Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth looks to space for humanity's salvation

It's been a long time coming, almost literally. After more than two decades of letting gamers become virtual gods and rulers, the beloved game franchise is now expanding to the logical next frontier and mankind's last hope for finding a new home. Firaxis and Sid Meier are finally bringing Civilization to outer space!

The Civilization franchise is composed of, so far, five turn-based 4X (for "eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate") strategy games that put players in control of developing and unraveling the history of the world through its numerous civilzations, starting from the dawn of time up to the present age. Despite lacking the adrenaline-rushing button-mashing elements you'd find in most games these days, Civilization has managed to capture the hearts, not to mention money, of gamers all over for its distinct world-building design and addictive gameplay. However, one plot restriction, if you could call it that, of all previous titles is that they practically stop in our modern time period. Well, not anymore.

Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth takes place at the end of what is supposedly a successful era. Unfortunately, that success was not without consequences, forcing humanity to look to the stars in order to survive. The trailer below gives a glimpse of Earth's condition at the start of the game's campaign, showing telltale signs of an impeding apocalyptic situation.

Civilization: Beyond Earth is actually also being billed as a spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri, yet another Sid Meier classic that sports a more sci-fi personality than Civilization's historic focus. In that sense, while players should expect the same Civilization hallmarks, and indeed this game is said to use the very same Civilization V game engine, they should also expect more surprises and changes brought about by the slight change in setting. Without any history to tie it down, the game is open to more possibilities, particularly in how technology and capabilities are developed.

If that has gotten you excited or if you're a long time Civilization fan waiting for your next Sid Meier fix, then you might have to exercise a bit of patience. Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth isn't scheduled to launch until sometime in Fall of this year. That is, if all goes according to schedule, which, in the world of game development, almost never does.