Civilization: Beyond Earth Review - Analysis Paralysis

Li Mu

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Oct 17, 2011
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Shamanic Rhythm said:
I don't understand a lot of the criticism levelled here. This sounds very similar in parts to either Alpha Centauri or Civ 5.

It certainly sounds like a Civ game based on the AI alone. "What's that? You want me to play by the same rules as you when it comes to diplomacy and give you a fair deal? Begone, peasant!"
I find Civ5 diplomacy to be utterly pointless. In my current game I had long standing relations with India. We traded and I gave them luxuries for free when they asked for them. Our relationship was completely 'green'. We'd even gone to war with common enemies.
Then, in one turn, for no apparent reason, they denounced me. The very next turn they declared war and we were completely 'red'.
There was absolutely no logic behind what happened and it was a complete waste of time nurturing a relationship with them.

I also hate how the trade system is idiotic. I ask for some horses. In return they demand 9000000 gold, uranium, my balls and 5 of my cities. OK, a bit of an exaggeration, but it's ALWAYS completely nonsensical.

So, I was really hoping that CivBE would address these huge flaws. Perhaps I should have expected them to remain. They haven't bothered to address the terrible AI over the last 10 years of CIV games, so why would they bother now?
 

L. Declis

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Apr 19, 2012
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I think that the Diplomacy is so half-arsed, that we are looking at some kind of "Diplomacy" expansion.

I think now, having a game or two under my belt, that this game REALLY pushes you to being a militaristic bastard. There just isn't enough ways to punish people diplomatically (think Trade Embargoes or Sanctions or Standing Army Taxes) that you can ONLY do something with a crap-ton of military.

I also think they need to sort out their resources; I honestly don't bother with Firaxite or whatever and I only ever felt the lack when I was sorting out Xenomass stuff.

Also, Contact is about 2x as easy to win as any other victory condition.

And taking a city in this game is kinda bullshit; either you steamroll over it, or you can hold off an army with the city, a flier and a single decent infantry unit.

Also, the aliens become a non-factor really quickly; I was playing Harmony and hoping the aliens may help me survive (as I was, you know, being the only human helping them). No, they just went off somewhere. Sigh.

On the plus side, it's a fantastic game, and I think there is plenty of areas for an expansion to fix things.
 

NRVNQSR86

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Mar 29, 2011
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It's an good review, and the game uses potential interesting concepts, but it's an that flawed execution, that the potential of renewal gets lost. Especially if you also consider that the diplomacy (which got nerfed in Civ V vanilla to an all-time low) is now really about non-existant.
Keeping an tab on more then a few things already gets an totally encumbersome task due to the scrapping of some essential UI-parts for that... So no, atm I'm none too impressed.
I really hope they really do some free major content patches, because they really screwed up. 2K won't like it, but this state of the game is just bad. Not as bad as eg Total War Rome 2 (I guess it's an safe assumption that any profitmargin on it for Sega and CA got majorly drained), but there are quite a bit of fixes needed.
 

bluepotatosack

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I'm finding the end game far more interesting than it was in vanilla V. There seems to still be far more to do, and I'm enjoying the other leaders reacting to your affinity. Being accused of tossing aside your humanity is pretty great.

Bottom line: I will say that it doesn't have the same charm that the traditional Civ games have, but I find the gameplay itself to be more engaging.
 

angryscotsman93

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webkilla said:
So... its not Alpha Centauri - but judging from TB's review then the startup bit where you choose sponsors, colonists and cargo looks quite nice. That seems to be a neat feature


The orbital layer/units seems neat. But it seems to be the only real difference from Civ5


And it doesn't have the unit customization of Alpha Centauri - nor the social engineering options, though the supremacy/harmony/purity thing seems to imitate that slightly - with the virtue system being VERY similar to Civ5's more historical themed social policies - but they're named purely as passive stat buffs... while in civ5 there was at least some fluff on it.

And the usual civ happiness system has been replaced with health. Ok... looks a bit weird - but I guess they wanted to look different.

That said, that the supremacy/harmony/purity affinity system unlock different ending options is really cool. And that the affinity system also ties into unit upgrades - that's neat

Though the range of units seems very limited - reminds me of that other game, Pandora: First Contact


Overall impression: Alpha Centauri is still more diverse and interesting - but this looks nice and I'll likely give it a go, but not at full price
Yeah, can't blame you for a sale. Full disclosure- I never really got around to utilizing the orbital layer too much, and I was even playing SlavFed, whose big thing is the fact that their orbital units stay up 20 percent longer. Still, I've enjoyed the game a lot. Nothing beats playing an army of Slavic cyborgs on a conquest trip.
 

zumbledum

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Nov 13, 2011
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Well ive managed to log 40 hours into it now and its steadily grown on me. the review if you can call it that is wrong in many places for example aliens do not attack on sight on will leave you alone unless you stray within 2 tiles of a nest then they get territorial on your ass.

the tech web is not really very complex but the branch/leaf idea is excellent combines with the web you dont even have to take 1/3 of the techs available to reach the end tiers allowing for a far more focused civ building experience. infact if anything this needs more rings and things added not simplified.

the "terraforming" ability you have is much more developed than any other civ game since AC. you can actually generate new basic and strategic resources there are techs and virtues to increase just about everything (for example the starting generators go from +2 energy to +6 energy +1-2 resource) farms can either be entirely optional or turned into the backbone of your world. starting at a mere +1 food and possibly ending up +4 with culture res and science boosts. you actually need to plan and think of what techs to go for to suit the area you are in.

the unit upgrade system is a marked improvement to me. in civ 5 you start with 4 str warriors and end up with 100+str units making early games things utterly irrelevant. but in this its closer to 5X power gain instead of 25X power gain making the tech power creep far more gentle.

the covert ops are much better than any spy system civ has seen before but it probably needs either toning down or the AI upping to be better at countering it. as it seems a tad overpowered right now.

there are some areas that do need some serious work. the victory conditions for example there are 4 which are basically the same science victory, one domination and a timed one.
the diplomacy is a straight copy paste of civ 5 in implementation but without the constant annoying open border request spam.
The AI players are not as distinct as they normally are , lacking both normal civs racial background and ability or AC's ideological distinction. the fact affinities are nto exclusive and you actually want to pick up a decent amount in all is counter intuitive but i guess it works when you work it out.

on the whole im very impressed with it. i would rate it higher than civ 5 after its two expansions at launch and its nice to see the series head back into a more "hardcore" direction though in my opinion it still falls short of the legend that is alpha centauri.
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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it seems that almost every negative aspect you named is actually a positive aspect for me, so this is definitely going on my list of games to buy.

Kahani said:
the only criticism you gave is that you don't know every little detail of the game the first time you play, and that's not actually a criticism at all.
to be fair he does mention micromanagement hell a couple times, namely with trade routes, and that CAN get exhaustive (remmeber HOI 1 convoy babysitting?)
 

Reynaert

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Jan 30, 2011
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I've played 3 games so far and I quite like the game. The tech-web is appropriate to the futuristic setting and allows you specialize much more than is the case in Civ5. I do wonder if every sponsor has a favourate affinity. ARC seems to lean towards Harmony in the games I played, don't know about the other though.
 

Greg Tito

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Sep 29, 2005
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Ok, I've logged in 4 full games now, Quick pace, first two on Gemini, next two on Soyuz. And while A LOT of stuff has just been copy pasted from Civ 5 and just painted with a different color, that's good AND bad. Good means I don't have to adjust to the new game much, I mean I only lost the first one I played and won every other, each time a different way, more on THIS issue later.

Anyway, about Civs, or Sponsors, their diplomacy only seems to be affected by their affinity and the amount of tiles between your and their borders, which is kinda lacking I guess, it means they're all pretty much the same, there are no unique units and unique buildings as much and that really doesn't specialize any Sponsor in particular like every Civ game before it did.

Your military might is dictated only by your affinity which may or may not be achieved by churning out the beakers, that Quest system is a good idea but a bit messy sometimes.

Culture is a tad useless, it's practically only useful to allow you to expand faster but with enough money energy you can just pick up the best tiles, flip off your neighbor and just be on your way. Same goes for policies virtues which aren't really all that useful, well, only some of them are but including a bunch of crap ones as prerequisites is a bit dickish, I kinda don't remember Civ5 being that way but eh.

Which brings me to my biggest issue, on Soyuz which should be the second hardest level, the game is just BEYOND PISS EASY to win, I mean I can't be that good because I struggled on Civ5 Immortal so I guess I should up the ante and if I can still get easy wins, there goes your alert.


All this being said, the game is kinda lacking, they're likely going to include lots of new features kinda like Gods and Kings did to Civ5 but it might just be a dead end game that should have been a revamped Alpha Centauri but instead ended up being a "Civ5 in space"