While the new SimCity will be the most granular yet it will also work on a broader level than ever before, due to the introduction of a multiplayer mode that’s intended to bring a new kind of play to a franchise that’s older than many of the 23-year-olds reading this article – and all of the 22-year-olds. In multiplayer mode, your city will be one of several – or several hundred – in a shared region. While cities won’t start out connected, the winds blowing in from SmudgeVille may actually pollute the skies above your carefully greened YouTopia. And if you do care to build some roads between the two, watch out: you may actually find smudgy SmudgeVille workers commuting in to take your higher-paying jobs.
Multiplayer does present some fascinating possibilities for SimCity. A new class of industry, the “Big Business,” can trade goods on the regional market. And if you’re connected to one of your neighbouring regional cities, you can make direct player-to-player transactions as well. The “what you see is what we sim” rule applies to trade as well: the road system between cities is crucial, Librande says, because trade actually flows via trucks between the cities in question. Power lines can be built as well. If YouTopia is producing surplus energy, you can sell some to SmudgeVille, which in turn can shut down some of its air-polluting power plants and open some casinos to generate cash.
Man, I already get my ass handed to me playing single player normally at a SimCity game. Dealing with multi-player is just going to make it that much harder. I’m not dealing with any a-hole mayors though stinking up my town. You mess with my city and I’ll find a way to send a couple of earthquakes/tornadoes your way – even if the game doesn’t allow for it.