Civilization: Beyond Earth News: Detailed Breakdown Of The Game's Three Affinities, Victory Conditions

By Connor Sears , Updated Sep 16, 2014 01:25 PM EDT

We've got a little more than a month left until the release of Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, but diehard fans are already planning out their opening strategies and figuring out what kind of victory they will shoot for in their first game. Before you start making those decisions, though, you may want to bulk up on the three Affinity choices that drive each game as well as the five victory conditions that can win you your first match.

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Affinities are philosophical ideas of how humanity should proceed in this post-Earth world, and they play an important role in the game. Beyond Earth contains three different Affinities. With Purity, players acknowledge that humans are already perfect. They shouldn't adapt to a new environment; the environment should change to suit them.

The Harmony path takes the opposite view, that humanity's best chance for survival is to become more in tune with the alien ecosystem and slowly evolve into a population of human-alien hybrids. Supremacy throws both of those ideals away and instead embraces technology as the savior of the human race. Supremacy players will work to leave their humanity behind as they become more and more robotic to survive in any climate they choose.

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Unlike the Ideologies of Civ V: Brave New World, Affinities are not chosen. They are earned through a point system. Players earn points for a specific Affinity by building certain buildings, completing certain quests or researching appropriate technologies. As Firaxis showed in last week's live gameplay demo, players can even accidentally go up Affinity levels if they steal a high-level Affinity technology from a neighbor.

Over the course of a game, Affinities affect the gameplay both practically and aesthetically. Players who dive deep into a certain Affinity will gain access to powerful unique units. Supremacy players can unlock the ANGEL, a powerful siege unit that places a human brain in a robotic body. Harmony players can build the Xeno Titan, the strongest melee unit in the game that barely fits on a single tile. Purity players get the Lev Destroyer, what the developers describe as a "floating castle with guns."

Over time, a civs' units and cities will gradually change in appearance to reflect a player's dominant Affinity. Basic military units in a Harmony civ will adopt a blue-green color palette and lose their harsh edges for more flowing curves. Supremacy units will become slate gray with more triangular edges, while Purity units simply emphasize the existing elements of their original design. Affinities are also closely tied to the alien resources that players will find on this new planet. Purity-minded players will need to seek out to Float Stone resource to build their line of levitating units. Harmony players will want to settle near Xenomass deposits, and players pursuing Supremacy will do well to find Firaxite tiles.

Beyond Earth includes five different victory conditions, three of which are based in the Affinity system. Every player can go for the time-honored Domination Victory of conquering all opponents, and all players can also pursue a Contact Victory, which involves making contact with a long-defunct alien civilization.

The ultimate victory for Purity players involves building a warp gate on your new planet to bring settlers over from Earth to your new human paradise. Bringing 20 settlers over and placing them in specially-built settlements will net you this victory. Interestingly enough, Supremacy players are also trying to build a warp gate, only once they build it, they're going to send their military units back to Earth to "liberate" the local population from their remaining humanity. A Harmony victory involves waking up the dormant sentience of your new home planet, which involves building another specialized Wonder.

There are a lot of ways to win in Beyond Earth and a lot of ways to get there. Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is set to release October 24 for PC.

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