on the greatest challenge of all – injecting some meaningful activity into Civilization’s end-game. I’ve spent a week uncovering its charms and chores, and here’s wot I think.>
Civ V brings out the worst in me and Brave New World may be the expansion that changes all of that. I was approaching the industrial age in a recent multiplayer game when I realised what a terrible ruler I was – ‘terrible’ not because I was a failure but because I was too much of a success. I was the coal-devouring, smoke-belching face of global domination, like a nightmarish Punch cartoon come to life, the leader of a people who saw foreign nations as obstacles to be removed. Civ V is a strategy game that encourages the drive toward victory rather than the establishment of a culture with character. Brave New World may change that when it is released on July 12th. Here’s an early launch trailer.
I am saddened to admit that I am not a Civilization player. My brain does not work in that way. No matter how much I try, I just bounce off the game, and then I’m pushed out the way by mean Civ bullies who mock my tactical and diplomatic failings. It’s like home economics all over again. But I’m a bigger man than those meanies, and don’t begrudge Civ fans the opportunity to see the new expansion pack, A Brave New World. And I don’t begrudge Revison3 the hits for the preview that I am shamelessy yoinking. Do click here, as that Sessler guy seems like a nice chap. (more…)
There’s going to be a second major Civilization V expansion. It’s called Brave New World, it introduces 9 new Civs, the concepts of tourism, ideologies, international trade routes and archaeology, and basically it sounds like it’s pretty huge on an under-the-hood front. I had a big chat with Firaxis lead programmer Ed Beach and senior producer Dennis Shirk on what’s in there, why, how it works and why we’ll be forming impressive in-game art collections.>