Firaxis Announces Civilization: Beyond Earth

Civilization: Beyond Earth will send the franchise into space.

Firaxis announced the new game yesterday at PAX. Beyond Earth will task players with colonizing a distant world where they’ll have to contend with native alien life and make decisions that will guide the course of the human race. These choices will include focusing on affinities that can change the course of the player’s civilization. These will include things like military conquest, maintaining the purity of the human race or, conversely, genetically modifying your species to better adapt to your new world.

The game’s planets, in turn, will be procedurally generated and include a variety of environments inspired in part by world’s from science fiction. Desert planets, for instance, will include giant worms akin to those from Dune. Other planets will feature things like extraterrestrial fungi and underwater aliens that players will need to contend with. According to lead designer Will Miller the game will also take some limited cues from the Sid Meier classic Alpha Centauri.

“The influence of Alpha Centauri will be apparent, but in winks and nods—it’s an homage to that game” said Miller in an interview. “This game really is meant to be our version of the place that game sat when it came out. It’s our version of this idea of mankind in space, and we started with that perspective of the fiction and the narrative.” Despite these influences, however, Miller affirmed that Beyond Earth will be a comfortable fit for modern Civilization fans. “If you’re a Civ V player, you’ll feel right at home.”

A cinematic trailer for Beyond Earth has pegged it for a Fall 2014 release date.

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