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YMMV / Civilization: Beyond Earth

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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Each of the affinities can be interpreted differently, depending on both personal preference and roleplaying style. A case can be made for assuming each affinity is radical, conservative or willing to Take a Third Option. Furthermore, since getting some leaf techs (ie. "3D" on the tech web) for your primary affinity may require you to first research techs for the other affinities, going purely one affinity is very difficult.
    • Supremacy:
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    • Harmony:
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    • Purity:
      • Are they the only sane ones in a world where everyone else forsakes humanity and rushes off to become cyborgs and mutants?
      • Are they Space Romans who hopelessly cling to outdated traditions of Evil Luddite / Muggle Power / No Transhumanism Allowed bigotry?
      • Are they believers in the fundamental goodness of human nature, unwilling to compromise due to remembering well the lessons of humanity's bitter past?
      • Are they afraid of the known or unknown implications of transhumanism and willing to resort to violence to protect their own humanity?
      • Are they simply too proud to admit weakness, and would instead find unity in their shared suffering and longing for home?
      • Are they opposed to transhumanism because they view it as an unsustainable future or socially believe that It Will Never Catch On?
      • Are they hypocrites for proclaiming that their technological advances are acceptable, but everyone else's aren't? Those Battlesuits and LEV Destroyers didn't exactly spring up out of the ground, y'know.
      • Are they clinging to an imperfect, idealized vision of Earth, glorifying humanity's past successes while refusing to admit or learn from our failures, and thus doomed to repeat history?
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    • Harmony - Purity:
      • Are they supporters of a humanity perfect in mind and body?
      • Are they misguidedly bringing humanity into losing its genetical biodiversity?
      • Are they another take of Space Nazis by focusing on genetic purity and the creation of a master race that's perfect in every way?
    • Purity - Supremacy:
      • Are they supporters of the old science fiction utopias of old?
      • Are they fierce segregationists who would consider human mind uploads to be nothing more than programmable servants?
      • Are they hedonists who would let their simple automated robots and machines to cater to their every whim?
      • Are they only delaying the inevitable robot uprising. . . and making said uprising so much worse by deliberately treating their mechanical creations like slaves?
    • Supremacy - Harmony:
      • Are they desperate survivors trying to make humanity survive anything and everything the universe will throw at them?
      • Are they giving away everything, even their humanity, for the sake of power without limits?
      • Are they simply letting the desire for freedom to live their life any way they like to their Logical Extreme?
      • #2 and #3 Confirmed (to a degree), Word of God states that while other affinities disagree to one extent or another, they all agree that Harmonal Supremacists go too far.
    • As a result of the above, one can look at the affinities as a whole in a variety of different ways:
    • Likewise, the leaders can be painted in multiple ways like:
  • Awesome Music: Most people tend to agree that the soundtrack of this game is simply awe-inspiring.
  • Broken Base: Some of the things announced, like no tech trading or an RPG like perks system for faction units, have caused some debate in the fanbase. Others are pleased that Alpha Centauri is finally getting a sequel. Others are complaining that it looks like it is simply going to be a re-skinned Civ V.
    • There have been more than a few debates over which affinity is the best, even among the developers.
    • Others are complaining that the individual factions are divided along the lines of old Earth nation-states as opposed to ideology as they were in SMAC. Others think the new factions are more realistic.
    • The lack of a Germanic/Northern European-flavoured faction has been met with scrutiny by some portions of the fan base, and surely modders will be quick to pick up on this. Presumably, many Purity fans would like to emulate the Imperium of Man. Rising Tide's INTEGR (based in Germany/Central Europe) and North Sea Alliance (the British Isles and Scandinavia) may satisfy them, though.
    • Rising Tide might as well be one big split. Not one element of Rising Tide seems to have escaped a divisive critique from the fanbase, except maybe the more artistic touches.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Siege worms, especially in the early game. These tunneling monstrosities roam the landscape, wrecking any tile improvements and trade units they come across, and are strong enough to One-Hit Kill anything the player can produce until well into the game, though their slow movement speed means they can be avoided most of the time.
    • And at sea, their counterparts, the Kraken. Even tougher in comparison than the siege worms, your pretty much only hope is to sacrifice ships as bait and then swarm it when it's busy. And just when you think you've gained the upper hand, they start to move in packs...
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: The Affinity-specific victories have a certain sinister cast to them, making it hard to believe that you've truly "won". Harmony factions awaken the planet and enter ecological Nirvana... at the cost of humanity's individuality. Supremacy reunites with Earth and establishes a relief effort to help any surviving Earthlings... by crushing any dissent with a massive military presence and "freeing" all humans from the limitations of their biological forms. Purity rescues and resettles Earthling refugees... but Earth itself is still dying, and you've probably wiped out most of the new planet's indigenous fauna as well.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • Trade Routes. In Brave New World, each civ had a finite number of trade routes that was limited by the technologies they had researched. Beyond Earth has absolutely absurd yields for internal trade routes, such that it's easy for you to funnel 12 production a turn to a newly founded city — more production than what most wonders in the game offer. Not only that, but you gain trade routes through the Trade Depot, a building obtainable near the beginning of the game, meaning that, if you build enough cities, you can have an effectively infinite amount of trade routes. Now, aliens can destroy your autonomous trade unit at any time unless you have full military coverage of the route, which is a real and constant problem... until you build an early building which is said to simply "keep aliens from approaching the city", and the game casually gives you a quest option between "increase the radius of this building" (not very helpful) and "keep the current radius, but aliens don't attack trade routes". All your trade routes, for all cities, forever. The Fall 2014 patch removed the Autoplant granting free trade routes, while the Winter 2015 one ties trade route numbers to population size, thus making spamming small cities for trade less useful.
    • The above renders Polystralia as The Munchkin faction, as their perk allows for two trade routes from their capital for free even without trade depots, and once you build those, your economy skyrockets.
    • Two words: "Battle-suit Spam". The Purity Battle-suit when acquired at Purity Level 4 far outclasses the standard units (it has a strength level of 40) and is tougher then the other two unique units (Xeno-Swarm strength 34, CNDR strength 38). It is actually more powerful than most city defenses at this stage in the game, and it is the first unit that can take Siege Worms on in an almost equal terms. And if you work the tech tree right, it is possible to start manufacturing them before turn 150. Popular sponsors to do this with are Kozlov and Elodie (since they can get the requisite techs faster) and Rejinaldo (since he makes the resulting units even nastier on the offensive). It was promptly nerfed in the Fall 2014 patch.
    • As of Rising Tide, the Pan-Asian Cooperative. Their new passive replaces the bonuses to worker speed and Wonder production with simply a free Wonder in each new city. As in, the moment a city has been founded, the first Wonder built there will only take one turn (though resources such as Firaxite and Geothermal are still required). Combine that with the Colonization Corps agreement (colonists take longer to build but cities are founded instantly), and an expansionist PAC can easily be claiming resource-rich areas and finishing Wonders every two or three turns, and the bonus Diplomatic Capital from Wonders means that a PAC player can simply purchase everything they need with DC.
    • In the release version of Rising Tide, the Smart Grid agreement gave the player interest on their stockpiled energy, and unlike the interest from the Industry virtue tree, it wasn't capped. Cue insane energy income. That is already broken by itself, but if the player also builds the Holon Chamber wonder, that insane energy income becomes insane science output as well. A cap was quickly added in a patch.
  • Goddamned Bats: Around midgame the alien units become this (except siege worms). While early on they're a considerable threat, once you get a good sized army it generally turns into Starship Troopers. However, they have a very annoying tendency to block roads, sit in mountain passes, and generally clog unit movement, forcing you to spend time and resources to exterminate them. In Rising Tide, that's even the whole point of the Hydracoral, living plants that multiply quickly and exist solely to block your water movement.
  • Inferred Holocaust: As discussed in Fridge Horror, unlike the previous civilization titles, the different affinities means that at later stages, factions that pursued different affinity paths would have developed so differently that they can no longer be even considered to be the same species anymore. Meaning that, in the event that a city gets conquered by a faction that have a different affinity, forceful augmentation (or, if Purity is the invader, forceful de-augmentation) will likely ensue to the conquered population. This applies on a planetary scale if the Affinities' unique victory conditions are achieved.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: One of the most common criticisms leveled at the game is that "it's just Civ V, but in space". In terms of overall gameplay it's not entirely wrong, though individual systems, such as research, have been reworked.
  • Lighter and Softer: While not a cheer fest, in comparison to SMAC, Beyond Earth has humanity sending fleets of colony ships to the stars while Earth, while falling apart, is still intact. Whereas in the original game, Earth had been nuked to oblivion, and Planet was a Death World.
  • Memetic Badass: Both Rejinaldo and Kozlov seem to be heading this way.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Brasilia being the military superpower in this setting, plus the Bug War aspect, has had many gamers jokingly quoting Starship Troopers: "I'm from Buenos Aries and I say kill 'em all!"
    • The sardonic joke that Brazil invaded and destroyed Germany because they were responsible for their humiliating thrashing in the 2014 Brazil World Cup, which explains a) why there is no German faction in the game, and b) why Brasilia gets a military bonus. The release of Rising Tide, however, with the presence of INTEGR and reworking of Rejinaldo's sponsor bonus, may have Jossed that joke/theory.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • Due to a bug, the ADVISR will remind you to build trade units if you have trade slots open. Even if those slots are only open because a couple of your trade units have completed their route, and are awaiting new orders.
    • "As Adam Smith said, trade is the lifeblood of nations." "As Adam Smith said, trade is the lifeblood of nations." "As Adam Smith said, trade is the lifeblood of nations..."
    • "No village was ever ruined by trade!" "No village was ever ruined by trade!" "No village was ever ruined by trade!"
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • There's something slightly... off about the seemingly innocent Kavitha Thakur. The fact that she actually could be Really 200 Years Old, and the ease with which she gets her otherwise chaotic country to follow her, as well as the formerly Hollywood Atheist columnist to go from hating her to adoring her, is especially creepy.
    • Han Jae Moon has the sort of dead-black shark eyes one often associates with sociopaths and serial killers. He typically greets the player with an announcement that you are precisely where he expects you to be, doing what you were anticipated to do. That he's the product of intense underwater training programs by a highly secretive, clandestine organization with possible roots in the worst tradition of a North Korean dictatorship does little to assuage anyone's fears and reservations. Not to mention all of his communiques implies that he and his organization is always spying at everyone.
  • Power Up Let Down: "Yay! I built a Stellar Codex! ...what is a Stellar Codex?" A lot of the wonders are lackluster in the base game instead of being powerful, resource-intensive game-changers. The build video only being a pan of the wonder's blueprints with no context doesn't really help sell the majesty of them either. One of the problems with this game's wonders being lackluster is Firaxis deliberately decided none of them would be copies of the wonders from Civ V... except most of those wonders were really good, powerful, resource-intensive game-changers, so that means what we get instead are a bunch of ideas from the cutting-room floor. The Winter 2015 patch looks to be buffing a lot of the Wonders; time will tell if they prove any better.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • That little "Communique" feature was added presumably to give the AI more personality and interactivity in single-player. Unfortunately this means they'll also nag you incessantly about how much they despise the way you run your colony (not unlike a bunch of elitist players bullying a newcomer), and if you can't magically improve your standings in short order they'll declare war on you rather than simply mind their own business.
    • By the developers' own admission, the ability for players to customize their sponsor was responsible for a lot of the lack of character that the game was criticized for. On paper, it was meant so that players could create their own stories with the game and not be railroaded into playing a particular sponsor just because it had the bonuses they like. In practice, it meant that all of the sponsors blended into each other and amounted to little more than a name and a face. This criticism led to the aforementioned Communique feature in Rising Tide, as well as a retooling of sponsor bonuses to make them more powerful and distinct. It can also be seen in how, a few years later, the mainline Civ VI doubled down on giving civs unique abilities, buildings, units, and improvements, and focused on big personalities for its leaders as opposed to the most famous rulers of each nation (e.g. having Theodore Roosevelt and Cleopatra VII as rulers of America and Egypt respectively instead of, say, Abraham Lincoln and Ramses II).
  • So Okay, It's Average: Some people's take on the game. It's still a Civilization game, which makes it addictive for dozens of hours on end, and it's got a lot of good ideas. However, it's just not quite as compelling (or as good a buy) as Civ V, especially with that game's expansion packs. This has also been leveled at the tech quotes and unit lore: nice ideas, but not all that spectacular. There's no Wonder videos that make a lick of sense, for example. Or that the different sides just aren't very distinct from each other at all, because every faction is so customizable they are all effectively identical. There's no obvious bad guys anymore.
  • Spiritual Licensee: Beyond Earth is pretty much Firaxis's sequel to SMAC, but they can't actually call it that since EA holds the copyright for SMAC. Which is particularly interesting since SMAC was made in 1999 without the Civilization name because Microprose still owned the copyright at that time.
  • Tear Jerker: The Intro Cinematic has been choking people up since its unveiling for its very poignant mix of sorrow and optimism.
    • In particular, the scene where a Kavithan girl is separated from her father before departing with the other colonists, never to see her family or her old homeworld again.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri is considered by many to be one of the finest 4X games ever, so any potential (spiritual) sequel to it will be heavily scrutinized.
    • In particular the lore of SMAC was so well-done it is practically impossible to expect anything written that tightly.
    • The full version of Civilization V with both expansions is also a tough act to follow; Beyond Earth actually has less systems in play and many people are saying that this game is better than Civ V was at release but not as good as Civ V is with expansions.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Let's face it, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri is a Tough Act to Follow and many old-school SMAC fans were highly critical of the news, especially it being built on top of Civ V but with each new details they release gets people more and more interested in the game. The E3 demo and the Twitch live-streaming in particular were well-received.
    • On a character note when Vadim Kozlov was first revealed several people mocked him for his bland appearance and the fact that he looked like he was wearing an Adidas track suit. Then the Supremacy version of him was revealed and a lot people stopped laughing and the number of people wanting to play a Supremacist Slavic Federation shot up by a considerable margin (and it helps that Supremacy synergizes well with Koslov's own bonuses, making him an early borderline-Game-Breaker before being Nerfed by later patches). Hell, certain image boards started turning him into a Memetic Badass.
    • After the fact that flying helicopters needed boats to cross water tiles in the last civilization game drew mockery, the hover tanks can float above water with only a combat penalty.
    • The Rising Tide expansion did to Beyond Earth what Gods and Kings did to Civ V. Fan reaction has overall been very positive.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The intro cinematic manages to create highly realistic-looking humans without falling into the Uncanny Valley. This only accentuates the awesomeness and sadness of it.


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