June 22, 2015 by Ryan Ward
The first expansion for Civilization: Beyond Earth is appropriately titled Rising Tide as it brings the player offshore and into the depths of the seas with water-based settlements and a slew of new aquatic units and aliens. In addition, the developers at Firaxis are adding new leaders and a more complex diplomacy system to shore up some of the shallowness of vanilla Beyond Earth.
The E3 demo for Rising Tide showed off one of the major changes in this first expansion: water-based settlements. The demo-player ventured out into the sea with his aquatic settler and a caravan of ships. After dispatching some alien tentacle-like creatures at range, he surveyed the different resources available in the surrounding hexes before choosing a spot for his water settlement.
This might seem like a gimmicky addition to the base Beyond Earth game, but with the support of a cast array of new water-based units it seems that this expansion will allow players to survive and thrive as an aquatic-only civilization just as easily as a land-based one. Firaxis explained to us behind closed doors that everything from exploring or diplomacy will change once you get out into the open water.
One of the most noticeable changes was how much faster the game moves on water. Water units move much more rapidly than those previously on terrain, resulting in an overall faster gameplay pace. Even the cities you build will rise and fall more quickly than previously in Beyond Earth. There are also new vicious sea creatures who will attack after their ecosystem has been disrupted by your building.
With a faster pace, new enemies, and new diplomacy changes, the latest expansion pack will hopefully add some much needed changes to the series that we found lacking in the vanilla version. Civilization: Beyond Earth Rising Tide is set for release in Fall 2015 on PC.