Figuring out a better way to layout streets, to what town hall upgrades to buy first, SimCity presents a steep learning curve. The odd thing about it, though was that no matter how many times you fail in SimCity, you’ll continually find yourself coming back for more.
There really is something magical about running a city into the ground time after time. The feeling of accomplishment when you learn one tiny mechanic that will help get you farther the next go around.
Figuring out a better way to layout streets, the perfect spot to place a fire department, what town hall upgrades to buy first, SimCity has a deep learning curve. The odd thing about it, though was that no matter how many times I fail in SimCity, I always find myself coming back for more.
One of my favorite things about SimCity is that you can create your own unique story, every single time. For example, I started a region called Cape Conduit, and began my first city, aptly named Empire City. Modeled after InFamous’s take on New York City, I had a vision of what I wanted mine to become. I focused on small blocks, forcing my citizens to build up instead of out, and I built many commercial shops that would eventually become five-star hotels and malls the size of Chicago’s Water Tower. I also built a few small casinos and eventually I was raking in the cash.
Empire City ran almost entirely off coal, but I had literally no coal deposits underground in my city. So, naturally I decided to start a mining town in a coal rich area. Following the video game trend even further, I named my mining city The Pitt. I had things set up perfectly so that the citizens of The Pitt would travel to Empire City for entertainment. After 40 straight hours of failure, I had finally garnered 10 hours of uninterrupted success. That is the magic of the tales you can tell in SimCity.
While extremely fun, SimCity doesn’t go without its flaws. For starters, the tutorials are few and far between, and when they do make themselves apparent, they’re extremely vague and provide minimal gameplay information.
This fact lends itself to why it took me so long to finally figure out how the game worked. I enjoyed figuring things out for myself, but I understand how this could turn some players off who just want to get into the thick of things and play.
Once you figure things out, though playing SimCity is fairly simple. if you’ve played a SimCity game in the past, there really isn’t anything ground-breakingly new. That’s a good thing, too because SimCity follows the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” to a T. The new additions, while small, go a long way. Things like curved roads and dynamic traffic all add to a more realistic and streamlined experience than SimCity’s predecessors.
If you’re coming into SimCity expecting photo-realistic city graphics, you’ve come to the wrong place. SimCity doesn’t look bad by any stretch, and the almost cartoony graphics look good, but jaggy animations and numerous glitches kept me wanting more out of the game. Especially with Maxis’ claims that most of the hard work was being done in the cloud, leaving much more memory to process graphics. Other than that, there really isn’t much to say about this department except that it gets the job done.
Sound is another part of the game where it’s not vastly different from what has come before. The sound effects themselves all have high fidelity and the music is calm and subtly charming. Watching a dinosaur rage through my city was cool to begin with, but the shrieks of scared citizens and the sounds of destruction brought so much more realism to the entire disaster. I did experience a few hiccups though, where the sound would skip and cut out. It wasn’t anything detrimental, but it happened enough to where I started to get a tad irritated.
SimCity is a game chalk-full of great ideas that infrequently has trouble executing them. There is so much to learn about this game that isn’t provided to the player automatically. For everything that pulls the game back, there are tons of other things pushing it forward. Glitches and server issues aside, Maxis has something special on their hands and after a slew of near daily updates, everything seems to be working just fine. SimCity as an overall package is easily recommendable to gamers of all walks, and I for one, can’t wait to see where EA and Maxis take the experience in the coming months.
Written by Guest Reviewer: RandomHero1270