Civ 5 Free To Play On Steam Until Thursday As Civilization: Beyond Earth Becomes Available For Pre-Download

By Connor Sears , Updated Oct 20, 2014 03:21 PM EDT

We've finally made it to the release week of Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth. While the game itself is now available for pre-download, Firaxis announced, the developer is giving one final hurrah to the previous generation by making Civilization V free to play until Beyond Earth comes out on Friday.

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If you've been keeping up with the coverage leading up to the release of Civilization: Beyond Earth but are still an outsider to the franchise, Firaxis is giving you the chance to initiate yourself before the new game drops on Friday. It looks like only the base game, without the two expansion packs that added several rich features to the game's formula, is available for free. Even so, four days with Civ V should be enough to give anyone a crash course in advance of Beyond Earth.

Players who are familiar with Civ V should be fairly prepared on their first playthroughs of Beyond Earth, at least more prepared than newcomers to the series. Both games share many of the same roots and mechanics, with a few differences that make Beyond Earth a unique experience.

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In Civilization: Beyond Earth, the player takes on the role of a leader of a new mission to colonize an alien planet. With a team of pioneers from a rapidly deteriorating Earth, following an event known as the Great Mistake, the player sets off to settle the strange environment with the help of futuristic technologies. The player can choose how they will guide humanity toward its next steps, whether through embracing technology, terraforming the environment or adapting to the new ecosystem.

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth will release for PCs on October 24 and is available for pre-download now.

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