Firaxis, the house that Civ built, announced Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth at PAX East recently. Built on the Civ V engine, Beyond Earth is the “spiritual successor” to Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri.
SMAC, and it’s successor, SMACX, was one of my favorite games for a very long time, and I only quit playing it when the game would no longer run on newer hardware. (The switch to Intel processors killed a lot of old-school Mac software.) I though the aliens were great, the plot was compelling, and many of the SF-nal elements were spot on, such as an energy currency, and others (like Ethical Calculus) inspired elements in my own universe building. This game, I loved it.
I loved it so much, I played it and played it and played it and played it. I watched the cutscenes (hacking SMACX so it’d play the far-superior intro from SMAC), designed units by hand, raced for secret projects, reveled in smacking Col. Corazon Santiago down hard, and conquered the planet time and again. Just writing this post, I get the urge to send some scout rovers out to locate Sparta’s home base and blow it up. (The Gaians as well, just to be fair.)
(One of the reasons I disliked the recent X-Com game was that I thought it’d be a lot more like SMAC, and it wasn’t.)
I don’t know if Beyond Earth can come close to providing the kick-ass experience SMAC did. I doubt it, but I’d like to see it done.
If you’re interested in more details about the upcoming release, Gamespot has you covered.
(And, just after I finished this little post, I found out that GOG offers SMAC and SMACX for sale, for OS X, priced at $7. I bought it, of course. Due to the Windows dialogue box that pops up when you launch it, I’m assuming it’s a WINE-wrapped Windows binary. Who gives a toss, it’s SMAC and I’m loving playing the game again. For two hours only, which means my willpower has improved somewhat in the last decade, if nothing else. :) )