Civilization: Beyond Earth is due out this Friday, and pre-loading on Steam has already started, so you can be ready to jump in the moment it launches if you’ve already thrown money at Firaxis.
In the mean time, you can go back in time and back to Earth with Civilization V, which is free on Steam until Thursday. Beyond Earth is Civ V on an alien world, essentially, so the game will be a good primer.
Lamentably, this free trial does not include the expansions, which really make Civ V a great game. Without them, it’s a good foundation but a game that lacks many of the features that have gone on to make it one of the best in the series.
Still, it’s free, and worth checking out if you’ve never played the series before.
Keep an eye out for our review for Beyond Earth on Thursday.