Intrepid Editor Tom McNamara and PC Gamer Managing Editor Cory Banks descended upon Civilization: Beyond Earth recently, getting our grubby hands on it ahead of its October 24th release, and our coverage was but words and pictures. We now have a full-blown video that slices together six minutes of direct-feed video, during which you will hear Tom and Corey go over their experience in a charmingly off-the-cuff manner that you are sure to enjoy and recommend frequently to your friends and neighbors.
We play through the first 100 turns of Firaxis' next Civ game
We're still a couple months away from the retail release of Civilization: Beyond Earth (C:BE), but publisher 2K Games couldn't hold back the horde any longer. We've been eager to try it out because it's Civ, but also because it feels like a spiritual sequel to Alpha Centauri, which itself dealt with a nagging question from earlier entries in the series: What happens when you win the game by launching an interstellar ship into space? Where do those people go? At first glance, C:BE looks like a sci-fi Civilization V with an exotic color palette, but a number of new layers unfolded during our time with it.
Pay more than $15 to unlock a treasure trove of Sid Meier games
Looking for something to do this coming weekend? Have a look at the Humble Sid Meier Bundle. Many of you already have, as the collection of titles raked in $1.7 million during the first two days last week. What was already a good deal is even sweeter with the addition of two DLC packs for Civilization V and the 2004 reload of Sid Meier's Pirates. At present, it takes $15.01 to unlock the entire collection.
It may not move games in Modern Warfare numbers, but Civilization is the definition of a venerable gaming franchise. Spanning nearly two decades, the series has seen five full games, a half-dozen expansion packs, and a handful of spin-offs. But this isn’t Call of Duty—there’s not going to be another core Civ game every year, or even every couple of years, so every version has to satisfy the fan base for at least three or four years.
So, is Civilization V good?
That’s not terribly surprising, so let’s get at the stuff you want to know: How does Civilization V change up the time-tested Civ formula? Basically, by keeping the best elements intact, while streamlining, polishing, and upgrading the rest.
The Revolution was televised, and it was pretty all right, we guess. But now Sid Meier’s up to his old tricks again, and we couldn’t be happier. No more “Revolutions,” no more Facebook games. Just a good old-fashioned numbered installment in the Civ series that’s being built from the ground up as a PC exclusive.
“Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise has been recognized as one of the greatest PC game franchises of all time with millions of units sold worldwide,” said Christoph Hartmann, president of 2K. “Civilization V takes the franchise further by offering players a more immersive experience with deeper strategies; heightened tactical combat; vast, realistic landscapes to explore, battle over and claim as their own; and an in-game community hub where Civ fans can share content and compete against each other without leaving the game.”
Which is all great. But you know what’s even better? Hex grids, which apparently allow for “deeper strategy, more realistic gameplay and stunning organic landscapes for players to explore as they expand their empire.”
Hexagon tiles, incidentally, strike us as a bit of an odd feature to promote front-and-center when you’re announcing a new game. There’s no middle ground. Either you’re an average “everyday” gamer who only delves into turn-based strategy when a new Civ game comes out, in which case, you have no idea what Talk-Two’s taking about. Er, Take-Two’s talking about. Or you’re a hardcore strategy buff, in which case you’re sexually aroused right now.
But that’s neither here nor there. And sadly, neither is any more info on Civ V. We’ll keep you posted.
Sid Meier plans to take advantage of Facebook’s social networking for a new entry into his Civilization game franchise. Dubbed Civilization Network, Meier states that the game “will allow you to join together with your friends to create the world’s most powerful, richest, smartest, or just plain coolest civilization.” Better yet, the game will exist in a “fully persistent environment,” and you’ll be able to play as much as you like for free.
Meier says that testers will be needed for a closed beta, and that the full game is expected to launch in 2010. You can join Meier’s Facebook page for updates.