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This post has been migrated and imported into different systems over the years, I have not had a chance to format this post manually so it may be hard to read but I have left it here as a reference.
Civilization: Beyond Earth is finally out! I have been a Civilization fan ever since playing the first versions of the game as a child and this new release brought some of that excitement back again. Here you will see some gameplay from a multiplayer game against BigSwedish, you will find the rest of the review below the video, hope you enjoy!
So what’s changed since Civilization 5 and is it better or worse?
First thing you will notice is the music and it sounds great. The menu system is pretty similar to Civilization 5 until you get to pick your faction which is very different from the way you pick countries in previous version. Instead of having what usually is two perks per country you instead get to chose a faction with a specific perk in addition to 3 additional perks where 2 of them are basically starting perks. Starting the game you will notice a very similar loading screen to that of the old Civ, this loading screen popped up mid game a few times as well without any explanation, we assumed the game was loading in extra assets for something. Midgame we did save the game, took a break and tried to load it, we did have some issues where BE would crash. This was later solved by loading the game and clicking Launch instead of waiting for the game starting in count down to start the game for us.
Once you get in the game and you land your city things will look pretty similar to the old Civ. You still have the hex grid and resources work in pretty much the same way but are called different names. Happiness is replaced with health and you will get negative effects if it is too low, positive if it is high. The effects of the health is not as bad as the effects of negative happiness in Civ 5. Something new they have added are affinities and quests. During the game you will usually focus on one affinity, they will give you different bonuses such as unit upgrades, resource bonuses and special units. Quests will pop up every now and then when you find something or build something. These added a nice feel to the game, depending on what you picked you may end up having a completely different outcome compared to other players. However quests do not seem to give a noticeable impact on your overall power as a faction and it could get boring to see the same quests over and over again every time you play the game.
Units look nicer in my opinion, the animations look “cooler” and better in my opinion but they are not too different from Civ 5. Some issues with units that I have noticed is that some are very over powered while others are very weak. You might find yourself trapped in your city because a siege worm is terrorizing the area around it especially if it happens early in the game and it may take you about 10 turns to kill it. I was also frustrated when trying to attack a small city which had 4 population. I had cruiser ships bombard the city but the city was able to take out a cruise ship with one hit. This would be understandable if it was a large city but this one had been built maybe 4 turns earlier. Combine that with the opponents artillery inside his city and he was able to take out any land units as before they could get to the city.
One big disappointment to me was the lack of interesting world wonders. In Beyond Earth the wonders have very little effect on your faction and there are no pretty videos or images after you build a world wonder either. Building a world wonder feels just like building a normal building.
Should you buy it?
Civilization Beyond Earth was a bit of a disappointment for me, early on I had expected a game with multiple planets where you start from cavemen and eventually explore space where you fight it out in the final frontier. I would have settled for more units and a greater variety of perks but this game is alright. I am a big fan of Civilization and figured I might as well pre-order Beyond Earth since I will most likely end up buying it anyways even if reviews are bad. Now whether you should buy it is a completely different story, I think the game fits a specific type of person. I am the kind of player who likes to build stuff, I like researching everything and I love exploring. The actual fighting and taking over the AI is usually always a late game thing for me and I can’t say I care for it too much. If you are the kind of player who wants lots of fighting and a tough AI to outsmart with strategies then this might not be your game, at least not at the moment, I would wait to see if this is a “bug” that will get sorted or if a nice addon comes along to fix things. This is especially true if you are going to play this on single player, if you have friends to play multiplayer with then this is a whole different story. I think if you are like me then you should definitely buy it! Find it here on Steam!