A few of my complaints from last year remain—the user interface could still use some beautification and the tech web is borderline impenetrable for first-time players. But Firaxis has made some smart choices with Rising Tide. It’s starting to distinguish itself from Civilization V finally, and not just in terms of the way units look. Playing Rising Tide—especially on a water-heavy map—feels appreciably different from previous Civ games.
I expect next year’s inevitable second expansion will push the game even further down this route—away from Civilization proper and into something more experimental. Or at least I hope that’s what happens, because it’s exactly what Beyond Earth needs.
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