It was only after starting to play Civilization: Beyond Earth that I realized the folly in trying to check out the game in the two hour return policy window. It’s basically a mod of Civ V to make it about Earth colonists settling on a new world, with a new tech tree, new culture/civics system, and new, more complicated victory conditions. It ended up taking 12 hours (including a fair amount of being paused while I took care of other stuff) to finish a game.
It’s a little odd playing a Civ game and having no idea what any of the technologies or units do. But it’s also kind of fun. The combat is pretty similar, culture is pretty similar. But there’s this whole quest system that gives you a lot more flexibility about how your buildings work, and also makes the non-combat victory conditions… on the one hand more broad, it requires you do a lot of different things to trigger the victory, but on the other hand, to a novice, kind of annoying, because you have no idea how to prepare for the next step. Like you’re researching the tech you need, and you could be building stuff to help with the next step, but it doesn’t tell you what the next step is.
My one major complaint? No graphs at the end. It’s “just one more turn” or “exit to main menu.” What’s up with that?
One thing I failed to consider in this Steam sale is that they’re not having daily specials like they used to. So after returning Torchlight 1 and 2 (and selling the stupid trading cards I’m constantly getting), I have $8 in credit and I feel like I ought to spend it on something. Thinking about Shadows of Mordor? Possibly Fable? I literally know nothing about these games. But until then, next up is South Park: The Stick of Truth, which I’m sure will at least be funny.