Civilization Beyond Earth: Info, Features and Reviews

The long wait agony has finally ended for the Sid Meier Civilization fans, when Civilization: Beyond Earth, or Civ VI, has been finally released to PC gamers last October 24, 2014, while Mac user had to wait just a little bit and got the release on November 27, 2014. Remember how giddy you were when you first saw the Civilization Beyond Earth trailer? The trailer was very promising and exciting. The effects were amazing and very realistic. Let’s refresh your memory through this video.

Primarily, the latest franchise was expected to be released on early 2015 but they took us by surprise when they were being released earlier than the expected date, just right before 2014 ended. There are mixed reviews regarding Firaxis Games’ latest futuristic Civilization franchise. Others say it is one of the best while others think it is disappointing, but we’ll get on that later.

About the game Civilization Beyond Earth - Cover

As you can gather from the story, the planet earth is getting overpopulated so they are sending troops on a mission to other liveable planets. This game only has single cutscene, and there aren’t much story elements like the rest of the Civilization games. Most players wish they have more story elements.

There are some few changes in the latest turn-based strategic game of Civilization: Beyond Earth when it comes to gameplay. At the beginning of the game, you would have to choose 8 different factions/sponsor (which are countries or corporations) to back up your expedition in space and other planets, and these sponsors will provide the spacecraft, including the things that they will be bringing back to the new world. Compared to the previous series, you have to select historical empires which are ruled by a historical figures.

Each sponsor have their own benefits. Some bonuses are over powered and some factions end up being bland, without a character of their own.

Can customize your factions at launch

This will allow the players to customize their own civilization and your primary decisions will greatly affect your gameplay later on.. The Civ 6 characters are quite boring though, I wish the characters talked more than just waving on you, compared to the historical figures of Civ 5 who had more to say, but I don’t know, maybe some players prefer them quiet.

Gameplay Tips

Health is very important. The best path to success is to nurse your colonies’ growth with food, production, energy, working your tiles around your base with new buildings, and quickly establish your trade routes with neutral outpost that appear, if you want to succeed.

Your explorers will reveal the map. You will find resort pods or setup expeditions!

Civilization Beyond Earth - Building

Great Bonuses as you grow

You will get great bonuses as you grow. Pump up your culture as fast as it will go, as the virtues bonuses that they give essentially social policies from Civ 5, can give you the edge that you need over the other factions. As with the previous Civilization games, you will be dealing with indigenous life forms that came before.

Aliens are way better than barbarians

Civilization Beyong Earth - Aliens

Thankfully this time, aliens are way more interesting and better than barbarians! At first, they are docile. They only attack trade convoys that will come their way, but when you venture too close to their nest, they will fiercely defend them. In the early game, you would mostly fight with aliens which could grow massively. By then, you will be forced to kick off your alien bug war. This is where I have the most fun in the game, as the aliens smartly defend their nest from capture. In the latest Civ 6, you are able to wheel these aliens against your enemies, (even the sand worms, but only through covert operations) which have their own issues.

 

Health is most important!

The health expansion requirement leads to slower pace. It’s a lot harder to rapidly expand as that number plummets to insane levels making any choice to go with health, above most everything else a permanent one. You have fewer colonies and won’t be able to expand quite as fast as the AI, especially on the higher and more difficult levels., this is why you should always have to choose health! When the AI clearly doesn’t become smarter, it cheats with higher stats and fewer penalty modifiers to health and the rest of it.

 

Best way to win

Civilization Beyond Earth - Decisive Victory

The most obvious and best way to win Civilization: Beyond Earth is still domination victory. This game is more on military focus. You can still win through economic and quest lines where you have to fulfill objectives until you reach the end, but they are not very interesting compared to the domination victory where you can achieve it by taking over the capitals of your enemies, but that is even more difficult to get a challenge, the AI we found was off ward conducting war and counter attacks.

On the earlier part of the game, I would play against the AI the entire time but I was never attacked even if I was right for the taking. It is only when there are no more rooms for the AI expansion that they will decide to go to the war against you, which usually happens in the later part of the game and never before such time.

When you get to that point, it will send massive armies to destroy you where it gets challenging and fun. But in lower difficulties, the AI is a pushover, way too passive to have fun in the early and mid games. Just make sure to put the level in highest difficulty level if you want really challenges.

If you haven’t started playing with the latest Civilization Beyond Earth franchise or still in doubt if you will purchase it now or later, here is a gameplay video.

Game Reviews

Beyond earth tries to add some freshness with unique quest pop ups as many other forex games have done very successfully recently.

Let’s stars with the Pros

As mentioned earlier, there are some things new. One cool addition is the affinity system. The units look really cool, and they motivate you to try different affinities every game. There’s also a new orbital layer where you will be able to launch satellites that could do various things like: boosting your resources, clear gas, and increase your army stats in the field. There is also a laser beam satellite but unfortunately, its function is just mostly defensive. 

Tech Web better than Tech Trees

Civilization Beyond Earth - Tech Web

The tech web is great change in Civilization: Beyond Earth (than the tech trees used on the previous Civ games) however it can be daunting, confusing and messy at first. You’ll be hard pressed trying to figure out what you should be choosing. There’s no scientist to tell you what you need. They could’ve at least color coded the tech web.

At least now I appreciate that there are less prerequisites, which will allow you to jump back and forth within the web more often.

At least they now have the combat animations in movement from the beginning, which is missing from the previous Civilization games. It’s really fun to watch the animations together. Mods are there and they can be directly loaded from the game. It’s great to see them continue to support this community. Hopefully Mods will fix some of the annoyances, that I will mention below and cheer up some of the missing things that Firaxis forgot about.

The Cons

Civilization: Beyond Earth has fewer game options. Some gamers think that the makers of the game decided to play it safe and it feels more like a mod or expansion of Civ 5 with just small tweaks. The game is still fun even though the programmers applied the, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” approach. Some players think it is quite disappointing for a game that was released late, it seems like Firaxis were feeling lazy to improve this game.

Same quest over and over

Civilization Beyond Earth Victory

It has the same quest over and over. Another thing we have noticed is the lack of mass destruction weapons, such as nuclear weapons that will help you break stalemates like in the previous Civ games. A lot of quest decisions are no brainers. Whereas other games have dynamic quest, Firaxis bafflingly chose to tie them to buildings and the ones you build every time. What happens is that every game are spammed by the same meaningless decisions that have an obvious choice or two in every single game.

Sid Meier prides himself on interesting choices, unfortunately this is not achieved to the current quest system of this latest franchise.

Lack of Polish in the Game’s UI

Civilization Beyond Earth Cons

There is a lack of polish in the game’s UI. The foresight of the game’s little things, such as the trade routes, have become absolutely unmanageable in the late huge games. Whereas previously, you only set a few number of trade routes in past Civilization games, here in Civilization: Beyond Earth, you can have 3 trade routes per city and you have to manually assign every single one, imagine that to be times 6 or 8 cities or if you are in huge game like 20 cities. You will have 18 pop ups of trade routes demanding you to reassign them in every turn.

The multiplayer crashes initially. Make sure that if you don’t have a DLC, play with others who also don’t have it or had it disabled. Otherwise, you will get an immediate crash.

Of course no game can please everybody, that is for sure. The game is still addicting as ever before with a lot of similarities from Civ 5. I could only wish they improved more on the franchise.

The Final Verdict

The final verdict of metascore players for userscores is 5.5  based on the 854 ratings, and 71 metascore from 71 players. Which is slightly above average due to its production values and strong solid core. It’s fun and addicting but still has a lot of missed opportunities.