During the Twitch’s official livestream, members of the Civilization: Beyond Earth development team revealed a lot of information about the game, to do with new gameplay mechanics, the settings and the things to expect when you go Beyond Earth.
As for the game’s setting, the game takes place after what is being termed ‘The Great Mistake’, where humanity leaves Earth due to some catastrophe in order to re-establish the human race. As a result, the game will not have you playing as historic figures in the future like Gandhi in a mech suit, but brand new characters and factions. In the stage demo, we saw the Suzanne Fielding, head of the American Reclamation Corporation, who acts as the faction leader, or Sponsors as they are now called.
She actually speaks a hybrid of Spanish and English, a sign of how America develops in this future.
In terms of starting a game, you get to choose multiple things which will impact your play through. First, you pick your planet which is the equivalent of picking your map type (they can be an arid planet, one with lots of oceans etc.), you pick your ancestors which determines how your first city will develop and your spaceship’s cargo which determines what resources you start off with. As for resources, we saw a couple of new things to collect, including a new mineral called Floatstone which will no doubt be used for making spaceships and hovering vehicles.
The maps themselves still have the hexagonal layout but this time, there are more variables you have to take account of, like Miasma which occupies some spaces. This green mist does damage over time but does not affect aliens native to the planet so you must be careful when scouting the planet. The alien units act very similar to Barbarians from previous Civ games, with them roaming the map and having nests which you can overthrow to take resources and even acquire alien units for you to use. However, they do not actively hunt you down unless you attack them first so one strategy when playing with friends is to attract some angry aliens to attack their structures to keep the heat off you.
This is a Siege Worm and there is a bigger alien than that. Be afraid.
The Tech tree in this game has changed to a Tech Web, allowing players to branch out in various different ways, rather than the fairly linear tech progression seen in Civilization 5. With this new Tech Web comes the game’s Affinity system, which allows players to choose one of three paths; Purity, Supremacy or Harmony which have their own unique victories as well as the standard Domination victory. Purity has players make the planet they have discovered the new Earth and trying to attract humans to this promised land whilst also defending it from the aliens by making things with lots of guns on them. Supremacy is about building machines and advancing technology to protect humanity as that is what saved them from Earth in the first place. The specific victories for these two Affinities involve you building a Warpgate back to Earth, with Supremacy trying to emancipate Earth and take it back, while Purity builds the gate in order to get humans to settle on this new planet. Harmony however, is about becoming one with the aliens on the planet and actually allows you to create hybrid human/alien units to try and become one with the planet, through their transcendence victory.
Even though you are limited to one planet in a playthrough, you have something called the Orbital Layer as well, which allows you to launch satellites into the planet’s orbit which adds new information, both scientific and strategic to panels on the map. The game looked really interesting and even though there is still no news on a release date, it is hoping to be released later this year.