Until such time as we can seize the means of production and abolish capitalism, the smoggy skies introduced in Cities: Skylines's latest expansion - Industries - are just a fact of life. At least you can simulate it working in your favour, paying directly into your pocket. Released today, Colossal Order's new expansion lets you define your city's purpose in the world by creating goods and exporting them to neighbouring regions. There's a lot of new systems, five new resource-rich maps to plunder and a bundle of new buildings to construct. Greedily ogle the release trailer below.
While obviously not as fleshed out as games that make production-chains their bread and butter (The Settlers, Anno), a key feature of this expansion is resource refinement. Wood, food, oil and metal are extracted from the map, converted into raw materials and then converted by the buildings you place, eventually (and ideally) turning into saleable products. With people actually making, buying and selling stuff, you'll need it delivered too. This expansion simulates logistics both big - like heavy cargo planes - and small, with local postal services that actually do something.
While other expansions have built upwards and expanded on the things you can do in your city centre, this expansion seems more tangential in nature. There's new activities and new ways to balance your books if you want to go the industrial route, but unless you decide that your city needs a few factories out on the outskirts, the expansion's existence shouldn't have too much sway over your existing cities. It's also interesting that this one is moving so far in the opposite direction after the Green Cities and Parklife expansions.
Cities: Skylines - Industries is out now on Steam, Humble and Paradox Plaza for £11.39/€15/$15, with the Deluxe edition costing a little more and adding a new radio station to the game - Synthetic Dawn. Much of the previous DLC is currently discounted on Steam, too.