The latest Civilization game from developer Firaxis does something interesting. It's as much a spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri as it is a sequel to Civilization V, and from the newly released trailer, it looks like Beyond Earth breaks the mould in all the right ways.
It has the same turn-based 4X (explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate) gameplay from the earlier Civilization titles. Pick a unique faction -- now led by expedition sponsors instead of historical personalities -- and build your empire from the ground up, managing cities, your military, diplomatic relations and technological growth. But instead of guiding your people from the Stone Age to the present day, you're now watching over space-faring colonists on a distant alien world.
The new theme means there's been an overhaul of some of the familiar Civilization elements, given you're starting out as a technologically advanced society instead of pre-agrarian cavemen.
Core to all of this are the new 'affinities' -- a system shaping your people's attitudes towards colonization and alien lifeforms, the appearance of your cities and units, even your victory conditions. (No more cultural victory, sadly. Looks like they didn't send a poet after all.)
Other tweaks teased by the trailer include: replacing the traditional top-down technology tree with a branching, centre-out style web that's impossible to fully research in a single game; an upgraded espionage system with the ability to send your spies on a variety of missions; and an overhauled diplomacy system that lets you trade favours with the other leaders, to be collected after a deal is made.
Firaxis has discussed all this and lots more at great length in gameplay videos on its YouTube channel, but this new trailer is an excellent place to start.
Check out the trailer below, and get ready to keep clicking that 'just one more turn' button in the far-flung future.
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is released on October 24 for Windows, OS X and Linux.