Ben Sherry ’17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
In 1999, Firaxis games released Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, a game that took the ever-popular formula of the Sid Meier’s Civilization games and boldly brought it where it had never gone before: uncharted space.
The game was acclaimed, with critics lauding its plot, writing, and improvements on the formula that had preceded it. Despite the acclaim that the game garnered, however, it had the poorest sales of any Civilization game to date, possibly because it was not legally allowed to use the Civilization title. Because of the poor sales, a sequel was never produced.
Cut to fifteen years later. This weekend at PAX East in Boston, Firaxis announced a new installment in their most popular series: Civilization: Beyond Earth. Beyond Earth looks to be a spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri, as it follows the story of the colonization of a new alien planet by future humans who have left the Earth to begin civilization elsewhere.
The game continues the hexagon system that was used in Civ V, while making a few changes to the structure, most notably in the way that players create new technology. In previous games the system used was referred to as a “technology tree,” which let you choose from multiple technology paths that went through history in a linear fashion. In Beyond Earth, however, you use a skill web that branches off in many directions in a non-linear way; this is sure to excite any long-term fans that have wanted a change back to the old Civ formula.
The game allows you to choose between a few different philosophical Affinities (Supremacy, Wealth, Purity and Harmony) that will help to determine how your faction evolves on its new planet. These ideologies will clash between factions leading to dispute, conflict and war.
Civilization: Beyond Earth certainly grabbed the attention of many at PAX East and millions around the world who have been waiting years for their sci-fi Civilization fix. For everything related to Civilization: Beyond Earth, keep it locked to Emertainment Monthly.