Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth - Rising Tide
Top Critic Average
Rising Tide's great new diplomacy and artifacts can't quite fix Civ: Beyond Earth's replayability problems.
A solid expansion addressing the right problems, but still shackled by its core game's choices.
A useful expansion that unlike most doesn't ignore the failings of the original, although even with the improvements Beyond Earth still isn't as engrossing as the real Civilization.
A definite step in the right direction, as added complexity and variation from game to game complement a radically redesigned diplomacy system
Rising Tide brings other content to Beyond Earth as well, from new factions to new planet types. But these additions pale in comparison to the systemic changes Firaxis has made. There are bothersome issues with the new diplomacy approach, and some of these mechanics are too obfuscated to call excellent. But Rising Tide encourages new ways of thinking, and lends character to a very impersonal subject. That old Civilization mantra still echoes, just like it used to: One more turn.
Nearly every complaint with the base game has been handled with attention, though the new diplomacy overhaul comes with its own unfortunate issues. But that aside, Rising Tide is an essential purchase for Civilization fans who want to give Beyond Earth a well-earned second chance.
I wouldn't go so far as to say that Beyond Earth fully captures the feel of the Earthbound Civilization games yet, but Rising Tide makes for a far better game than the original.
It still comes up short on character compared to the best Civs and, of course, Alpha Centauri, but it's without doubt less anodyne than before. Diplomacy, however, seems to me like a significant misfire even without the bugs – the question of your place in this new world, and in relation to your rivals, remains unresolved. I suspect Beyond Earth's road to recovery has only just begun.
Aquatic cities, a completely new diplomacy system, and hybrid affinity units represent just a few of the seemingly countless changes in this expansion
Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth Rising Tide is a well developed, superbly balanced, and refined evolution of the original. It's a classic example of what can be accomplished when developers and gamers learn from one another to make the best experience possible. If I had known that buying the original could have lead to this, I may have done so twice. Even if you only liked the first one you're going to love this.