2K Games has announced the next release in Sid Meier’s/Firaxis’s Civilization series, Civilization: Beyond Earth. Part-time megalomaniacs will take to the stars this fall as they bring humanity towards a glorious future among the stars and leave their enemies freeze-dried in the cold vacuum of the cosmos.
Drawing on inspiration from a number of high-brow sci-fi writers like Arthur C. Clarke and Frank Herbert, the game’s narrative trappings and mechanics have been given an update for the series’ 23-year anniversary. Instead of merely picking a civilization and getting started, players will construct a strategic loadout on their original colonizing ship, deciding how to construct the craft, what resources to take and which colonists will make the journey. Also, in the future, technology is no longer organized as a tree, but a web, and instead of those pesky barbarians our settlers and missionaries will be eaten up by space-worms (not hyperbole, space worms confirmed), and other alien lifeforms of varying levels of hostility can be expected. Satellites can also be positioned above the planet for a variety of passive bonuses, and as players explore and exploit their new home a quest system will guide their development and provide background information.
I, for one, welcome the chance to be a space overlord. Catherine the Great was getting so boring what with her vast amounts of strategic resources and Cossacks. I say give me cyborg Catherine the Great, with robo-communism so I can invade George Washington whose mind is slowly fusing with a planet-sized hivemind lifeform. That’s history.