So I literally have only played around 5 minutes (as the game crashed on me), but so far it looks to be the exact opposite of what I was hoping for. The Tech Web is ridiculously overwhelming. I didn't really expect any differently, but still.
Also, disappointed to see that despite the fact it's mostly a reskinned Civ 5 (obviously that's a little bit of an exaggeration, but still they both run on the same engine), Beyond Earth has zero touchscreen support. In Civ 5, Firaxis had a great multitouch based interface for playing the game without a keyboard.