In Cities XL, the next installment of the Cities in the Sky series by simulation designer Arnon Millefau, the game takes place in the future. The year is 2123 and mankind has become a large empire. The sky is full of tall buildings and towering people as they work in the numerous underground facilities that make up the various zones of the city. The game takes place one year later, two years following the events of the previous game, City Survival.
Two years have passed since the events of the previous games, but things have begun to fall apart. The global energy crisis has created political chaos and conflict, and the security forces are struggling against an elusive and dangerous terrorist group. As the government struggles to contain and control the spread of radicalism, citizens begin to turn against it in a way that could destabilize the entire system. As this occurs, sleeper cells and a variety of new weapons emerge, and the game takes place in a near-future where AI systems are all but guaranteed to fail.
A mixture of reality and fiction, the game offers an alternative to the traditional simulation of city building. Cities XL uses a rather interesting philosophy known as 'risk taking', wherein the players are encouraged to take calculated risks in order to achieve the greatest potential benefits. For example, in the game you can choose to destroy the airport in order to hinder a military buildup, or you can steal important documents to use as a bargaining chip. There are countless options and they each have different consequences, as well as the opportunity to save more money than you would in real life. You can also create your very own virtual economies in which you can earn more money and spend that well in order to further your goals in the game.