E3 2014 – Civilization Beyond Earth preview

3 min read

Civ BE

Frequent readers will know that I have invested hundreds of hours in Civilization games. I simply adore them. So when I got a chance to see some of the latest and greatest Civ incarnation go to space, I jumped at the chance.

At first, Civilization: Beyond Earth seems like a normal Civ game. Players can explore ruins or bones on the alien planet, gaining energy (the game’s money) or even units and friendly aliens. However, there is a lot that’s new in the game.

Previously, the narrative of the game was driven entirely by player choices. This time around, there are additional quests to help guide players through the game and add context and decisions to the game. Intrigue also opens up operation types for spies, making espionage a more varied experience in the new Civ.

There are three affinities in Civilization: Beyond Earth – Harmony, Purity and Supremacy. Each gets unique victory conditions, as well as the universal ones that apply across the board. Additionally, the city style reflects the affinity, making it easy for Civ: BE veterans to easily spot the affinity of any other civilisation.

As always in Civilization, technological progress plays an important role. However, unlike the usual linear progress through a technology tree, the technology is in a web for Civ: BE. Some tech is linked with the different affinities, helping to advances those ends.

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Even resources are varied – some resources are particularly important to one affinity or another. This can also add to the map rivalries that players and civilisations may experience – players can grab key regions with resources that their rivals might want or need. Those rivals can then use their spies, or try to form trade routes, or just go into all out war over resources.

War also has some new elements, including the use of satellites. There are a variety of satellites in Civ: BE, offering a variety of support. Some can give buffs to your units, or debuff enemies, or even spread noxious fumes.

I honestly didn’t get to see much – the entire session was only 15 minutes. However, from what I could see the game looks slick and innovative with plenty to offer fans of the strategy genre, Civilization games, and even sci-fi fans.

Last Updated: June 12, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. I believe people should stop defining themselves and just enjoy playing games, so let’s get on with it!

  • HvR – THE Average GAmer

    In the words of Francis, let me go change I just nostalgiad in my pants.

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Supremacy is the obvious choice for me. Every Civ game I’ve ever played ends up with me nuking everyone.

    • HvR – THE Average GAmer

      Yes playing Civ2 is as a child I realized I shouldn’t go into politics.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        I don’t know. I’d still like a chance at being a warmongering dictator. What could go wrong?

        • Kyle Logan

          I just loved being nice to people till I could invade, then getting them to get for peace and gaining their trust again only to invade once more

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I’d just be nice & peaceful until I had enough nukes for every city. Then I’d go Oprah on their asses.

          • HvR – THE Average GAmer

            Having a Peace Treaty with Ghandi before nuking the bejesus out of him always gave me that special warm fuzzy feeling.

    • Kromas

      Had a friend who did that in every single game of Alpha Centauri. I quickly learned the value of pressure domes in every single city I owned.

    • Brenz

      I try to be nice and diplomatic at first, but the greedy bastards always piss me off so I end up waging war anyway.

  • Sageville


  • Anon A Mouse

    “or even spread noxious fumes” ~ Did Darryn stand next to them?

    • Kensei Seraph

      They have built in Darryn cloning facilities.
      The clones are fed a careful mix of beans, eggs and ghost peppers.
      They then launch a few Darryn clones onto the targeted area.

  • Kensei Seraph

    I’m looking forward to this.

  • Brady miaau

    fans of the strategy genre, Civilization games, and even sci-fi fans.

    me, me and me. Awesome. Bit worried though.

    the ultimate game for me.

    Play Civ 2. Win. Go to Alpha Place. Then game becomes Master of Orion 2, with Civ traits from game. Win, galaxy traits from all species. I would love that!

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