@GAGA Extrem You make a good point that you don't have to commit atrocities, but the caricature-extremes of the leaders and how central transcendence is to the story both make it a dark story in my opinion. It seems pretty set in stone that either people get willingly sacrificed for transcendence, or the planet becomes increasingly dangerous and uninhabitable. _____________________________________________________ Wars happen in both games, I'm not sure why you are singling out BE for that. As for old mistakes, that really depends on affinity, but I don't see how civilization existing on the planet with improvements is a detriment. From a Purity perspective, they have the ability and desire to turn the world into a second, healthy New Earth. To that extent they care about that environment, they just want to destroy the existing one to make room for it. From a Supremacy perspective, who cares about the environment? Everyone can live forever in a perfect virtual world, guiding machines to do all they need on the physical world. You seem to have something like a Harmony perspective, adapting to the world and preserving it as a precious second chance. In my opinion, that conflict of incompatible competing visions of the future that could be interpreted as dark or Utopian is far more interesting than whether or not overt atrocities are committed. I find the philosophy behind BE to be much deeper and more interesting to think through than SMAC because each affinity could be a hero or villain based on one's interpretation and views, and because I like the questions raised by transhumanist technology and terraforming. __________________________________________________________ The biggest flaw with BE, in my opinion, is that its themes and background aren't communicated well through the gameplay. The leaders are interesting, but most everything about them is buried in the civilopedia or in their old introduction scenes online and completely out of game. Affinities don't really make much difference in how the game plays mechanically where they should be radically altering strategies. I think a mechanical overhaul on affinities and better quests could solve a lot of the problems, and making the Aliens an actual threat and something to push back for expansion and exploration would also be a big bonus.