Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth Announced
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is probably the fondest remembered of all the Civilization-type games (supposedly, it takes place after the end of Civ II). Needless to say, it's a very good game that never got a sequel, although Slitherin recently released a hilariously edgy clone/homage called Pandora: First Contact. But now we have a chance to get to the good stuff: Sid Meier's Civilization Beyond Earth has been announced and will take place AFTER Civilization V.
The developers spoke to Polygon and most of the interview still is quasi meaningless babble about player choices, opportunity and stuff like that. What can be gleaned from it is this: the reason why and how you're leaving Earth are vague, but you know that the planet is kind of screwed. Before you leave, you choose a nation sponsor, spaceship, loadout, colonists...basically, a custom nation builder by any other name, if a lot more involved than usual for Civilization.
Then you get to the planet, make planetfall, and not meet other factions for 50 or 60 turns. In the mean time, you accumulate research points and get new technologies on the “research web”. It's their new take on the research tree – a mad dash for new technologies being the keystone to every 4X game – which will be vaguely familiar. Don't know if it has anything to do with Alpha Centauri's random research mechanic (it was an optional choice where you just set research priorities and hope the AI doesn't screw you), but it's very important to the narrative of vagueness-onset player agency in building humanity's future.
While many words are spoken about how mysterious and exciting it is to explore a future (these are both overcomplaining about drawing units according to historical reference and too sure that their new designs won't be generic sci-fi crap), your technology will eventually lead to one of three affinities and victories tied to them. The affinities are quite pedestrian: harmony for those seeking to be one with the planet (so, biotech hippies), supremacy is about ruling the planet (so, cyborg Nazis), and then there's the route of preserving Earth's culture through science and research (so, I FUCKING LOVE SCIENCE choice). They will shape how factions will look and, interestingly, interact: I mean, if one day you're speaking to Space Poles and next day you find out that they decided to become robotic Space Poles, that's going to change your relationship, right? So, that, so far, seems to be the most interesting direction in the game.
Whether it's going to be any good...we'll see at the end of the year, hopefully!