Firaxis recently announced the Winter update for Civilization: Beyond Earth. The developers are making wonders and trade routes a little better, while hitting rest of the game with some balance changes. Unfortunately, nothing in the patch notes look like it’s going to really change the game into anything worth playing more than a couple of times. Say what you will about Civilization V’s faults, but that game is at least interesting enough to people that some of them are willing to watch the A.I. play against itself in mammoth computer-only matches. The most interesting thing about Civilization: Beyond Earth’s Winter update is that Firaxis or 2K felt the need to add a news feed to the main menu to advertise DLC as well as a future tie-in to the upcoming Sid Meier’s Starships. Of course, 2K wants players to create and sign-in with their games-as-service boondoggle.
– Added my2K functionality to title, allowing cross-game connectivity and unlocks with other Firaxis titles (starting with Sid Meier’s Starships), along with other future perks
– Added Glacier map that unlocks when signing in to my2K for the first time
You can check out Tom’s thoughts on Civilization: Beyond Earth here.
The beginning of Beyond Earth is all very exciting. I mean the very beginning before the beginning. Before the game has even started. Before I’ve even landed on the planet. I choose my faction first. I’ll be the Franco-Iberians, who earn free technologies every so often as their culture develops. For colonists, I naturally choose artists, who boost culture. Inside the spaceship with the colonists, I’ll carry the machinery that will give me a free worker for a headstart developing the landing area near my starting colony. As for the type of spacecraft, that’s a tough decision. I eventually go with a continental surveyor that shows me all the coastlines on the map. I find a certain comfort in knowing the exact shape of my new world. It’s what the artists would want.
In any other Civilization — in case it’s not clear from the full title of Civilization: Beyond Earth, this is absolutely a Civilization game, and more specifically a Civilization V game — I would have just chosen a faction. France. Rome. Polynesia. But Beyond Earth lets me build my ark/spaceship step-by-step. It gives me a multistep sense of agency in how the early stages will play out. It keeps me busy making choices before I’m even playing. That’s ultimately what Beyond Earth is all about. Making choices. Constant, unrelenting, obsequious, nagging choices that will come together to create something massive, slow, and tedious.
After the jump, a series of interesting decisions. Continue reading →