Final Score: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

It's been over 10 years since Firaxis Games placed turn-based strategy fans inside an unknown science fiction world to battle for victory. Now they've finally made their return to the stars, but has their mission been as successful as they hoped, or are we all left shaking our heads thinking "Houston... we have a problem."?


For many fans Civilization is their go to 4X game, and for the last four years they've been chugging along nicely ruling their empires in the fifth installment of Sid Meier's Civilization building masterpiece. Now for the first time since Alpha Centauri, the 4X kings have taken a turn back into the Scifi world. But does Civilization: Beyond Earth have what it takes to lead as long a lifespan as previous Civ games? We’ve rounded up the hottest reviews to give you a baseline for making your final decision. Do you press that purchase button? Or does this game sit wasting away on your wishlist until the Steam sales kick in?

Shacknews: 7/10

“Despite its faults, Civilization: Beyond Earth does fulfill its promise to take you to a distant world, where you'll find exotic alien life, meet future leaders of mankind... and conquer them.”

Eurogamer: 8/10

“Civ's always gobbled your time, but Beyond Earth makes clearer demands on your attention. Sit up. Lean in.”

Joystiq: 4/5

“Beyond Earth's design distinguishes itself because rather than having the multiple layers of micromanagement that Civilization typically introduces over hundreds of turns (with some of them frustratingly late in the game to incorporate), Beyond Earth offers a full tool chest nice and early. “

IGN: 7.9/10

“Even on these barely recognizable alien worlds, the addictiveness of building cities, exploration, and tactical combat holds up well. From there, developer Firaxis runs a series of bold experiments with Civilization’s established design. A few – such as the new Affinities system and streamlined unit upgrading – bear promising results, but cumulatively, enough of them go awry that I have to label Beyond Earth as my least-favorite Civilization in more than a decade.”

Destructoid: 9/10

“But even with everything new, Civilization: Beyond Earth is still Civilization, but set in the future on an alien planet. And it is exactly as good as that sounds.”

Escapist: 3/5

“Beyond Earth has a large number of new concepts that separate it from its roots in Civilization V, but not all of them are successful. But, beyond the success or failure of individual features, is the disappointment I felt in playing a game that doesn't truly feel like it's on a new world.”

PCGamer: 87/100

“Beyond Earth’s many similarities to Civ 5 mask, to its detriment, a game that is remarkably new and different, and once I was able to see past those similarities, the newness and wonder of playing in a future Civ sandbox washed over me like a slow boiling pot of water. I was engrossed before I realized it.”

Polygon: 9/10

“Beyond Earth is an adventure about the future of humanity, an ode to discovery and to enquiry. It is also a work of science itself, the result of developer Firaxis' patient accumulation of data and ideas, culminating in a gameplay machine that whirrs with a fierce and quiet efficiency.”

Guides Editor

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and has been exploring the world of video games for as long as he can remember. He enjoys everything from large-scale RPGs to small, bite-size indie gems and everything in between.

From The Chatty
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    October 23, 2014 12:00 PM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, Final Score: Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth

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      October 23, 2014 12:02 PM

      the buzz coming off the reviews of this game is really confusing. tentatively excited to play and find out where i actually think it falls.

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      October 23, 2014 12:07 PM

      Lots of contradictory reviews there.

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        October 23, 2014 12:08 PM

        makes me think it's going to have a release like Civ5 where after an expansion or two it's going to be excellent, but is a mixed bag out of the gate.

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          October 23, 2014 12:12 PM

          This is exactly the vibe I'm getting too.

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          October 23, 2014 12:20 PM

          Not particularly uncommon with them. Experiment a bit, collect a bunch of data, and refine what didn't work.

          Still, many of those reviews left me questioning how much time the reviewers put into the game. Civ's always been a weird one - it'll grab you immediately, but you won't recognize how deep it is until you've logged >100 hours.

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          October 23, 2014 12:29 PM

          Civ 5 really did have some failings coming out the gate, but the expansions made up for a lot of those failings, if not all of them. I think the biggest thing to do is go at it with a level head. One thing I do see common in most of the reviews is that it shouldn't be TOO challenging for Civ veterans to get their head into the game.
          I wouldn't mind knowing how many hours in total the reviews have put into the game, and previous Civ games as there is a LOT of comparison between the two.

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          October 23, 2014 3:12 PM

          I'm getting the same feeling. Going to wait to see what shakes out in the DLC before jumping in. Besides, I have several orc captains to take revenge on.

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            October 23, 2014 7:03 PM

            I know that feeling, I have quite a few of those to enact my reveng on as well. So many games to play, so little time to play them all.

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        October 23, 2014 12:25 PM

        I agree. The reason I choose the reviews as I do is to provide you guys with as much information as I can. I want you to see the good and the bad, so you can make a baseline for your decision to purchase. Granted I never make purchases based simply off reviews, because let's face it- different strokes for different folks.

        Either way, I think the contradictions in the reviews shows just how much we as gamers vary, and just how much room for interpretation we have when deciding on whether we like something or not.

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      October 23, 2014 1:05 PM

      i are ready!!

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      October 23, 2014 1:31 PM

      I want this all over my face.

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      October 23, 2014 1:41 PM

      Seems like its roughly an average - good game so far (excluding Polygon score for their nature to flip scores depending on how they feel).

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        October 23, 2014 1:52 PM

        It's almost like video games make you feel things and those feelings influence the score you give.

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        October 23, 2014 4:01 PM

        Did Polygon's review get political?

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      October 23, 2014 3:00 PM

      if anyone is still looking for a deal on this its $37.49 on the VIP page at GMG.

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        October 23, 2014 3:35 PM

        Hnnnnnnrrrrrgggg....making it so hard to resist...

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        October 23, 2014 7:09 PM

        damn you. i just bought it tonight from amazon. grrrr

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      October 23, 2014 3:15 PM


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      October 23, 2014 3:44 PM

      Is there some "fancy" way of unlocking it by "pretending" that my computer is in australia?

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