With Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth set for release this October 24, franchise veterans and potential new players are scrambling to get their hands on as much information about the game as possible. Developed by Firaxis Games, the hugely successful (and long running) series is about to take a step forward from its usual starting point at the dawn of time, opting instead to fast-forward history a solid 250 years to a world that has just endured The Great Mistake.

By now, anyone who has read about the game at all knows that players will be taking their empire building skills into the far reaches of outer space, but aside from alien life forms, what does Civilization: Beyond Earth have to offer? It's that question that led us to do some exploring of our own, discovering seven reasons that will have you wanting to add it to your collection later this fall.

Choose Your Adventure

Where past installments of the franchise had players choosing a civilization a predetermined leader assigned to it, Civilization: Beyond Earth will allow you to establish your own culture, choosing from eight different expedition sponsors, each with its own leader and gameplay advantages. Players will have to choose their spacecraft, cargo and colonists through a series of choices will directly impact the conditions when arriving on their new planet.

Hazardous Living Conditions

When players arrive at their new home they will have to explore the dangers and benefits of planets that are filled with tough terrain, foreign resources and potentially hostile aliens. Through the building of outposts and the discovery of ancient alien relics, gamers will be able to tame new forms of life, develop new cities, and even build trade routes that can benefit the entire empire. In these ways, Civilization: Beyond Earth follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, requiring you to essentially start from scratch.

The Technology Web

Veteran players from the franchise will remember the technology tree, a system of discovery that could be fully explored in one play through. That concept has been replaced with the technology web, which cannot be fully unlocked in one experience. This non linear version of technological discoveries takes another step away from the old by offering up three broad themes, each with its own distinct victory condition. Unfortunately, that's about as much information as we have at the moment.

The Orbital Layer

This concept is completely new to the franchise, and is just what Civilization: Beyond Earth needed to set itself apart from past iterations, not only in terms of concept but also general game play mechanics. The orbital layer will allow players to build and deploy advanced military, economic and scientific satellites that provide offensive, defensive and support capabilities to your people.

Customize Your Units

Past versions of the Civilization series usually included a handful of specific units that could only be built by one nation. Beyond that you could use mods (more on that in a moment) or rename them, but the customization stopped right about there. In Beyond Earth, the technology web will be directly tied to what units you're able to build, allowing players to choose options that best reflect their play style.

Eight Person Multi-Player

If we're being honest, we've never really gotten into the multi-player side of Civilization, but we are fully aware that a large amount of players do. We don't have a lot of details, but Firaxis Games has confirmed that the mode will return, with up to eight players battling it out to see who is the top dog of the new alien world.

Mod-Support

Modifications to the base game have been a fan favorite for quite some time now (we loved the Canadian mod), and although details are again scarce, we do know that mod support will be back. Again, we can't confirm anything beyond that, but hopefully past mechanics like map building, changing game parameters and setting up scenarios will return.

As stated earlier, Civilization: Beyond Earth will be available on October 24, 2014. For more information, visit the official website, and keep a tab open to Prima Games for all your news and strategy needs.