Civilization: Beyond Earth Gameplay Trailer Shows Off Warfare, Virtue Trees, Orbital Layer

By Connor Sears , Updated Aug 31, 2014 02:11 PM EDT

A new trailer from the Sid Meier's Civilization YouTube page demonstrates several gameplay mechanics of Beyond Earth, an upcoming game that trades history for science fiction as Earth factions aim to survive on an alien planet.

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In the trailer, series fans get to see the player's civ take down a hostile alien life-form dubbed the Kraken and are introduced to orbital satellites that can be deployed both for infrastructure and awesomely aggressive purposes.

The trailer, which is narrated by a computer that calls itself Master Control, takes players through a turn as a civilization aligned with the Purity Affinity, a victory condition that focuses on humans terraforming the new planet so that other humans still stuck on Earth can relocate. The goal is not an easy one. Players must slowly replace the planet's native environments with those more similar to Earth's while defending themselves against the alien life – in this trailer, the Kraken – trying to retain its home planet.

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Purity Affinity civilizations have several tools at their disposal that we get to see in the trailer. Orbital satellites, when they're not decimating enemies, can be used to the increase energy yield of a small area within a civ's borders. Leaders can also earn Virtues (presumably by collecting enough of a certain resource) that give civs notable bonuses, much like the Social Policies of Civilization V. The Virtue trees can be seen in the trailer representing four categories: Might, Prosperity, Knowledge and Industry. Based on the trailer, Knowledge is most likely beneficial to leaders aiming for a Purity victory.

The trailer ends with the player declaring war on a neighboring civ aligned with the Supremacy Affinity, which emphasizes conquering the alien terrain by shedding humanity and embracing technology. Because this goal is fairly at odds with the player's goal of preserving humanity, the two go to war. Combat seems fairly similar to earlier Civilization games. Movement, melee attacks and ranged attacks all look familiar. Players get a combat preview before they engage, and both sides lose some health after the skirmish. The rest of the gameplay, however, looks to be a fresh take on a celebrated formula.

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is set to hit PCs on October 24.

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