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Civilization 5 free on Steam this week, as Beyond Earth launch looms

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If you have been thinking about playing Civilization 5, but never quite gotten around to it, now's your chance. Firaxis' strategy epic is available to play for free this week on Steam.

The 2K Games offer is timed for the run-up to the launch of Civilization: Beyond Earth at the end of this week. While Civilization 5 is set on Earth and takes place during recorded human history, Beyond Earth is a speculative science fiction game set on an alien planet in the 27th century.

Polygon will be running a review for Beyond Earth on Thursday. 2K says the game is now available for pre-load. Meantime, that free Civ 5 Steam offer is open from now until Thursday.