If you’re one of the millions of gamers who’ve sunk hundreds of hours into Sid Meier’s Civilization games over the years, you’ll be very happy to hear that the latest addition to the series, Civilization: Beyond Earth is coming out on the 24th of October. That’s according to a press release we received from 2K, the game’s publisher.

While it’s not technically a sequel to Sid Meier’s excellent Alpha Centauri – the rights to that franchise now belong to Electronic Arts – it’s very much a spiritual successor. Like Alpha Centauri, it kicks off right at the point where Civilization V closes: humanity has used up the Earth’s resources and needs to find a new planet to rape plunder settle on, and so they set out for the stars.

Beyond Earth begins as the colonists arrive at their new home, and features a heavy sci-fi flavour inspired by “real science and hard science fiction” according to the developers.

But this is also a brand-new type of Civ game: while the core tenets of city-building and victory-through-expansion/war/diplomacy remain, Beyond Earth is different in that it features a branching tech tree that essentially encourages players to choose an “affinity”, or a philosophy around which their new civilisation will be built.

There’s Supremacy which believes in domination through technology, Purity which aims to make the new planet as much like Earth as possible and Harmony which believes in adapting genetically to the new planet and living in harmony with its natural resources, essentially eschewing everything that makes humans human, to become a new species entirely. Those are all pretty different-sounding, so Beyond Earth is likely going to offer some serious replayability.

Clearly, Firaxis doesn’t believe Civ games are addictive enough.

Sorry, console players, Beyond Earth isn’t coming your way, but it’ll be out on the 24th of October for Windows, Mac and Linux for an estimated price of $49.99 (around R540). Should you feel inspired to preorder the game, you’ll get the Exoplanet Map Pack as a bonus that includes six new maps featuring terrain inspired by real-life exoplanets.

[Image – 2K]
Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.