Generally favorable reviews - based on 78 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 78
  2. Negative: 1 out of 78
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  1. Nov 11, 2014
    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.
  2. Nov 6, 2014
    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.
  3. Nov 3, 2014
    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.
  4. Oct 29, 2014
    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.
  5. Oct 23, 2014
    Beyond Earth's combat suffers from some balance issues though, and that's curious for a game that leans so heavily on proven systems.
  6. Oct 23, 2014
    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.
  7. Oct 23, 2014
    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.
  8. Edge Magazine
    Dec 6, 2014
    Very much a sidewards step for the series rather than a bold leap forwards for its kind. [Christmas 2014, p.118]
  9. Oct 29, 2014
    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.
  10. Oct 23, 2014
    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.
  11. Oct 23, 2014
    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.
  12. Dec 11, 2014
    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.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 1085 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Oct 25, 2014
    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
    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
    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 »