Someone’s finally making an Alpha Centauri successor! Kinda. Civilization: Beyond Earth takes Sid Meier’s famed turn-based strategy series (that Sid Meier only kinda works on these days) and flings it into the stars like a colonial frisbee. I got to play a little at a recent 2K preview event, but not enough to render much of a verdict other than, “I really want to see more than just the first 50 turns,” “The affinity system is neat,” “Roaming alien creatures that may or may not attack add great tension,” and “Discovering this universe will be really cool the first few times, but I doubt that part will hold up 5 or 10 games in.” It also kinda feels a lot like Civilization V at the moment, but again, I only got to play the early parts of a match.
Afterward, I stuck around and had a nice chat with co-lead (yes, co-lead) designers Will Miller and David McDonough, and we talked about why Beyond Earth really isn’t Alpha Centauri II at all, why Firaxis decided against making a direct successor to Alpha Centauri, striking a balance between old-school Civ and more “dramatic” games like Civilization Revolution, games shaping history/culture, mod support, and massive man-made brain monsters that look like jello molds.