An upcoming expansion pack for Civilization: Beyond Earth will extend gameplay into the oceans, 2K and Firaxis Games have announced.

The expansion is called Rising Tide, and according to 2K it will “enhance the Beyond Earth experience by adding a variety of new gameplay capabilities and providing near limitless ways for players to create a new future for humanity on an alien planet”.

New aquatic gameplay will explore the oceans for colonisation by dramatically extending the play space, while an overhauled diplomacy system will provide players with additional layers of dynamic choices and options to shape the diplomatic landscape while engaging with the AI and one another.

Players will be able to construct floating settlements and access natural resources hidden beneath the seas, while fending off alien beasts with unique abilities which inhabit the water.

Rising Tide will also add Dynamic Leader Traits, wherein players and AI leaders unlock new Traits through gameplay and activate different combinations to respond to the changing world. These dynamic sets of Traits also provide benefits and add to the new Diplomacy system, governed by the new Fear and Respect attributes.

Rising Tide expands Civ: Beyond Earth across oceans

Other features:

New, Enhanced Diplomatic Options: Shape the diplomatic landscape by using political capital to upgrade your traits, change diplomatic relationships, and leverage the benefits of your allies’ traits.

New Sponsors: Four new factions have been added to the game including Al Falah, nomad explorers descended from wealthy and resilient Middle Eastern states that possess a rich cultural and commercial heritage.

New Artifact System: Collect and combine powerful relics to unlock new perks, unit upgrades, and buildings for your faction on the new world.

New Hybrid Units: Affinities are competing visions for the future of humanity. By investing in multiple Affinities, rather than specializing in just one, players can unlock special hybrid Affinity units and upgrades.

New Biomes: Two new world types have been added. Primordial worlds are rife in volcanic activity and the chaotic landscape of a world still forming. Frigid worlds have cooled in their great age, their surfaces covered with icy oceans and frozen tundra.

Rising Tide builds upon the lore of Beyond Earth, breaking away the historical boundaries of the original franchise and furthering mankind’s search for a new home in outer space,” said Firaxis Games director of creative development Sid Meier.

“Whether colonizing the planet’s oceans, acquiring new Affinities or meeting exotic new leaders, aliens and units for the first time, Rising Tide offers more ways for players to write their own stories on a new world.”

Rising Tide will be available for Windows PC in spring for US$30.