Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Includes systems that add story and philosophical elements to the game
Through quest decisions, the affinity system and the victory condition you choose to pursue, the game asks what type of future would you build for humanity. The choices you make will impact both the gameplay and the outcome of the colony.
Pro You are not locked to a linear tech progression
Pro Great art direction
Pro Involved spy system
The player can send a spy to an enemy city in order to learn what that city is building, what they are using for defenses, etc. This will take a few turns in order to set up, but once it is done, having an inside informant on what competing cities are doing can be big leg up.
Once a spy network is set up, a spy can carry out multiple operations with varying results. A few operations one can take part in is stealing credits, technology, or even research. These are all things that take time to do on ones own, but can speed things up by taking some from other cities while also developing or earning your own.
Overall, this is an improvement over Civ V, where the spy system was a bit shallow, luckily it is quite fleshed out in Beyond Earth, which adds quite a deceptive layer to the gameplay.
Pro Unique take on science fiction
While most science fiction games present one or two ways humanity could develop in the future, Beyond Earth presents six.
Human-Alien Hybrids trying to adapt to their alien planet.
Humans in Battlesuits and LEV weapons with a liking for terraforming.
Societies filled with cyborgs and androids.
Societies of people who want to create the perfect humans.
Societies that are supported by a power base made entirely of machines.
Societies that do almost everything by combining biology and technology to create bio-mechanical weapons.
Pro Engrossing early game
The game starts by preparing your voyage through space by selecting crew, cargo, etc.
Players have a lot of freedom in what to pick or whether to choose a certain strategy which will impact the rest of the game. How you respond to the environment during the early game may very well shape how the rest of your campaign will go.
Pro Great music
Con Wasted potential
Beyond Earth had a variety of new interesting systems that, unfortunately, fell short of their potential. Units unlocked by the affinity system were only slightly different to what you would get otherwise so your decisions weren't as impactful, quests in reality worked as a choice of upgrade for a building, the freedom of the tech web ended constrained to certain paths due to goals set by the game, and artifacts ended up being unreliable due to their randomness.
Con Late game is slow
Growing your colony in late game becomes a bit of a slog.