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Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide Expansion News

By on June 12th, 2015 2:34 pm

Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide | An expansion to the turn-based sci-fi 4X strategy game by Firaxis and 2K Games

Firaxis and 2K Games have announced an expansion for Civilization: Beyond Earth, titled Rising Tide. The expansion is said to focus on bringing a new dimension to play by allowing the player to colonise on water by building aquatic cities. In an announcement video (below), the developers mention that the expansion will also contain several changes to the core game, this includes supporting hybrid affinities with unique units and upgrades (see features list at the end), as well as the diplomacy system being overhauled.

“We’ve also overhauled the diplomacy system; we’ve taken the old diplomacy system out and put a brand new diplomacy system in. This has implications for many parts of the game: the AI, how your personality progresses over the course of the game, lots of changes related to diplomacy in Rising Tide.” –Will Miller, Co-Lead Designer for Beyond Earth

They also mention that aquatic cities will have differences in their mechanics from their land-based cousins, though no detail has been given on what these differences are. Naturally, new aquatic units and aquatic creatures are getting added to the game.

“We are also adding some new features that we think really changes how the game plays. As the title suggests one of the big features we’re adding is the ability to play on the water. Water gameplay is a huge focus for Rising Tide. This includes settling on the water, a slew of new aquatic units, new aquatic aliens, and really differentiated gameplay on the water.” –Will Miller

The game will also contain a new artifact system as players can combine these for more powerful bonuses. While the original biomes (along with the two new ones introduced) will offer some mechanical differences, and not just be aesthetically different, again no detail on this has been shared.

“What we wanted to do is change slightly how the game plays per biome so that the selection of the biome is actually a very important decision that you would make at the beginning of the game.” –Will Miller

The expansion should also offer 4 new factions that have a different outlook on the new world than the original factions, one of which is actually from a generational ship. The common theme of these new factions is strict survival. Unlike the original sponsors who still had a shed of optimism left, these factions were left to fend for themselves, making their journey to the stars a far harsher one. Firaxis has started revealing the new factions one by one, as it did for the original release.

The developers hope the expansion will help Beyond Earth differentiate itself from the historically-themed Civilization series.

“We’re really trying to redefine what Beyond Earth is and ground it in what it ought to be, which isn’t just ‘Civ in space’ but ‘Civilization of the future.’” –David McDonough, Co-Lead Designer for Beyond Earth for PCWorld

Here’s the announcement video where these topics were discussed:

The developers say the new diplomacy system should bring the personality of each leader to the player as the system, they hope, should be far more transparent than the original system. This time, the leaders have a set of traits that should better define their personality, goals, and diplomatic actions. Each leader has a unique trait, and as the game progresses these traits can expand and even be changed if the circumstances warrant it. This will affect the leader’s goals and the way it deals with other factions. These traits will also confer bonuses and will determine what sort of actions the leader favours from other factions. These traits should play a major role in the new diplomacy system:

“This is a new diplomacy system, not just a couple of new options. Every leader is going to have a small set of traits and these traits can both evolve or be changed throughout the course of an individual game.”

“If I’m interacting with a leader that has a trait that favors people who engage in trading, and they see me trading, their respect for me is going to grow. That’s going to open up newer or better options with that leader. Conversely if they see that I’m not trading, they’re not going to respect me.” –Andrew Frederiksen, Lead Producer at Firaxis Games for PCWorld.

The expansion will come with a patch that will offer some changes to the core game, but most of the new mechanics and improvements are likely to be available only to those with the expansion. There was no mention on what the changes to the core game are, or how big the patch will be.

Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide

Key features of Rising Tide include: (source: official announcement)

  • Building floating settlements and accessing natural resources hidden beneath the seas of the alien planet, while alien beasts with unique abilities inhabit the water and challenge players in distinctive ways;
  • Shaping the diplomatic landscape by upgrading traits, changing diplomatic relationships, and leveraging the benefits of your allies, all with political capital;
  • Unlocking a dynamic set of Diplomatic Traits while activating different combinations in response to the changing world;
  • Playing as one of four new factions, including the Al Falah, a group of nomad explorers descended from wealthy and resilient Middle Eastern states;
  • Investing in multiple Affinities to unlock hybrid Affinity units and upgrades for the first time;
  • Collecting and combining alien relics via a new Artifact System that unlocks powerful benefits;
  • Exploring one of two new biomes, Primordial world, an untamed biome rife with volcanic activity and indicative of a chaotic landscape still forming in the new world.

Civilization: Beyond Earth – Rising Tide is slated to come out this fall (end Q3, early Q4) for $29.99 USD. We will bring you more on this expansion as more information becomes available.

Though Beyond Earth was a “solid” game from a technical standpoint, it was far from what many of us expected, and far below the standard Firaxis set for itself with past titles. SpaceSector rarely gives up on a title, and even in our review we saw the possibility that this game can be significantly improved. Only time will tell if Rising Tide will bring Beyond Earth on par with what we expected from this franchise.

Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide

Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide

Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide

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17 Comments


  1. Gary Vandegrift says:

    I’m still waiting for a Civ: BE GotY edition, on sale. Should be a good game, then, and I’ll buy it :)

    • Jeff P says:

      Same here. With the advent of Bundle Stars and Humble Bundle, games have to be pretty special for me to buy them at other than fire-sale prices. Another advantage of waiting is that when you finally buy, most of the bugs are squashed and expansions are usually included a package deal. Meanwhile, I have lots of other space/4X games to keep me occupied.

  2. Jodet says:

    Here’s the money shot:

    ‘a patch that will offer some changes to the core game, but most of the new mechanics and improvements are likely to be available only to those with the expansion. There was no mention on what the changes to the core game are, or how big the patch will be.’

    ‘Some changes?’ ‘SOME CHANGES?’ THEY NEED TO FIX THE CORE GAME. And for everyone, not just people buying the expansion. I am extremely leery of this deal.

    Unless the patch is a dramatic fix to this game I’d say ‘Fool me once, Firaxis, shame on you…..’

  3. t1it says:

    Very large patch to a Civ V mod. Meh.

  4. SQW says:

    Who gave the CIV franchise to the B-team?

    Seriously, an expansion to allow water tile usage? BE was a mod of Civ V and now they are, content wise, selling you a mod of a mod of a good game.

    And what kind of first-time designer didn’t see players having no attachment towards cardboard characters as opposed to Ghandi or Washington etc that has a historical reference? Has the lack of human interaction made designer feel that this is a sufficient level character development and player interaction?

    I seriously hope a huge dive in this expansion’s pre-order and first-week sale number will convince the head honchos that business-as-usual is not on.

  5. Xyggy says:

    Part of me expects this to be a free expansion considering the epic “meh” BE turned out to be. Then part of me understands Firaxis still needs to show revenue from expansions, too. However, $29 for the expansion? Seriously? Might as well rename this expansion to “BE: Face-Slap!”

    Maybe I’ll get it when it’s $5 at next year’s Steam Summer Sale.

    Firaxis, you’ve changed, and not for the better.

    • DrManhatten says:

      Have to agree with you here $29 bugs to fix a broken and dull original game to make it hopefully right is outrageous, maybe for half I would have considered looking at BE again.

      Besides water colonies should have been in the original version anyway. AC had them.

      • Personally, I do find the price tag to be steep. $30 expansion for a game that was $50 on release. Even if BE was perfect, it would still be a little steep. Considering the mixed reception by many, a bit more good will would have been nice.

        Assuming the expansion is good, someone would spend $80 total (if they get both brand new) for the game they were expecting. That’s a little too rich for many.

        It’s no surprise people wait for Game of the Year Edition (save money there) or for Steam sales. Some even wait for both to come together.

  6. TimmY says:

    No thanks :)

  7. Mark says:

    Don’t want to glorify this release with too many words so I’ll just echo TimmY’s opinion. Thanks but no thanks :)

  8. DrManhatten says:

    I said it before but XCOM-2 is the last chance for Firaxis to redeem themselves in my eyes if they screw that one up, too. I am done with them never going to buy any of their games ever again even they are on massive sale.

  9. irished says:

    This game has taken in my opinion far too much criticism!, sure the game has issues like bad diplomacy and poor AI etc but it has a lot of good features as well. I really love the graphical style, the units are very well animated and believable. The planets are well done if perhaps too few.

    I think people forget that in general Firaxis don’t have a good record of releasing perfect games from the off…Civ 4, Civ V, Alpha Centuri even X-com were not great games on release and needed expansions before people started giving them good reviews.

    I love Science Fiction Games and I feel a lot of criticisms has come from people who are butt hurt that there great Civ games went into the future era when I think this was a good direction for Firaxis too go, because each year they were knocking out the same old rehash of the same game with graphical updates and that’s all there was to it!.

    Please give Firaxis a break for trying to do something different and not putting out the same rehash of stale Games they usually did.

    • DrManhatten says:

      Sorry have to disagree here. I personally love a futuristic CiV game that’s why I tried out plenty of MODs for Civ IV which extended the future era and they all were better than Civ:BE even if they just extended the future on Earth. I even love Call to Power 1+2 because of that and I always wished that Civ would include some of its features. Unfortunately the SciFi element in CiV:Be are just pretty booooring. The game in its current form is just super dull. And it doesn’t need to be as Alpha Centauri has shown you can make a very exciting far future Sci-Fi planet-based 4x. Even Pandora First Contact is better than Civ:BE in many aspects.

      But those two lead designers of Civ:BE completely blew it by trying to be to clever and making too many compromises on the way.

    • SQW says:

      People aren’t “butt hurt” about the sci-fi setting. If you look at the complaints, they are all about how this full priced title is but a shallow, re-skinned mod of CIV V. It’s the exactly, if not worse, than the “rehash of stale games they usually did” as you put it.

      The devs even admitted in the above interview that they copied the diplomacy wholesale. In fact, people are right to claim BE has LESS content than CIV V + Expansion.

      If Firaxis’s business model is to release a game at 50% content then ‘improve’ the base game via two expansions to milk for max profit then all the power to them. Me? I’m taking my money else where or get the GOTY edition at 50% discount a few years down the track.

  10. SamDog says:

    Sid Meyer’s retirement plans include us. He hired the cheapest dev team he could find to cut costs.

    • Jodet says:

      I’m guessing they hire the cheapest employees they can find and then blow the rest of the money on hookers and blackjack.

      It’s as good a theory as any.

  11. ACEofHeart says:

    While I agree with other posters Civ BE has some positives, those positives are all related to the Civ5 graphics engine it uses and not the game itself. Diplomacy is pathetic. Research is boring as hell. Trade depot setup is totally confusing. The Affinity setup aligned with that boring research makes zero sense. The AI opponents have no character ( the static opponents in AlphaC had more personality). I doubt any expansion can remedy for me what this game offers. Will see…


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