Civ: Beyond Earth’s Intro Recreates Science Victory

Maybe we're not just awful lumps of meat!

A science victory in Civilization is awfully anti-climatic. Thousands of years of research, exploration, art, diplomacy, trade, war, survival, and human progress, and all you have to show for it is a little spaceship popping out your city then flying off the top of the screen. It’s nice, but lacks drama. That’s where Civilization: Beyond Earth begins, exploring what happens after humanity reaches the stars, so its intro movie offers an extended take on that blastoff. It’s all hope and fear and EMOTIONS. Imagine this next time you win a science victory, and try to hold in those little sobs of pride.

Of course, they’ll all only go and mess up that new planet too. Our Alec has played Beyond Earth for the first 200 turns, which was enough time to kill a lot of native wildlife and get into a war with folks from another faction, Jeez, civilisation, what is your problem? Do we have to ruin everything? You’ve got a whole chuffing planet over there, it’s all unsullied and pretty and it still has that ‘new planet’ smell if you put your nose right up against it. You didn’t learn much from the planet you just fled, did you? This grand opportunity and you blow it, you mugs.

Or maybe Alec is the monstrous sort to force even the most peaceful planet into war. I’ve looked into his eyes: there’s a darkness. You lot can have a crack at creating your own utopia or hellworld next week, as Beyond Earth is due on October 24.

49 Comments

  1. Earl-Grey says:

    This looks positively interstellar.

  2. BurningPet says:

    New beginning, Old costumes/customs.

  3. Gap Gen says:

    Civ II’s science victory was great. You had an actual race to the planet that got faster if you put more boosters on, and if you rushed the project you had a chance of failure. If someone else captured your capital in that time you’d lose the ship. Plus you had an awesome video at the end. Not like Civ V’s “you have won” popup. I will say it hasn’t aged that well, though: link to youtube.com

    EDIT: Also that was a Good Video.

    • David Bliff says:

      I believe Civilization Revolution had an element of customizability to the spaceships as well. I liked it!

    • anandus says:

      Indeed. What do you do? Go for an early launch with a slower spaceship or build some more parts to get a quicker spaceship launched at a later date?
      It was a good setup, especially because it made the space race an actual race, if somebody launched you still had a possibility to win if you had the manufacturing power.

    • Laurentius says:

      I can’t belive that they are still shipping 4X games with single score screen at the end. What is wronf with you ? I’ve just played 600 turns and bam, nothing ? You’ve got to be kidding me. Of recent ones: Civ5, Endless:Spaca and Endless:Legend, it leavces me disappointed at the end. Fallen Enchatress:Legendary Hereos has got some simple animations/graphics and some text explaining you whatyou’ve achived, that simple thing already made that game better in my eyes.

      • battles_atlas says:

        Yes to what you said, but also give us more stats! I want to be able to look at graphs over time of *everything*, and presented with some pizazz!

      • luis.s says:

        I’d love to see some kind of brief history of the world generated at the end of one of these games. I’m not sure how it would be implemented. A documentary-style video would be fantastic, but probably too hard for the foreseeable future. But even just a few pages of text and maybe some maps or pictures would be great. And then an option to save that to look at later or share.

        Civ 4 (if I recall correctly, and maybe 3) had a rudimentary timeline with major events that occurred, which was better than nothing.

        I think it would be a neat way of closing off the many hours you have spent in that unique world, and preserving that experience if it is a particularly interesting one. Also, if it included things that happened with the AI on the other side of the world 1000 years before you discovered them, that would be fun as well.

    • The First Door says:

      Ah, thank you! I was recently talking to someone about that, but I couldn’t remember what game it was from. I seem to remember there was quite a nice screen which would render your spaceship different depending on the parts. Ah, it was also so satisfying to launch your ship later and beat everyone because you had more thrusters!

      • LionsPhil says:

        Yes, that was in Civ 2.

        I have a weak but possibly incorrect memory that parts variety was also in Civ 1. I think they brought it back into 4 with the Beyond the Sword expansion.

  4. Tei says:

    I have to be honest, the video made me cry a little. Specially the part the girl have to separate.

    Also, oceans act as the thermoregulators, … they may “try” to stabilize the system by accumulating heat. But the moment they can’t stack more energy… is too late. I think earth face a big extinction event, caused by humans,where every lifeform bigger than a bacteria will be killed.

    • GenBanks says:

      I got pretty emotional too!

    • ensor says:

      The whole “leaving Earth to search the stars” trope just fundamentally hits me right in the heart. The idea of separating yourself from everyone and everything you know, forever, denied even the return to the planet in death, yet being given the chance to bring humanity itself to a new frontier, is simultaneously deeply terrifying and deeply thrilling. It is both the ultimate sacrifice and the ultimate hope – the fear and wonder of change embodied.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    Also: “According to the game’s official website, those who pre-order will receive The Exoplanets Map Pack, which includes six custom maps inspired by real exoplanets […] Kepler 186f: This lush forest planet is one of the oldest known Earth-like planets.”
    *shifty eyes*
    (from link to dualshockers.com)

    • Cross says:

      Which basically means you get some extra scripts for the random map generator (Don’t for a second think we know what the surface of an exoplanet actally LOOKS like) in exchange for not knowing whether the game is broken and shite before you buy it. Real good deal there. Especially in the light of the game apparently having quite a lot of glitches in the review build.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Don’t for a second think we know what the surface of an exoplanet actally LOOKS like

        Yeah, this was my point.

  6. manio22 says:

    Great video. Let’s hope humanity won’t reach any point were we have to ‘flee’ our planet in real life. Also release is at my birthday !

    • Gap Gen says:

      I find the fleeing the planet thing a bit odd (I think the film Interstellar also invokes that idea?). I mean, no exoplanet is going to support a mass migration even if we could build ships for N billion people, and in any case what are we going to do, leave a wave of fucked-up planets in our wake and spend thousands of years terraforming new ones? Sure, as an insurance policy settling other worlds seems reasonable, but relying on space to save us from ourselves seems like it might not work.

      And Happy Birthday for the release date!

      • Xocrates says:

        If the choice is between full extinction or a handful surviving on a different planet, I don’t see the problem.

      • klops says:

        It is more dramatic this way. The Entertainment Man likes drama. It is also there to explain why there are no new ships coming on the turns/centuries to come while playing Beyond Earth. Something nasty happened in Earth.

        What was an interesting surprise was that the Entertainment Man had chosen an Indian girl (I think, because Sikhs) as the lead role. She doesn’t even get an eye contact to a peer-Johnny-American from the next ship.

  7. Eddard_Stark says:

    All in all a neat trailer. A bit over the top on the cliche side though. I mean cossacks in papakhas, an orthodox priest with space blessings and a rusty rocket in a freezing snowy enviroment, really? Only missing bears and balalaikas. Oh wait, the hand seen from inside the space capsule probably belonged to a bear? :)

    Joking aside, I’m not sure what to make of the game yet. It’s definetly not gonna reach the heights of Alpha Centauri but whether it’s more than a glorified Civ V mod, hard to say. I like the tech tree, the affinities could turn out interesting. At the same time too much appears to be a reskinned Civ V modification. It also does look rather bland visually, doesn’t feel like an alien world, not even close. And still I’m probably going to give it a shot as my 4X itch needs to be scratched. Damn Firaxis!

    • Tekrunner says:

      Agreed that there are many cliches and unrealistic elements meant to manipulate your emotions in that trailer. However the characters pictured are most likely south Asians. The soldier who scans people is a Sikh and the guy and his daughter don’t really look like ethnic Russians.

      • Eddard_Stark says:

        I was referring to the short *sidestory* starting at 1:30 ) And hey, I liked the intro. Just wish they’d veer a bit away from the tropes.

    • Kollega says:

      As an actual Russian, I am qualified to say that Eastern Orthodox priests being there to bless the space launches is actually very realistic. It obviously didn’t happen in the Soviet times, but in the “new Russia” – sure thing. And though the Russian faction in the game, the Slavic Federation, is based off the Soviet optimism regarding spaceflight and space exploration, politically it’s a descendant of the post-USSR Russia. Considering all this, I only found the Orthodox-priests-at-space-launch thing funny because of how close it is to silly reality.

      • Eddard_Stark says:

        Thanks for the insight mate! I would’ve laughed at the irony if it wasn’t so tragic.

    • evil.faerytales says:

      >>an orthodox priest with space blessings and a rusty rocket in a freezing snowy enviroment, really? Only missing bears and balalaikas.

      Buddy, you have no idea ) I’ll leave this here for you: link to youtube.com

      • evil.faerytales says:

        also spoiler – it didn’t help. Apparently god didn’t change much since babylon tower days, ha

  8. Shadowcat says:

    “I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.”

    SCIENCE VICTORY!

    • WiggumEsquilax says:

      Building the smallest, slowest starship you can, then annihilating the world so that no other vessel can overtake yours is now canon.

  9. K33L3R says:

    Loved the trailer
    Plus I just did a science victory in Civ V to prepare for this game so it’ll feel like the games continue on from each other :-)

  10. iniudan says:

    Careful with all cap emotions, don’t say it three times, it summons David Cage.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      If you do that, then Civ: Beyond Earth turns into Civ: Beyond Earth: Two Souls.

  11. Gog Magog says:

    So victory means getting the fuck outta dodge then.

    Yeah, I can see that.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I can’t.

      Science Victory isn’t fleeing with your tail between your legs; it’s boldly expanding the frontiers of humanity.

    • YogSo says:

      I don’t know if I agree with that. The original Alpha Centauri intro had a much more strong vibe of “humanity is fucked, let’s start anew somewhere else”. This one has a much more positive, hopeful feeling.

    • Flavour Beans says:

      The last multiplayer game of Civ5 that I did ended with me taking a science victory as the other remaining two players (out of eight original) were in a slugfest to push for a conquest victory. Getting out of Dodge seemed especially fitting then.

  12. Talon2000uk says:

    I can’t wait for the expansion pack that lets you play as the alien wildlife, letting you fight off the evil human invaders bent on raping the natural wonders of your planet.

    Civilisation: Avatar anyone. :D

    Actually what started as a joke post now sounds like a cool fun game to play.

    Hmm it would be fun to have the human race as the bad guys for a change and to play as the out numbered indigenous inhabitants fighting an impossible war against the might of the ravening hoards of earthlings.

    Quick to the Kickstartermobile! :D

    • Gink says:

      Civilization: X-Com.

    • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

      If I was Firaxis, I’d announce a new X-Com game based on X-Com: Apocalypse. The game would also take place in a single city in the far future, and would also involve capturing, interrogating and autopsying the alien invaders to discover their physiology and motives. As the game goes on, your scientists discover the higher alien lifeforms seem to have a lot of similarity with humans, and theorize that they deliberately seeded Earth with their DNA to create a compatible species, though they don’t know for sure. In the twist ending, it’d turn out their theory is dead wrong: these were humans, and you are playing as Earth during a Supremacy victory in Civ Beyond. YOUR MIND IS NOW BLOWN.

    • gi_ty says:

      Try playing as a native American tribe in Europa 4, tis much the same.

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    X_kot says:

    Upside: this new alien world HAS NO OCEANS!

    …in that it has a single, global release date. :D

  14. Heliocentric says:

    Did this make anyone else want to play Kerbal?

  15. AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

    Is this the game’s actual intro? Because I thought the first trailer would be a much better intro. The first few seconds managed to tell everything about the game:

    *Shot of the Pyramids* This is a Civ game…
    *camera zooms out revealing skyscrapers in the background* …taking place in a distant future…
    *camera zooms out more revealing the Pyramids are surrounded by water* …in which the planet is fucked.

    Also, that intro showed all the national sponsors (…well, more of them) and each scene showed text and speech in their language. Notice that when the girl that I believe is meant to be Egyptian is awakened the display is written in English.

    Also, does anyone else find that girl suprisingly similar to Ashley Burch?