Civilization: Beyond Earth isn't quite the same as the core Firaxis series. This video narrated by Master Control explains how to play the sci-fi spin-off.
Civilization: Beyond Earth includes three factions, two of which are discussed in the video below. As well as giving a brief overview of how colonies work, the video introduces a few new kinds of military unit not seen in the core Civilization games.
I wonder if this would be a good place to jump in if you've never tried a Civ game before, since even veterans will have to do some adjusting? Civilization: Beyond Earth arrives on Linux, Mac and PC at the end of October.