Beyond Earth: The turn-based strategy takes to space - Games Weekly

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Monday, February 16, 2015

Beyond Earth: The turn-based strategy takes to space

Because even advanced races get itchy feet, no sooner has civilisation touched down on a distant alien world in Beyond Earth  than it’s blasting off again. Sid Meier’s Starships is set in the same fictional universe and has you controlling a fleet of not-Sid Meier’s starships, with the entire galaxy now ripe for exploration.

Your overarching goal in this turn-based sci-fi strategy game is to build a planetary federation. As you boldly go where it’s statistically unlikely any man has gone before, you’ll have ample opportunity to expand your federation’s influence. And although you can use a variety of means to deal with problems, from military to diplomatic to running away fast, it seems you’re ultimately a good guy, ridding the galaxy of troublesome space pirates, powerful marauders, hostile factions and rogue AI in a bid to protect the greater good.

As in  Civilization , there are multiple paths to victory. You can focus on science and research (how advanced can you possibly get, though? You’ve already mastered interstellar travel). You can conquer the galaxy by destroying all opposition. Or you can unite the worlds under the flag of your benevolent empire. Entire planets appear to play the role of countries here; gain their trust and you’ll unlock that world’s unique abilities to enhance your federation. You can also construct ‘improvements’ on worlds to help you generate more resources.

And you’re not lumped with whatever spare craft is lying in the hangar. Your fleet can be customised to meet your goals modular design means you have the say in every bit of construction. And as you’re constantly discovering futuristic new technology (dashboard bobbleheads, anybody?), space ships evolve throughout.

Not only is Sid Meier’s Starships set in the same fictional universe as past Civilization games but it features cross-connectivity with Beyond Earth. What this means has yet to be fully detailed. This spinoff is the work of a smaller team than that one, though, assuming the Beyond Earth team is working on expansions going into the rest of 2015.  Sid Meier’s Starships launches later this year.

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