At E3, we were treated to a video showing a gameplay demo of Rising Tide, the new expansion to Civilization: Beyond Earth. We weren't allowed to take photos at the time, but 2K and Firaxis Games finally made it public for fans who couldn't make it to E3.
As the title suggests, the expansion will focus on using the alien planet's oceans as another place for your new colonies as well as new areas of resources. This means ocean variants of certain units such as Explorers and Colonists. Naval Explorers can now find artifacts on the ocean floor, which provide a quick boost in resources or can be combined with other artifacts to help create new structures or aquatic-based Wonders for your new sea-based city.
The developers haven't completely forgotten about the land-based game in Rising Tide. Coastal cities now have more structures to fully exploit aquatic resources, and there's even a new volcanic-based biome called Primordial that includes new alien lifeforms both on land and sea, such as the Scarab swarm, which can be tamed and aid your exploration efforts. You might also have to clear certain parts of the ocean of hostile aliens. Doing so might spark retaliation from local wildlife in other parts of the area.
The demo was played with one of the expansion's new factions, called Al Falah. Unlike other groups, the Al Falah faction traveled through space without the help of cryogenics, so its people know how to work with very limited resources, giving the group an advantage in city processes.
Players can also expect improved information on other factions in the world, such as being able to see the overall relationship between other groups. This will come in handy during negotiations as well as war efforts.
It's just a taste of what we can expect from the game's first expansion pack. Civilization: Beyond Earth was a first for the series in that it put players outside of Earth and into unfamiliar territory by way of alien planets and mechanics. Rising Tide seems to continue that trend, and we'll know whether it succeeds or fails when it comes out later this fall.