This week, we peer very critically at Firaxis' so-called sequel to Civilization V and its expansion, Brave New World, the much-hyped 'successor', 2014's Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth. Beyond Earth was promised as not only a sci-fi successor to the mainline Civ series but also as a spiritual successor to 1999's Alpha Centauri, a promise that we have some pretty damning beliefs about.
From my humble origins pecking around Beyond Earth, it immediately became clear that something else would be necessary for my full step forward in the 4X sphere, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun's GoTY '14 awards happened to make it very clear just where that fix might be, a potential diamond in the rough from indie developer Amplitude Studios, a tiny ex-Ubisoft Parisian team working one indie darling after another through the Unity framework, and tying together all of their games' lore no less. That gem is indeed late 2014's Endless Legend, released just one month prior to Beyond Earth to quiet rave acclaim, and its subsequent minor add-on, Guardians in 2015.
From the moment I first loaded up EL, it was clear these two games were meant to be contrasted, from their combat to their tech trees to their soundtracks, and that's exactly what we're here today to do; in a somewhat messy and mildly unorganized fashion, we sit down and talk about exactly what makes these two games. You'll benefit most from a passing knowledge of the Civilization series, but it isn't required, and knowledge of Endless Legend is absolutely not required whatsoever - it is new, after all!