Civilization: Beyond Earth is free to play this weekend

civilization beyond earth is free to play this weekend

Last year, Civilization fans were given a new twist on the long-running series with space-bound spin-off Beyond Earth. Our review of the game looked favourably on its endless replayability and novel concept — but, if that wasn’t enough to convince you to try it out, maybe a free weekend of access via Steam will tip you over the edge.

Beyond Earth is available for you to download and play with no limits until Sunday evening. That should be plenty of time for you to choose one of the factions seeking to leave Earth behind and take them on a fantastic voyage into the stars. Chances are, you’ll still be desperate for one more turn when the weekend comes to a close.

However, this isn’t a case of a studio offering up its product for free for no reason. The promotion is intended to hook new players ahead of the release of the game’s first expansion, Rising Tide, later this year.

Rising Tide adds more factions, quests and biomes to the mix, but it also makes some meaningful changes to the mechanics introduced in the base game. You’ll be able to build floating cities that give access to new aquatic resources, and diplomacy is reported to be undergoing something of an overhaul. Just yesterday, Firaxis released a video detailing some of the tweaks that the studio is working on.

Many players would argue that Civilization IV and Civilization V only became truly great with the addition of their expansions, and that could well prove to be the same for Beyond Earth. We’ll have to wait until the content launches on October 9 to find out for sure.

Until then, there’s plenty to enjoy in the base game. Steam users should find Beyond Earth in their library right now, and if your weekend preview proves to be positive, it’s available to purchase via the Steam storefront at a 50% discount until Monday.