2K announces new Sid Meier's Civilization game: Beyond Earth, channels Alpha Centauri

With a nod to the past, Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth takes humanity to the final frontier.

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Civilization and XCOM developer Firaxis Games has announced it’s returning to the stars with Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth, the latest entry in their 4X strategy series.

Revealed during a PAX East panel earlier today, Beyond Earth is scheduled for release sometime this Fall and marks the first time a Civilization game has fully explored mankind’s future instead of playing in the past. This game’s science fiction setting will undoubtedly be familiar to fans of Firaxis’ 1999 hit, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, as both share a similar, humans-on-an-alien-world premise.

Players will attempt to colonize a new planet while fending off the local wildlife and shaping the fate of humanity. Many of the changes introduced in 2010’s Sid Meier’s Civilization V will also be included, such as hexagonal tiles and the absence of unit stacking.

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"It's been quite a while since Alpha Centauri came out," said Civilization series creator Sid Meier. "We've got a lot of new ideas, have learned a lot, and there’s so much new stuff we can do with a science fiction setting. The Civilization series has come so far and we can do a lot of new stuff now that we couldn't do before. We had an opportunity with people [at Firaxis] who had some great ideas on how to put this together--and it just all came together! We're happy to be able to have a chance to do it."

For all the early details on Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth--including satellites and the non-linear research tree--be sure to check out our extensive preview for the game. And come back over the next four days as GameSpot will be posting a new piece on the game each day as part of our Next Big Game series.

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