Civilization: Beyond Earth takes the series to a new world with its own dangers and opportunities. Starting out a civilization is hard enough, but doing it on truly foreign soil is another matter.

I'm no Civ expert, but by Firaxis' own design, the beginning turns of Beyond Earth are a little harder than usual. Part of the reason for this is the indigenous life. I spent many turns repelling waves of beetles near my home city. Despite this early antagonism with the planet's inhabitants, it won't always be like this. Some creatures will treat you with indifference unless you attack them, or only turn on you if you're too near their nest or some other faction riles them up.

Your attitude towards the indigenous life will likely be shaped by any affinity you align your faction with as you chart a course around the game's Tech Web (as opposed to the old Tech Tree). However, even if you choose to pick up some bonuses aligned with one of the game's three affinities (Harmony, Supremacy, or Purity), the Web is flexible enough – as are the Victory conditions – that you don't have to hem yourself in with a particular affinity.

Whether you choose to tame the planet or live in harmony with it, making use of the game's new orbital layer is a must. Satellites can naturally be used for military purposes against your enemies, but in terms of your relationship with the planet itself, they can be used to destroy dangerous green miasma gas fissures that damage your units if you end your turn on them, control the weather, help your crops, and more.

I didn't get very far with my civilization before the demo ended; spending many of my turns focused on clearing the indigenous life from my borders (go on, judge me). I think I just realized which affinity I am...

For more on the game, take a look at our previous preview, as well as the franchise's new website.