In 1993, Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider starred in Demolition Man--a futuristic film about a utopian future where everyone is happy and nothing bad ever happens because it’s a police state. Two years later, Sylvester Stallone and Rob Schneider starred in Judge Dredd--a futuristic film about a dystopian future where everyone is sad and nothing happy ever happens because it’s a police state. I was reminded of these two parallels as I played SimCity’s Cities of Tomorrow expansion, which adds both sides of the potential future to the city-building game.
Let’s start with the Demolition Man side. By building an Academy, you’re able to research new, environmental-friendly technologies to make the world a better place. There’s a catch, though--the technologies are all powered by one hive mind, and while it can’t go full-blown Skynet, it can still go down, leaving your city to crumble under the weight of its “advanced computers.”
This brings me to the Judge Dredd side, in which crime and pollution are out of control thanks to Omega, a resource which can be used to make everything better. Omega will allow you to become blindingly rich, but it causes your people to grow fat and lazy--eventually sending drones to do their work for them and never leaving their homes. Both the sad/happy future will benefit from other changes to the game, like giant mega-towers and Mag Levs (monorails), and you’ll be able to play side-by-side with players who haven’t purchased the expansion. In other words, yes, it’s still an always-online affair, but we have to imagine the servers will be ready by the November 12 launch.
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