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Civilization: Beyond Earth E3 footage: “We’re fans of science as much as science fiction”

The aliens might look testy, but Harmony players will be able to tame them late on in Beyond Earth.

I’m trying to listen to the things Firaxis’ developers are saying about Beyond Earth, but really I can’t get over how young they look. They look like Carmack and Romero making Doom in the ‘90s. They look like the stars of the next Hollywood college comedy you’ll yawn through the trailer of.

But co-lead designers David McDonough and Will Miller are classic Firaxis designer-programmers who’ve been around long enough to form some very strong opinions about what Civ is – and apply them to Beyond Earth.

One of the primary themes Firaxis explored across XCOMs Enemy Unknown and Enemy Within is how far humanity is willing to sacrifice, well, it’s humanity to survive. And Beyond Earth will return to that idea with its three affinities: Harmony, Supremacy and Purity.

I’m fascinated by the way Miller defines the essence of Civ: “We push back the darkness.”

That’s always been the core appeal of Minecraft to me – and I guess that’s not the only PC game about expanding frontiers. Is that why you play Civ? To walk headlong into mystery and make safe the blackness in every corner of the map?

Beyond Earth will be out sometime in the Autumn for PC, Mac and Linux.