Civilization Beyond Earth – First Impressions
Aliens Lots of Them!
The first thing you’ll notice is that you are not the top of the food chain anymore. Venturing a short distance from your landing site and you’ll be met with the alien swarms. Although your first soldier can be easily overwhelmed in a few short moves it is still possible to get some cover, at no point did I feel overly threatened by their presence, at not once did they attack my city or workers. Even the great siege worm rarely made its way across my borders, lets just say if you see one of these (or in fact several) go and find your troops a nice corner to cry in because they might as well be attacking a city at this point.
So who actually am I?
Now that you’ve left the thralls of Earth, who you were before is somewhat inconsequential, players operate as factions instead of countries & civilizations, in fact there’s no real sense of which one you’re even playing, hitting the in game menu seems to be the only real way of figuring this out, gone are the introductions to your civilization on each game load.
Why Are We Here Again?
With no real back story to speak of, you can’t help but wonder, how bad things on Earth must be for this to be much better. You can’t breathe the air, everything is trying to kill you, you have limited resources and the place is getting ever more crowded, with everyone else just showing up constantly.
So Many Questions
Adding to the sense of story and progress, you are frequently met with decisions to make, these offer you permanent benefits to your civilization, these are triggered by exploring artefacts or finishing new buildings.
That’s Quite An Affinity you have
Not much attention seems to be made of the affinity system, you can easily play for a while giving no thought to it, however affinities can be described as their own tech tree, this is how your units level up and advance in combat prowess, instead of researching specific technologies, affinity points confer special upgrades to your units, which kind of makes me think that everyone else is going to have more or less the same army.
Just One More Turn..
The classic line for a Civilization game, as you get to grips with trying to put down the edge of seat action, in Beyond Earth this line is better taken to mean, Just one more turn and something interesting might happen. At no point did I feel the threatened by the other powers nor did the aliens bother to venture and pillage my lands, this makes for a slow paced game, where not alot seems to be happening. Even the days of land grabbing tiny cities popping up, the moment you seemingly take your eye off that piece of land you were about to make yours. This is definitely a game where not alot seems to be happening in a hurry and you quickly find your yourself quickly filling in the story yourself as you wait for that next turn.