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Civilization: Beyond Earth release date set for October 24, pack your space-things now

Civilization: Beyond Earth: not Alpha Centauri. Sorry.

Beyond Earth is a Civ game, but so different to any that have come before that you may as well make firelighters out of that prefix. Built by a Firaxis creatively rejuvenated after XCOM, it’ll plonk us on a new planet and task us with building a new future and philosophy for humankind.

2K have just announced its release date. We’ll each be inhabiting our own New Earth long before Christmas.

Retailers are now accepting pre-orders – namely Game, Amazon, Tesco and Shopto in the UK. Amazon’s version is currently listed a few quid cheaper than its peers at £27, but its page does have the plastic whiff of the placeholder about it. The online store still suggests the game will “most likely” require Steam to activate. Hmm.

But pre-orderers do have the surprisingly meaty Exoplanets Map Pack as incentive. That comes with six different scenarios the main game doesn’t.

Kepler 186f is a “lush” forest planet, one of the oldest of its kind confirmed to exist; Rigil Khantoris Bb is an arid, continental planet orbiting the closest star that isn’t ours; and Eta Vulpeculae B is a brand new discovery, its composition unknown.

Mu Arae F is a half-and-half planet of blistering desert and frozen darkness, locked in orbit around a weak sun, while 82 Eridani E has a scarcity of water and an abundance of earthquakes.

But it’s not all bleakness and blackness: Tau Ceti D is dotted with seas and archipelagos and consequently stuffed with resources and dangerous biodiversity.

Is all this talk of DLC giving you a flavour of what to expect in Civilization: Beyond Earth? Or are you still hankering after an Alpha Centauri sequel?