This will sound (kind of) dumb, but I’m surprised at exactly how Civ-y this gameplay from Civilization: Beyond Earth looks. You set up spy agencies on your far-flung space colony, for Sid Meier’s sake!
Firaxis released this lengthy gameplay video featuring an alpha build of the spiritual successor to Civilization: Alpha Centauri today with co-lead designer Will Miller guiding us through the E3 walkthrough for the sci-fi strategy game. Miller warns that what we’re seeing includes placeholder art and assets which will be replaced when the game is released. Still, it’s a chance to see some of Beyond Earth’s units, missions, and skill tree evolution in action.
Based on the way the unit is used, it looks like Beyond Earth‘s Explorer will replace the Settler from the traditional Civilization game. Additionally, it looks like you’ll have to fend off rogue aliens which may attack your structures in the wild (one of those is a giant bore worm which seems to serve the same function as Barbarians in regular Civ).
Research gets a little boost with discoverable alien artifacts and remains – the Explorer can spend a couple of terms excavating alien finds scattered around the planet for additional scientific discoveries or additional rewards. Beyond Earth also features quests which will add “meaning context” and a player-driven narrative for the largely story-free strategy title, with completed quests feeding into whatever sci-fi colonialism story you might be telling yourself about the game.
Finally, get a look at the sprawling Tech Web, which lays out some of the futuristic technology players can develop during the course of their campaign. I could see that thing being a little daunting as you first start out speccing out your colony.
Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth will be out on October 24.