SimCity: Cities Of Tomorrow Pollutes For Fun And Profit

By Nathan Grayson on October 16th, 2013 at 8:00 pm.

Meanwhile, at EA HQ... er, I mean, OmegaCo.

In case you hadn’t heard/forgot/suffered from such a severe case of apathy that you did the human brain equivalent of a driver rollback, SimCity is going to the future. Yeah, it’s still gonna be tethered to the Internet’s infinite, un-flinching tangle of roots, but at least now you’ll have hover tech, environmentally friendly mega-towers, and curvy utopia buildings to compliment all your curved roads. Also, choking sink holes of pollution and corporate control, if a new video walkthrough of a potential city setup is any indication. Omega is a new resource that everyone and their ant-sized, Simlish-barking dog wants, and OmegaCo’s job is to build factories and franchises while also making sure we know its iron-fisted execs really, really liked Blade Runner.

So there’s a potential city array. In short, the academy dreams up crazy newfangled tech, the Omega sector vacuums up money and belches out smog, and the residential mega-towers ensure that everyone’s lungs don’t shut down in protest by the ripe old age of 15. OmegaCo, meanwhile, turns factories into lucrative franchises, and you can theoretically siphon the resulting cash into researching cleaner, safer solutions. Or you can opt to grow your corporation and your bank account until the whole of sim society is squirming futilely under your thumb.

The entire system is an obvious commentary on industry, and it’s somewhat surprisingly cynical in its purest form – especially given who’s publishing the game.

“You can see how Omega spreads across your city almost like a virus… but a good virus… that makes you rich. And, yes, Omega has been known to be quite toxic, but that’s only if it’s stored improperly!”

“The next step, of course, is converting residential buildings to OmegaCo subscribers. That’s where drone technology shines. With the vast amounts of simoleons you’ve made from Omega, you can now invest in shelling out new OmegaCo BuyDrones to every man, woman, and child in the city. As with Omega, the first few drones are free, but at a certain point those residences start paying you hourly subscription fees.”

Hurrah for all-conquering drone armies. You can more or less make all residences and businesses Omega-dependent, if you want. However, the industry won’t last forever, and societies once entirely reliant on the stuff will be left fuming rage in its wake. As previously mentioned, academies and mega-towers can mitigate or replace Omega-based endeavors altogether, and you can read more about their ins-and-outs here and here. IS THIS AN ANALOG FOR RAMPANT, DISGUSTING CONSUMERISM AND FOSSIL FUELS I DON’T KNOW I CAN’T TELL. But then, I suppose EA’s never been much for subtlety. And hey, I don’t mind what Maxis is trying to say, even if it makes Watch_Dogs’ panicked observations about surveillance and The Division’s fear of, er, anthrax money look like nuanced critique.

So then, Cities of Tomorrow has some, er, interesting wrinkles, but will they actually be of any consequence? I sure hope so, given that SimCity’s razzle-dazzle platter of interlocking systems utterly failed to even be the sum of its parts – let alone more. I’m still incredibly skeptical myself, but I suppose it would be nice to at least have a game that’s actually worth all the connection woes this time.

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46 Comments »

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  1. FriendlyNeighbourhoodMurderer says:

    Go home SimCity, you’re drunk.

  2. pilouuuu says:

    Is the future full of always on-line DRM crap? That sounds like a dystopian future.

  3. Zetetic says:

    Are you excited by this news, Nathan?

  4. kud13 says:

    NOTHING from EA is ever worth all the connection woes.

    well, maybe Mirror`s Edge 2 will be. Maybe

  5. stoner says:

    Meh. I loved the SimCity franchise, beginning from the first. I haven’t bought the latest, nor will I waste money on this. Until they rid themselves of the DRM (and their lies supporting that it’s needed), I ain’t buyin’. Yes, I know, EA/Maxis won’t miss my purchase. I’m not trying to “make a statement”. I’m just not interested.

    Who knows? Maybe a Steam sell in the $10 range might entice me.

    • airmikee99 says:

      Same story here, I still load up SimCity4 from time to time to expand the dozens of cities in my region, and I didn’t have to pay extra or be online to do it.

      Still pretty pathetic that a modder was able to make offline play possible just a week after release, and EA/Maxis still haven’t figured out how to do it for real.. well, I guess they haven’t figured out how to make offline play possible while still sucking cash from people.

  6. Premium User Badge

    Smashbox says:

    I’m completely uninterested in this thing which is the type of thing I’m usually interested in.

    Fool me once, something something.

    • JRHaggs says:

      Love the Gorgon, Smashbox. Keeping it classical.

      • Premium User Badge

        Smashbox says:

        Shouldn’t you be stone?

        • MykulJaxin says:

          Unless (s)he is acting as Perseus, using your head as a weapon to butcher (her)his wife’s angry fiance. That got confusing. Edited for clarity’s sake. More or less.

  7. Premium User Badge

    c-Row says:

    That header image looks like the worst explosion of neon colour buckets ever.

    • Premium User Badge

      jezcentral says:

      It’s like a 3D version of the Million Dollar Homepage.

  8. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    So the Cyberpunk Corporate Overlord tech in the game is basically always-on everything?
    That’s wonderful.

  9. p14c3b0 says:

    WHAT IF WE ADDED A MONORAIL?

  10. Vast_Girth says:

    Give me bigger cities and remove the DRM and i will buy it.

    This is not that.

    • Lagwolf says:

      This is the ole’ do an expansion while not bothering to fix all the bad things about the original game.

  11. Misha says:

    Speaking as somebody who has absolutely loved Sim City since the first one came out ages ago, I’m as likely to buy any future Sim City after the utter fiasco of Sim City 5 as I am spending an hour and a half rubbing my penis against a cheese grater.

    • Premium User Badge

      chabuhi says:

      I’m confused. I thought you were going to compare SimCityV to something painful.

      • Thrashie says:

        You think it’s not painful (or at least humiliating) for that poor cheese grater?

        • airmikee99 says:

          Compared to the fiasco of SimCity 5? No, not at all, not even close.

  12. Premium User Badge

    ffordesoon says:

    Did I dream that they were considering removing the DRM?

    • Premium User Badge

      LTK says:

      Probably. They said earlier that they were “exploring the possibility” of an offline mode, as if it’s a fucking mission to Mars. Don’t hold your breath.

  13. Kitsunin says:

    I recall hearing the late game of SimCity was completely broken, I assume they fixed that, or they wouldn’t be releasing an expansion…?

  14. Lev Astov says:

    So you can fit, what, three? Four of those giant buildings in each tiny city? When they make city sizes not patronizing, I’ll consider spending money on the game I once coveted.

    • Premium User Badge

      Nathan says:

      I don’t know about support-infrastructure, but I don’t see why you couldn’t physically fit in over a hundred in a suitably flat city. The video shows a city with four mega structures having over 500,000 inhabitants, which isn’t tiny.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Napalm Sushi says:

    All those Sims will be lost in terrible pathfinding, like tears in rain.

    • norfolk says:

      I’ve… seen things you people wouldn’t believe. A metropolis of 20,000 lost inhabitants.

  16. satsui says:

    The DLC is $30. Not even the full game is worth $30 based on my experience. I’d MAYBE shell out $10 for this.

    • Mr.Snowy says:

      Or, converted to sterling… um… £30.

      If anyone was actually stupid enough to be contemplating buying this anus of an expansion, that should stop them in their tracks surely?

  17. oyog says:

    Check it out guys, you can turn this video into the entire series of Breaking Bad by replacing the word “Omega” with “Meth”.

  18. Baines says:

    IS THIS AN ANALOG FOR RAMPANT, DISGUSTING CONSUMERISM AND FOSSIL FUELS I DON’T KNOW I CAN’T TELL.

    Maybe, but it seemed more like an analog for EA’s business tactics. Or drugs.

    Give it away free, then start charging when people are hooked? You can be a good guy, but greed/evil is the faster and more effective way towards profits?

  19. Deadly Sinner says:

    I actually thought that first image was from an FMV from some game in the late ’90’s. The what looks to be GIF artifacts certainly didn’t help.

  20. DigitalImpostor says:

    Looks like the cyberpunk city you can create in SimCity Societies (and we all know how well that game turned out).

  21. MeestaNob says:

    Mega City 1×1 km.

  22. xf11 says:

    Guys you should stop posting EA related news. Completely, if someone asks, tell them you never heard of it.

  23. Mabswer says:

    30€/30$ for this?.. and its not even standalone. GG EA