A new take on the Civilization franchise will let players colonize a new world beyond the stars.

Have you ever wondered what happens at the end of a Scientific victory in a Civilization game? Well, now with the announcement of Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth you won’t have to wonder for long. During PAX East 2014 in Boston this weekend, Firaxis announced the next interstellar instalment to the ever-popular Civilization franchise.

Civilization games have traditionally been centred on Earth and its history, pitting players to make their own stamp in history with their chosen civilization, and the choices they make to progress it through each click of the ‘End Turn’ button. You would research new technologies through the ages, to the discovery of the wheel, how to map the stars, and all the way to space travel.

Some distinctly alien-looking terrain.

In Beyond Earth players will be tasked with exploring and colonising a new alien planet. You will take control of human factions splintered by contrasts in their culture, leading them along their path to colonisation of a strange new world – you will be decider of their ultimate fate.

The game is said to boast ‘non-linear technological progression’ with ‘deeper customization’ of the players chosen faction, and an alien world which will alter ‘the very identity of each faction based on their choices.’

When speaking of Beyond Earth, Director of creative development at Firaxis Games, Sid Meier, said; “The Civ team was excited about the opportunity to continue the story of Civilization into the future, because it allows the team to break free of historical context.” Meier also commented on the previous games, and how they allowed players to “create the history of mankind,” and that with Beyond Earth it will “let them create the future.”

Some colonists ready to… colonise.

The technology advancement system has been describe as a ‘technology web’, which sounds like it may branch out in all directions, as opposed to Civ V’s fairly linear tech tree. This web will be centred around ‘three broad themes, each with a distinct victory condition’. We’ll have to wait and see what the exact themes will be.

A quest system has also been teased, which will reveal details about the planet, and ‘help guide players through a series of side missions’, in what sounds like a feature to help with learning to play the game.

Players will also be able to construct orbital satellites to allow for offensive, defensive, and supportive options during the game.

One of the natives, no doubt – I hear they’re super friendly to new neighbours though.

The recent press release also gave details of the graphical capabilities of Beyond Earth, gloating that it will be within the first batch of games optimized for the latest AMD graphics tech. Including the AMD Eyefinity, which allows you to have panoramic views of your experience across up to six, yes six, HD monitors from one graphics card, ya know, if you’re into that kind of thing… and have plenty of surplus monitors.

As the previous games have all been steeped in our planet’s history, however rich and varied that is, Beyond Earth has a great opportunity to tell a new and unique story. Whilst you could go beyond present day in the previous games, the advanced and future technologies you could research weren’t too far beyond what we have today and are proposed to have in the near future. Just thinking of the possible technologies you may be able research in Beyond Earth leaves the game open to unlimited creative potential from a development standpoint.

Take a look at the announcement trailer below.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is scheduled for release this Autumn for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Are you a fan of the Civilization games? What do you think of the Beyond Earth? Let us know in the comments below.

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