No Food for Thought

Civilization: Beyond Earth on Debian GNU/Linux? Good luck

admin Saturday December 26, 2015

Ever since I moved to GNU/Linux, the video game I missed the most was Sid Meier's Civilization. The only version ported to GNU/Linux was Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, probably my favorite version. But that port seemed to be an afterthought. One needed to look for the special installer, which was buggy.

With the release of CivBE, I was under the impression that Firaxis was finally truly making GNU/Linux a supported platform for Civilization. The GNU/Linux version was released less than 2 months after the Microsoft Windows version. Mac/Linux was even the fourth item in the game's official FAQ. For the first time in many years, I put a video game on my wish list. To my surprise, my mother offered it to me this week (I suppose she did not realize it was the same series I spent so many hundreds of hours playing over nearly 2 decades razz).

I was also happy to see the game's box didn't have the huge Games for Windows banner anymore. Unfortunately, system requirements claimed Windows was necessary. But I thought that was just randomly written system requirements, as usual (how credible are requirements asking for "Windows Vista SP2/ Windows 7" for a Q4 2014 game anyway?). I was less impressed when I inserted the DVD and realized there was absolutely no material for GNU/Linux, nor any documentation explaining where to go. And now, I cannot even find instructions on the Internet. The FAQ item mentioned above still discusses a Linux version as something future (although Wikipedia says it was released 2014-12-18). And I cannot even find installations instructions when searching on Google.

Is Civilization: Beyond Earth beyond Windows? I am far from being convinced at this point.

Hopefully, at least the game will be stable - without serious bugs as those which I experienced playing the original versions of Civilization III and V (let alone serious networking issues with Civilization IV).

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