Like many others I was excited to play the newest installment of Simcity, having loved the earlier games since my Amiga 500 version.
Lets start with the biggest issue at launch: Online connection.
When I tried to play Simcity I couldn’t, the makers had massively underestimated the number of users and your just couldn’t play it. The game requires an always on internet connection, without which you are unable to play. If you’ve no/an unreliable internet connection then unfortunately this isn’t the game for you. It’s a real pity it doesn’t have an offline mode and for that reason is only 4 stars.
However, since the initial launch many more servers have come online and I’ve not had a problem connecting. They messed up, they’ve publicly held there hands up and they are looking to fix the problems. Personally I’d like to see some sort of offline mode, and I’m sure there will be a few more server issues in the coming weeks, but lets move on as if you’re reading this you’ll likely want to know if the game is any good.
The reason the servers were so overworked is that the game has had so much positive press everyone is trying to play it at once, and rightly so. It looks amazing, is very easy to get into, and it offers a really nice online element. The reason you need the connection is to allow you to build a city next to other really people also building cities. This allows you to help each other out and rather than having to manage everything in your city you can specialize in an area (for example you might focus on tourism or resource mining).
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If you don’t fancy sharing your Sim world with others you can be in charge of several cities yourself. I thought it might be hard work swapping from one city to another, but it really isn’t, it allows you to take a break from one area and try new things in another.
The level of detail is fantastic, zooming in from above right down to street level shows the attention to detail, from cars rushing round, to little stick type Sims going about there day to day business. There are cops and robbers (you can watch banks being held up, get away chases, shoot outs), ambulances, fire trucks, the list goes on. With all this going on you might think it sounds overwhelming, but it isn’t. You’ve advisors to help point out areas that need looking at, data presented as graphics rather than spreadsheets so it’s easy to understand, and if you are finding it tricky a neighboring city can always help you out.
Despite having had a good long weekend playing this I don’t feel like I’ve stretched the surface, there is so much to do and learn I expect I’ll be building cities for a long time to come.
I’ve added a short video to give a little taste of what you can expect (and to prove I can connect!). This is a fantastic game which you’ll love…as long as you have an internet connection!