Adam has taken up the mantle as a leader of civilizations, tasked with populating a new alien planet. Here are his first impressions of Civilization: Beyond Earth.
Civilization: Beyond Earth came out on Friday and I've been putting my civilisation commanding abilities through their paces, to eventually bring you our review of the game. But, for now I'll let you know what I initially think about it after just a few hours of play time.
It's Civilization. Don't worry, I won't just leave it at that, but if you've played a Civilization game before, particularly Civ 5, you're going to feel right at home. Some icons on the map - food and science for example - are the same, the hexagonal-based grid is the same, and there are plenty of other mechanics pulled right out of Civ 5. This is a good thing, mainly as they're all familiar to me and it didn't really take any time at all to reacquaint myself with the controls, but also because these mechanics are super simple in general and new players should be eased in comfortably.
Where the game differs is obviously its setting, literally lightyears away from the Earth-based environments of the previous Civ titles. You're on an alien world, tasked with ensuring the continuation of the human race. So, you need to branch out and explore as you would in previous games, but this time there are completely unfamiliar obstacles in your way, such as the alien lifeforms inhabiting the planet, along with unknown substances and materials.
The alien lifeforms, whilst at first they seem similar to the barbarian hordes of the previous games, are much further from them than you think.
You set up you game in fairly standard Civ fashion, although instead of choosing a well-known historical leader with their own preset personality and traits, you're given a few choices before you embark on your journey from Earth - such as getting to choose who sponsored your expedition to this alien world, and what kind of people you're taking with you. Each of the choices have their own advantages, and there are a fair few to choose from, so you can get a diverse mix each time you start a new game.
On the gameplay side of things it's also familair Civ ground, turn-based of course, and just as addictive. The 'one more turn' feeling is in full effect with me here at the moment.
Another interesting feature is the quest system. I'm being asked to make many decisions on a regular basis around certain buildings I've constructed, or random encounters I come across in the world. Medical buildings or certain advancements in tech, for example, will sometimes prompt a decision to be made, and each choice will give you some kind of advantage, be it either better health for your citizens or a boost to tech advancement. You're always weighing up your choices with each turn, but this time it feels like there are even more choices for deliberation as a leader.
I'll continue to advance my fledgling civilization, and bring you our full review within the next couple of weeks. But, for now, it's definitely looking like a promising addition to the series.