A spiritual successor to Sid Meier's intergalactic classic Alpha Centauri has been officially announced, and it brings the promise of treats for PC gamers including support for AMD's low-level Mantle application programming interface (API) and cross-platform gaming on Windows, OS X and Linux - the latter to include Valve's SteamOS
Released in 1999, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri was a spin-off from the Civilization franchise, acting as a follow-on of sorts for anyone who had completed a space victory in the game. The player was given the task of colonising Chiron in the eponymous star system, and later the option of playing as one of two non-human races - previously limited to non-playable characters in the game.
The game was critically acclaimed, but a poor seller; following its release, the Civilization franchise would again return to historical rather than futuristic settings and never again venture beyond our solar system - until now. Firaxis has announced Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, the first space-based title to carry the official Civ branding - and a spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri.
Announced at PAX East this weekend, the game promises to revamp the Civilization experience with a new web-like technology tree, a more open-ended progression system no longer tied to real-world history, and many of the developers who worked on the original Alpha Centauri. For PC gamers, the news gets better still with Firaxis announcing that the game will launch later this year on Windows, OS X and Linux platforms - the latter to include support for Valve's SteamOS Linux distribution. The company has also promised support for AMD's Mantle API at launch, giving hope that the game's performance will be acceptable even on lower-end hardware.
If all that has whetted your appetite the company has offered a teaser trailer for the title, reproduced below.