Metascore
81

Generally favorable reviews - based on 78 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 78
  2. Negative: 1 out of 78
Buy On
  1. PC PowerPlay
    Nov 30, 2014
    100
    Beyond Earth is the finest thing that Firaxis has made and a game that we suspect we'll be playing for a long time to come. [Dec 2014, p.52]
  2. Oct 23, 2014
    91
    Beyond Earth is Civilization V with a new souls. It delivers a bright, perhaps too optimistic view of the future, but its great design will set the goalpost for 4X in the years to come.
  3. CD-Action
    Jan 9, 2015
    90
    Cancel all your plans and fill up the fridge, because once you launch Beyond Earth you will not want to leave your home. [13/2014, p.46]
  4. Hyper Magazine
    Dec 2, 2014
    90
    Almost perfect 4X fun. [Issue#255, p.45]
  5. Nov 25, 2014
    90
    Civilization: Beyond Earth takes the best that Civ V had to offer and liberates it from the baggage of history repeating.
  6. Nov 10, 2014
    90
    Aims for the stars and reaches them.
  7. Nov 3, 2014
    90
    The final result is a brilliant alteration of an old friend, shining a new light on a proven structure.
  8. Oct 24, 2014
    90
    This is the bag of potato chips for turn based strategists: Once you start, you cannot stop. With aliens, satellites, xeno mass and all the other futuristic flair it not only plays distinctively differently, but culture, ideology, affinities and research are exceptionally connected. You can look forward to a sleepless fall and winter.
  9. Oct 23, 2014
    90
    It brings a solid experience, with lots of possibilities and a new environment that makes it feel classic but fresh at the same time.
  10. Oct 23, 2014
    90
    While the visual and stylistic choices may not prove to be to everyone’s tastes, there is plenty of both new and familiar to satisfy anyone willing to hop on aboard and see where Beyond Earth is able to take you.
  11. Oct 23, 2014
    90
    This is a great 4X title that leaves little to be desired. You really feel the decades of experience behind Beyond Earth.
  12. Gamereactor Denmark
    Oct 23, 2014
    90
    I can't remember when I last enjoyed a Civilization game as much as I have enjoyed Beyond Earth. I'm itching to jump on it again, raise the difficulty a notch or two, and see how fast my plans go down the toilet as I try to mount a panic-stricken comeback. It's an excellent strategy game, and despite minor problems it deserves a warm recommendation.
  13. Oct 23, 2014
    90
    This is a must play for strategy fans, and if you’ve always been curious about the genre but never jumped in, your opportunity is here.
  14. Oct 23, 2014
    90
    Another success in the line of Civ games. It does a good job of setting the scene and taking the player along on a story of hope, struggle and triumph.
  15. Oct 23, 2014
    90
    This is a work of speculative fiction that allows the player to speculate for themselves, starting from a similar place each time but potentially reaching vastly different conclusions. It’s also a tightly-designed, well-balanced 4X game that is sure to consume many gamers’ free time in the coming months and years.
  16. Oct 23, 2014
    90
    Packed with big ideas about science and science fiction, it meticulously interlocks dozens of strategic gaming systems that work together at a level that approaches genius.
  17. Oct 23, 2014
    90
    The Civilization pedigree holds a lot of weight after all these years, and Beyond Earth more than lives up to its name.
  18. Nov 17, 2014
    88
    It doesn't live up to the admittedly high expectations, lacks in presentation and feels more like an expansion than a standalone game. Yet what it does do, is deliver fun by the bucketload.
  19. Oct 29, 2014
    88
    As first impressions go, Civilization Beyond Earth makes a staggeringly poor one. After a few games -- after you get your head around the affinities and the tech web and the dos and donts of living on an alien planet -- it becomes a gorgeous and engaging, if not revolutionary, 4X game.
  20. Oct 23, 2014
    88
    Quotation forthcoming.
  21. Oct 23, 2014
    88
    Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth is Civilization V with planetary colonization theme and minor differences. It's a great game, but a great game well known.
  22. Oct 23, 2014
    87
    It’s easy to look at Beyond Earth and see it as nothing more than an elaborate reskin of Civilization V. In many ways, it shares a similar interface and borrows many components. Yet as soon as you get to the end of your first game, you’re acutely aware of how different it feels. At this point, it’s cliche to say how time consuming Civilization can be, but Beyond Earth only lends further credence to the phrase “one more turn.”
  23. Oct 23, 2014
    87
    Beyond Earth is a well done mix of Alpha Centauri and Civilization 5. The UI-design is modern an quite useful. The new designed Tech-Web offers plenty of gameplay mechanics. Though it’s not satisfying in all aspects, it has become a nice science-fiction alternative to the historic Civ Games.
  24. Oct 23, 2014
    87
    Although its foundation in Civ 5 makes it familiar, Beyond Earth is full of interesting surprises that are pleasantly difficult to master.
  25. Oct 24, 2014
    86
    Civilization: Beyond Earth may be a spin-off but one that can stand on its own. Things are more unpredictable but the gameplay is still very familiar. More important: Beyond Earth is more than just Civilization V in space.
  26. Dec 23, 2014
    85
    Passive AI and lackluster online support from the community isn't enough to make Civilization: Beyond Earth a total wash. If you've enjoyed the series over the years, you'll likely spend many hours with this entry as well.
  27. Oct 28, 2014
    85
    Civilization: Beyond Earth doesn't offer a staggering amount of changes but that doesn't affect the gameplay in a negative way. Beyond Earth is a classy stand alone game. Basic rules from Civ V guarantee great fun and on top of that you get a new world and some aliens which make you think of new strategies. There's no revolution but a well executed evolution, and that's more than enough.
  28. Oct 27, 2014
    85
    If you've spent dozens and dozens of hours with Civilization V, Beyond Earth will probably be your favorite game of the year. The new work by Firaxis built a fortress on the foundations laid by his predecessor, and comes to offer a more complex, customized, comprehensive and demanding experience.
  29. Oct 26, 2014
    85
    It takes a little time to get used to (especially the controls), but thanks to Tech Web and the Affinities this is an awesome Civilization game. It is unpredictable, it looks great and there is a lot of freedom to do your own thing.
  30. Oct 26, 2014
    85
    Civilization: Beyond Earth is a game that grew on me. I started skeptical, fearing it would simply be a gussied-up Civ 5 mod. But I’m now convinced it’s a damn fine game in its own right.
  31. Oct 24, 2014
    85
    Beyond Earth is just as innovative when it comes to the mechanics of the turn-based strategy series as Civilization V was before it and gamers will need a bit of time to become accustomed to the increased customization, the tech web and the powerful challenge posed by the alien life.
  32. Oct 23, 2014
    85
    Beyond Earth translates the praised Civ-formula to a sci-fi setting very well. The freedom you get with shaping the future of human kind, makes every playthrough unpredictable and exciting.
  33. Oct 23, 2014
    85
    Civilization: Beyond Earth is a rightful heir to the IP, with everything in it to make it a great Civ Game with the added touch of an SF context. Don't expect to have found the legacy of Alpha Centauri because this is not it.
  34. Oct 23, 2014
    85
    Civilization: Beyond Earth refreshes the saga, even if it had to move light-years away from its original setting. It offers a wide variety of choices making each game different from the last... Although it needs an important improvement on its AI. Civilization: Beyond Earth will give us many hours of fun, playing alone or with friends.
  35. Oct 23, 2014
    83
    It’s got its problems. But it’s a game that will have you staying up late at night, itching to complete just one more turn.
  36. Oct 23, 2014
    82
    Hopefully the game grows as well as Civilization 5 with future patches and add-ons for the game that satisfy my inner Jean-Luc Picard.
  37. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Sep 23, 2014
    81
    The only Big Mistake that could plunge the Earth into chaos in three hundred years would be to never develop or publish Civilization: Beyond Earth. Thank God it had passed. Firaxis fully succeeded where only Gollop bros were successful before: it brought the role-playing element as influential as the strategic one into the turn-based strategy. [Oct, 2014, p.68]
  38. Games Master UK
    Dec 21, 2014
    80
    Prepare for tech tree troubles, but the amount to discover and overall quality wins out. [Christmas 2014, p.64]
  39. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    Dec 3, 2014
    80
    Firaxis Games already know exactly what we want from Civilization so they gave it to us. They could try a little harder though not just play it safe. [Issue#247]
  40. Pelit (Finland)
    Nov 15, 2014
    80
    Beyond Earth is a solid turn based strategy game, but playing it feels a bit too much like playing Civilization V. Compared to the classic Alpha Centauri game, Beyond Earth kinda fails to properly sell the feeling of colonizing a strange new world. [Nov 2014]
  41. Nov 12, 2014
    80
    With Beyond Earth, Firaxis looks back at Alpha Centauri with dignity. Interaction between different gameplay features and the gamer's free will shape this strategic game into a fine gem. Structurally speaking, however, the new Civilization game does not appear polished, which is the reason preventing the game to be among the best ones.
  42. Nov 12, 2014
    80
    It doesn’t live up to what it could, what it SHOULD, be. It has some cool ideas, it has some that need work and it needs more content. It survives because it has a solid parent of a game to draw upon but it hasn’t done enough to distance itself far enough away.
  43. Nov 10, 2014
    80
    For me however, I’ve found Beyond Earth to be the Civ-equivalent of reading a John Grisham novel: you know it’s not really the best of its kind, but at the same time it is quite more-ish.
  44. Civilization: Beyond Earth is a successful mixture of Sci-fi and Civilization V. While the newest Civilization manages to introduce an addictive and innovative playstyle, some game aspects like AI and Tech Web needs to improve further.
  45. 80
    Overall, I would say that Civilization: Beyond Earth was fun, at least as fun as Civ 5. It just wasn’t mind-blowing, which is a shame because all the Alpha Centauri fans out there were kind of hoping for that.
  46. Oct 31, 2014
    80
    Taking the playstyle from Civilization V and launching it into space, Civilization: Beyond Earth introduces a number of interesting concepts into the series’ tried-and-true strategy formula. While the gameplay remains addictive, the learning curve here is steep, with lots of small details that demand your attention. What you make of it depends on your patience and ability to adapt to the cruelties of space.
  47. Oct 28, 2014
    80
    Its series of interconnected systems are well balanced and while some of them will feel disappointingly familiar to series veterans, there’s sufficient diversity and flexibility here to feed the series ongoing evolution.
  48. It is certainly more polished than Civ 5 was when it was released, and feels much more like a finished game, where as the predecessor was merely alright until it was elevated by its expansions.
  49. Oct 24, 2014
    80
    Beyond Earth takes the solid foundation of Civilization to offer a more immersive experience, perhaps the best since Alpha Centauri, if not better.
  50. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Despite a few pre-existing flaws carried over from Civilization V, Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth evolves the franchise and has the potential to become an outstanding spin-off of its own.
  51. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Boasting some clever innovations and generally smooth execution, Civilization: Beyond Earth is a sure bet for fans of the long-running series.
  52. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Beyond Earth is more Civilization V than Alpha Centauri, and its gameplay is smooth and far less linear than the past. But it can't have the magic of Civilization that, with its artists, monuments and links with our story, has more appeal.
  53. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Do not start playing this game if you have somewhere to be – work, school, surgery, your wedding – in the next several hours.
  54. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Ultimately, Beyond Earth is an exceedingly polished 4x experience, taking you and humanity through space exploration, frustrations and all.
  55. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    If you like strategic turn-based games and futuristic settings, it's hard not to recommend Civilization: Beyond Earth, even if it doesn't revolutionize the series and still suffers some flaws.
  56. Gamereactor Sweden
    Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Innovative, addictive and well structured.
  57. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Firaxis' latest 4X is not without annoyances or bugs - one mistake can still lead to a lengthy bleeding out, units still get stuck on long journeys, hotseat multiplayer is currently a mess of missing buttons and there are still some moments where you're almost hypnotised by the endless procession of incidental choices you're presented with - but it is a surprisingly profound experience at times.
  58. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Civilization: Beyond Earth may seem a bit too familiar for a game supposedly set on a distant planet, but the roving packs of aliens and the new quest system make it an expedition worth embarking on.
  59. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    Civilization: Beyond Earth is a good game in the context of the Civilization franchise.
  60. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    A solid title that will make fans of the Civilization franchise extremely happy, and might even attract some new players - if they can survive the initial challenge.
  61. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    An excellent spin-off that uses the science fiction setting to focus and expand the gameplay in interesting new ways, and yet remains as accessible and thoughtful as ever.
  62. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    I was worried going in that Civilization: Beyond Earth would be little more than a re-skinned Civilization V with a few added bells and whistles; but thankfully, the flow, structure, and overall feel of the strategy makes for a very different game.
  63. Oct 23, 2014
    80
    The Civilization series is one of the biggest names in strategy for a very good reason, and Beyond Earth adds some wonderful ideas on top of all that, but the underlying systems have remained largely untouched.
  64. Oct 23, 2014
    79
    It still does what it does incredibly well, and every new campaign in a Civilization game brings originality and variety on its own. I thought the extra-terrestrial setting was badly wasted, but even without any real innovation it’s still a very solid game, just not one that’s much different from Civilization: V.
  65. Oct 23, 2014
    79
    Beyond Earth is nowhere near the strongest game in the more than 20-year-old Civilization series, but this big collection of interesting experimental ideas definitely still kept me playing long after I should’ve gone to bed.
  66. Nov 11, 2014
    70
    Should you read lengthy Internet discussions on what is missing now in Beyond Earth, you may think that the game is simply guilty of being not enough like Alpha Centauri, when, in fact, the problem lies elsewhere. Beyond Earth is worse than its 15-year-old predecessor in all regards, and it has nothing to make up for it. Firaxis made a decent, but shallow game that gets old after 2-3 playthroughs, which is not a good sign in a 4X genre.
  67. Nov 6, 2014
    70
    Truth be told, though, Beyond Earth likely won’t have quite the staying power of either Alpha Centauri or Civilization V. Ultimately, Firaxis’s latest effort feels more like a sci-fi mod of Civilization V than a fully-formed project in its own right. But perhaps we should not be so quick to dismiss it, if not for play, then at least for thought.
  68. Nov 3, 2014
    70
    In the end, Civilization: Beyond Earth is just a really average game. Firaxis has some nice new idea's - like the tech-web and the way aliens behave -, but they don't cover the fact that the title has some flaws.
  69. Oct 29, 2014
    70
    It’s perfectly enjoyable, but for every smart innovation it seems to have lost a portion of both complexity and character. There’s potential here, but we’ll have to wait for a couple of meaty expansions to see Beyond Earth’s promise fully realised.
  70. Oct 23, 2014
    70
    Beyond Earth's combat suffers from some balance issues though, and that's curious for a game that leans so heavily on proven systems.
  71. Oct 23, 2014
    70
    While the Affinity system lacks the kind of personality and flexibility that other Civ games have, I'll admit that it is an interesting twist. Even after multiple playthroughs, I can't really say that I'm completely comfortable with the technology web.
  72. Oct 23, 2014
    70
    That’s the thing about Beyond Earth: I feel like for every considered, clever addition to Civ’s formula, there’s always a near miss. War is fun, but the AI is not. Aliens are novel, but humans are dreary. I enjoyed playing it, I’m still playing, but it just hasn’t gripped me like previous games. I want it to be better, more interesting, than it is.
  73. Edge Magazine
    Dec 6, 2014
    60
    Very much a sidewards step for the series rather than a bold leap forwards for its kind. [Christmas 2014, p.118]
  74. Oct 29, 2014
    60
    Its best parts are aesthetic in nature, changes to a visual palette that evoke a world of futuristic possibility. Yet the game itself feels regressive compared to the many changes made to Civ V's formula throughout its lifespan.
  75. Oct 23, 2014
    60
    An overall solid turn-based strategy game that suffers from information overload resulting in analysis paralysis for the player, Beyond Earth has a few really interesting systems but ultimately doesn't transcend those mechanics into something unique or awe-inspiring.
  76. Oct 23, 2014
    60
    The solid mechanics of the Civilization series are not enough to lift this game up to its potential. It fails to differentiate itself from Civ V and is lacking in inspiration and soul. A missed opportunity to create something great.
  77. Dec 11, 2014
    58
    Firaxis' ambition may be great, but their inspiration seems to be left behind on our home planet. We've gone maybe out to Mars in this one, and it's a shame that Civilization's foray into the future is one that reminds us only of how inspired things were in the past. I'd love to see something more inventive in a full release, but maybe that will appear in a less fiscally-demanding expansion at some point.
  78. Oct 25, 2014
    40
    All the decisions I’ve made have snowballed into a massive unwieldy clockwork of inconsequence, lumbering towards an inevitable conclusion like a giant Katamari ball consisting of all those little decisions, none of them steering it in any meaningful way, but each of them lending the monstrosity a tiny bit of mass. Then the ball reaches the requisite mass and a screen tells me I’ve won and I’m back at the main menu. No recap, no score breakdown, no map to admire, no ranking. Poof.
User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1050 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Oct 25, 2014
    4
    Is this game bad? No.

    Does this game disappoint? Certainly. I've been playing Civilization games since the second game came out, and
    Is this game bad? No.

    Does this game disappoint? Certainly.

    I've been playing Civilization games since the second game came out, and I've played pretty much every strategy game that has been released for English and German. I think I have a pretty good background in the field of strategy games.

    First: I won't be repeating a lot of what's being said.
    Second: I actually like this game.

    Now, if Civilization Beyond Earth was released without any Hype or expectations I had for it, this game would have been scored higher. It however, has the unfortunate pleasure of being compared to Alpha Centauri and it's expansion pack Alien Crossfire. As the developers noted several times, it was suppose to be a spiritual successor to the game, and repeated the mantra: "We made this for you" (Alpha Centauri fans)

    Unfortunately, with such a huge monolith in the field the game cannot stand a chance.

    The first thing I notice is the technically inferior selection of "sponsors" (factions.) that you have available to you (Compared to the base game of Civilization 5 of 16) - While this may be in more aligned with Alpha Centauri's faction selection and yet further expanded on by minor bonuses you can select upon planetfall, it fails to really touch 1 major problem:

    The fact is that the factions in Alpha Centauri were massively developed. They had unique story elements, unique faction dialogue and communications and a plot. The figurehead in Civilization Beyond Earth have snippets of information included in the loading screen showing the leaders outlook of the pre-planetfall situation which can be summed to the same 2 sentences about how all hope was lost, or that they are more ambitious than the rest and going to claim the galaxy for themselves. The ruler themselves and the faction they represent aren't unique in the slightest. They feel exactly the same, look exactly the same, and do everything exactly the same
    . At the moment of writing this I have 30 hours into this game and have played four games (all massive, all standard) which I purposely chose a new path each time. They were the same exercises in the limitations of terrain and the reduction of strategy.

    Which leads me to this point: I created an account here on metacritic, because I am fed up with this simplification mantra and the dumbing down of strategy games.

    Just a few things that this game is lacking from it's precursor:

    Weather effects
    Alterable terrain (raising and lowering it.)
    Water Cities
    Customizable units (and selecting units in a tier does not count as customization any more than selecting two different pieces of bread counts as making a new sandwich.)
    Interesting story elements (while I admit the quest system has a lot going for it, its exactly the same copy/paste material for each faction sprinkled oh-so-lightly with flavour.)
    Mindworms, Oh god the mindworms. - Aliens are about as much of a threat on frenzied aliens as the faction AI. That isn't a compliment.
    Effective strategy elements - 1UP Tile thing, Okay I get it, but Alpha Centauri solved the massive wave of death via Collateral damage. Should take a lesson.
    Massive map and strategy - I hate the fact that if I spend 18 hours on a game, and finally take the entire continent, my continent has about 30 cities. That may seem like a lot, and if you go by the tedious ****ing micromanagement of continually selecting the same traderoutes again and re-agreeing to deals that should just auto-continue indefinitely unless interrupted (or give me a prompt: "Do you wish to continue doing the same thing?") A hint to the developers - Shrink the cities, make them a bit more dynamic and interesting, increase the map size by about half again. Your 1UP Tile system might actually work then.
    Multiplayer that worked - At the time of writing this my friends and I have experienced 18 disconnects, over 8 crashes (seemingly at random.) and ungodly amounts of out of sync issues when doing things like launching a satellite.

    Now, there is a lot of things I do enjoy with this game. I enjoy the satellites, I enjoy the covert op (which is currently broken for it's ability to capture 6 cities at once, every 30~ odd turns if you focus it, and the AI functions like the lemming it seems to wish to represent.) I enjoy the purity/harmony/supremacy hooks. I enjoy this game.

    I do not enjoy what they squandered with the chance to deliver a real strategy game, with depth and choice.

    I'm sure after they've released 8 DLC sponsor packs, and 2 more expansions, this game might be worth buying. I know you will buy it but if you can, wait until it goes on sale. If you can't wait you know it'll be a long term investment towards a game; the real content will be released for the low-low price of 90$ over a period of 3 years. Sit back and wait for the next round of content.

    Thanks for reading this, and if you don't agree with this, well... there isn't accounting for taste.

    Final Verdict: Go play Alpha Centauri and wait for the DLCs.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 24, 2014
    0
    Game is godawful to say the least.
    1. UI is atrocious. Queuing is so bothersome and that I don't use it - you have to click three times on
    Game is godawful to say the least.
    1. UI is atrocious. Queuing is so bothersome and that I don't use it - you have to click three times on different menus to put something on queue...only from city queue - no hotkeys, Ctrl or Alt modifiers from main map. In other words - you will waste more time on clicking than if you manually issue orders.
    2. Diplomacy somehow managed to become even worse than in CivV, which is achievement on its own. With reduced unity types AI knows only ONE tactic - swarm of suicidal berserking human/tank waves.
    3. Absolutely primitive execution of advertized features. Ie. Alien agressiveness is linked only to alien nest destruction it seems. You can shoot dozens upon dozens of aliens standing outside 2 tile radius from their nest without any fear of counterattack - Ai cannot into attack.
    4. Absolute lack of any automation. If you have 10 cities then you have to manually isue each and every production order.
    5. Leaders lack any personality - they are just animated talking heads.
    6. Once again you are spammed with approvals, denouncations and gazillion other meaningless and useless notification via leader animation screen "we like that you like X", "We do not like that you like Y" etc every turn.
    7. Trade routes - Firaxis showed phenomenal ability to make their own idea as terrible a possible - if with CivV you had to deal with 5 or so TR now you have 3 per city, you have to manually reassign EACH an EVERY of them. I cannot imagine playing with 10 or so cities.

    Game miraculously managed to fall even below my lowest expectations. Firaxis used most primitive approach - dumb down everything, cut loose ends, wrap it up in shiny package and show into custumers' throats. This release shows their inability to solve major broblems - CivV AI was horrible and their put no effort in fixint it. Diplomacy was awful - it still is.
    Beyond Earth serves only one purpose - to show how much Alpha Centauri surpasses it in every aspect except for graphics.
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 24, 2014
    6
    Beyond Earth constantly forces you to continually pick between small numbers and fixed percentages, I did not like to be spammed by all theseBeyond Earth constantly forces you to continually pick between small numbers and fixed percentages, I did not like to be spammed by all these constant, meaningless decisions that do not seem to affect the gameplay at all. The factions are bland and soulless, and the tech quotes make me cringe.
    The only thing this game has that reminds me of Alpha Centauri is the inconsistency in its leader's motivations: In my first game, 3 different factions kept praising me for not engaging in combat with the aliens. Suddenly, 2 of them declared war to me for no reason. Not that it matters, the combat AI is as dumb as ever. Enemy units will just go back and forth, struggle with the terrain and camp on damaging miasma hexes, just to beg for peace a few turns later and start praising you all over again. Somehow, enemy factions are dumber than in the previous civ games.
    The new tech web is a nice addition, altough I dont think it will help newcomers find their way, and the affinity system is alright, but it does take ages to truly kick in.
    All in all, It still is a Sid Meier's game, a 6 is as low as it gets.
    Full Review »