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on March 5, 2013
Guess what? If you'd love to experience the nonstop thrills and excitement of SimCity, then please remove $60 from your bank and promptly pay someone to kick you repeatedly in the friggin' mouth.

I find it incredibly mind boggling that I spent $60 on something that I can't even log into to play. My first city that I spent some time on was lost forever due to server issues at EA. Oh, and forget trying to get a quick game in when your server (where your save resides) is either full or busy. I only wanted to play a quick game, completely solo, and am forced to wait and wait and wait and wait. And don't believe the 20-30 min timer. Sometimes even that is incorrect.

Shame on you EA. For the last ten years I have watched you slowly turn this industry into a wasteland. And now in your latest attempt in trying to stick to your corporate policy of crushing anything that closely resembles the human spirit, you have turned SimCity into a $60 thirty minute countdown and server status app. Awesome.

I spent this money because I still wanted to support Maxis. After all, I grew up with a lot of Maxis games that I absolutely loved. Still do. But this? This is probably one of the dumbest things EA and Maxis could have ever done. If it's possible for me to even get a refund, I want it. We're only really paying for a product key that lets us use completely unusable servers. Invalidate the key and refund money. So, EA. Do you plan on letting any of us honest people actually play this game?

Avoid this game. Until EA either removes the DRM completely or allows offline play and saves, this game is nothing more than an example on how a company can both rip off AND alienate its fanbase.

UPDATE: For those here who purchased the game through Amazon, I contacted them and they refunded the cost of the game and removed it from my library for me. This is why I will always be loyal to companies like Amazon, which CARES about its customers, and no longer to companies like EA, who would rather make people jump through hoops than actually go out of their way for a customer. I suggest anyone else here contact Amazon and get your money back as well, so that EA can begin to take notice when they're suddenly having to pay a lot of their ill gotten money back to their customers.

Vote with your wallets, people. We have the power to change companies or bring them down if they refuse to change. We have that power.
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on March 5, 2013
How would you feel if you waited for the new Corvette to come out, preordered one, and when you try to drive it home with its massive V8 engine the dashboard tells you, "Gas Pump not connected, aborting."?

Well, this is the world of EA games. For years now they have been plugging DRM into games regardless if it's singleplayer or multiplayer. At some unspecified date, from a year to a few years down the line, they'll pull the plug on the life-support of the game (aka server) and tah-dah! Your $60 game is now a $60 Frisbee.

There is no reason at all that anyone who shells out top-dollar for an over-hyped game should have to sit in a queue for hours at a time to even reach the main menu. The queue makes NO mention of your spot in line, and only says, "ATTEMPTING to reconnect in: (20 minute countdown)". That is, not checking persistently. That is, indefinite wait time. Your saves are SERVER based, so if your connection is lost, the server hiccups, or you move to a less-populated server? Hours of gameplay wasted.

Tutorials are bugged. Region buttons are greyed out and unable to continue. The crashes force you to sit in the queue once again.

Bottom line: Go up to a random stranger, preferably a musclehead, hand him your $60 and ask him to punch you in the face. You'll get more out of your money, and it'll be less painful to watch.

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on March 9, 2013
It's a sad day when your brand new shiny City-Sim game on today's modern computers can't even hold a candle to its 10 year old predecessor. (Sim City 4) I have been waiting in anxious anticipation for SimCity since the moment I learned of its existence. All of those tiny little frusrating aspects of SC4 would finally get updated, and we would finally have the SimCity we've been dreaming of. Surely, with 10 years to research and find what their loyal fans truly loved about the City building series, there was no way EA could fail at making a truly wonderful, classic game that would hold up as a true joy to play for years to come.

But instead, EA scrapped it all. They tore everything we loved about the game down, and gave an impostor the "SimCity" franchise title instead. A truly awful game of the highest order. In summary, EA, here is everything you did wrong:

1. The biggest factor in enjoying my game, the one true aspect that let me endlessly experiment, was removed. I can no longer reload a city after flinging disasters at it. I can no longer turn my mega-city into a smog filled crime town just for fun to see what happens. I can't even save my game locally. What the hell is this? Every single action is 100% permanent FOREVER... ? Why even play?

2. Goodbye casual enjoyment. Whose wonderful idea was it to come up with the always-on DRM?? Because they, and everyone who even remotely acted like the always-on connection was a good idea, should be immediately fired and banned from the video game industry for life. No one wants this. Not a single player wanted this, except you EA. It's like EA could never envision that a scenario would arise where you would want to play the game and not have internet access. Has no one from EA ever traveled before? Do they drive around with their own personal satellite beaming internet to their laptop 24/7 365? Because now there are literally no scenarios where I can play SimCity unless I sit down at my desktop computer for hours on end. No more playing on a long road trip in the backseat. No more popping out the laptop for a few hours of fun gaming on the flight home. Do you have an even partially unreliable connection? Forget about it. Use broadband internet access on the go? Hahaha good luck. That's ok though, I'm sure all of EA's actual, paying customers will ask for refunds and then download a pirated copy with the DRM connection 'fixed' so they can enjoy their game in a few weeks anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem for long.

3. Speaking of the always-on internet connection, what happens in 3 years, hmm? or 5 years, or 10 years? What about when I go to pop out my dusty old copy of SimCity to show my kids in 15 years a classic game I used to enjoy? Oh wait, nevermind, that's not possible because I'm sure your servers will be offline by then. Will you offer us an offline patch when the servers go offline for good? Who knows... and who cares!! Because I'm sure you'll launch a new SimCity game then too, with the same s***ty DRM, and shut down these servers so we're forced to upgrade! I'm so excited!

4. What is this crap about collaborative regions? Did anyone who designed this game even PLAY SimCity?? One if the franchise's greatest joys is building your own custom region up, brick by brick into the megalopolis, or crime slum, or paradise, or shopping mecca of your dreams. Why would I ever want to be beholden to someone else's vision of what the region should be? I literally cannot believe that there are no options to play the game truly, 100% solo. It's unbelievable. You know what, I'll go make some popcorn and sit back to watch "my region" grow. It's not like I can make it into what I want anyway.

5. No region/city terraforming? Are you kidding me? It's like EA wanted people to be angry.

6. Who broke out the shrink ray? Why are the cities so tiny? ...and the regions too for that matter? Your loyal fans have been screaming for massive regions and bigger cities since the earliest possible SimCity days. We finally have enough computing power to handle a truly massive region/city and what did you do? Shrank it. Thanks for nothing.

7. You killed all forms of game mods, EA. Why would you do this? Why would you cripple fan support of your own game? It has been over 10 years, and the SC4 modding community is still going strong. Hell, it'll probably be an even stronger mod community once people go back to SC4 after this launch. So why would you cripple the ability to mod SimCity? Oh, that's right, because you're greedy, money-grubbing jerks, and you introduced reason #8!

8. The micro-transaction marketplace. You've got to be kidding me. The very last thing I want to do with any game is get nickle-and-dimed. But I guess in EA's mind it's ok to cut out pieces of the game and then resell them to you. What a joy!

9. Solo play is crippled! "You curmudgeoney old hermit, why would you not want to play socially with others?" BECAUSE I DON'T WANT TO. THAT'S ALL THE REASON I NEED. If you purchase this and intend to play solo, enjoy realizing that you can't accomplish many major goals unless you play multiplayer with others. For example, want that mega-airport in your own custom region? Too bad!! Hopefully you know multiple friends with the exact same interests as you so that you can unlock some meaningless obstruction to the things you want to build! If you are going to include multi-player in a solo-play game format, make it OPTIONAL!

It pains me deeply as a long-time fan of the Sim City franchise to say that I truly hope that this game goes down in history as one of the biggest failures ever. Since it has already launched and we can't do anything to change the situation, at least SimCIty still has the chance to be remembered as a martyr. Take note EA, this massive failure is a reminder that what your customers truly want is what they ask for - not what the developer wants.

UPDATE #2: I just learned of another joy!

10. NO SUBWAYS. Why, oh WHY would you have a SimCity game, or ANY City Simulator for that matter, WHERE YOU CAN'T BUILD SUBWAY SYSTEMS! Seriously, this was included in SimCity 2000, over 15 years ago.... and now in 2013, subways disappear? This is the type of ludicrous logic I just cannot grasp.

UPDATE #3: I wanted to add in a few more points I missed in my original review, that I realize now would not be apparent unless you played the game yourself.

11. Pre-set neighbor connections. Unlike in previous iterations of SimCity, you do not directly control where roads enter your city, they simply enter, and wherever they are, they are. You will have to build around this.

12. Seriously, have I mentioned how small the cities are? Maxis/EA repeatedly stated in pre-release that they are comparable to the size of the 'medium' tiles from SC4, but they're not. They're really not even close, and in game play, they feel even more constricting than the 'small' city tiles in SC4. Basically they should have called this game an update and re-boot of the 1995 Maxis game, SimTown. That's how it plays - all the game focuses on is the sim people, not your city.

13. For a game that puts so much emphasis on the Sim residents of your city, it doesn't seem to care too much about them, or their behavior. Instead of even remotely utilizing pathfinding skills, Sims and other entities in the game (garbage trucks, school buses, etc.) follow straight-line logic and keep going until they find a place to stop. Sims will frequently jam up a street full of traffic when there is a perfectly usable road right next to it going to the same place. Sims getting out of school proceed down the road in a row of school buses, dumping as many sims into each house as the house can hold until they run out of sims. Sims don't have 'houses' (meaning they don't return to the place they came from when coming home from work) they just stop at the first residence that has space for them or keep going until there's one with room. This leads to ridiculous and almost laughably stupid behavior - lines of school buses parading through your city... a single road in your city being jam packed with traffic, with every other road empty... conga lines of sims coming home from a place of work. This game is just a broken, silly update to SimTown. This is not Sim City.

Honestly? Go play SimCity 4000 (with the Rush Hour expansion) and save your money.
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on March 7, 2013
This is the best error message simulator I've ever played. It lures you in with a promising looking game, but gives you an error message every time you try to launch it. Changing servers will not save you.

I've actually gotten pretty good at this game. I've gotten as far as the final boss. Right when I try to claim my plot to build my city, I'm told to try again at another time. Does anybody know how to beat this boss? What time am I supposed to come back?

This game is much better than its predecessor, Error 37.
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on March 7, 2013
Dear EA/Maxis/Origin:

You killed the child inside me.

The one who remembers playing SimCity. The *first* one. Who recalls fondly a childhood of Sim games, spending countless hours on my Compaq 486 sx33 living simulated lives in simulated bliss. I played all the iterations: I built theme parks and zoos and I even went so far as to adore SimAnt. Anyone remember SimAnt? You were a yellow ant. And did... Ant things... Simulated Ant things. I did that.

Over the years, as I grew in to an adult, SimCity grew with me. Through every evolution, I enjoyed it. I bonded with it. I dreamed of living in an Arcology one day, in the distant future. Maxis, you stimulated my impressionable mind and gave me critical thinking skills and a grounded conduit for my creativity.

For all those years, I am thankful. I even played "The Sims" a bit, but became busy being an adult and living a non-simulated life.

When I read about a year ago there would be a new SimCity game, I was ecstatic. I immediately sent links to my childhood friends, started reading every piece I could about it, and gleefully watched sneak previews on YouTube. I was excited.

I Pre-Ordered it on Amazon. Then I ordered it on Origin because I could get it two hours earlier- that's how excited I was to download it.

Now. Listen, EA. You know where this is going. You know what happened. You know what you did. We all know what you did.

You killed a little boy. Metaphorically, of course. I'm fairly sure none of your products have or ever will cause actual death. Unless it's suicide induced by trying to deal with your customer support, online or by phone... Actually yea, I can see someone on the desperate brink of ending their own life as a result of the incomprehensibly atrocious "Help" and "Contact" system you have in place on Origin. I can't even find an email address. AN EMAIL ADDRESS, EA. YOU GET LIKE THIRTY OF THOSE FREE WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR COMCAST. HELL, I'LL GIVE YOU LIKE 28 OF MINE YOU CAN USE.

I digress. Let's not even talk about how it won't work, at all, right now. How there's not a single player mode. How the only mode is a crippled, severely limited, and quite honestly child-like version of what should be a powerful piece of gaming art.

It was pre-ordered, EA... and no one could download it. At all. You knew how many copies were going to be downloaded. You knew exactly how many downloads would be happening. Who does the math there? Who didn't figure out the server load? Are there koala bears doing math there?

AND if you DID do the math....


I just... this is just.. unfathomable... you've done it before, with other popular games. I mean, it's not like this is the first game release EA and Origin has had... Right? Were you worried about piracy? Well. It's an online only game. The piracy rate of something like this (Or Diablo 3, or WoW, or whatever) has to be remarkably lower than the old "make a burned copy of CD and get a keygen from your buddy" days.

Online only. No single player version. I hate playing games with people. That's why I want to play a game where I control everyone and everything. To be away from the real world. In MY Sim-World...

And don't think we can't see what you're doing here, Maxis. There's $500 worth of "The Sims 3" add-ons out there. Shoot, even the initial download of this new SimCity tried to squeeze another 20 bucks out of us for.. I don't know, Germany or something?

How man versions would there be?
How much money would it cost to have a complete SimCity? A grand?


No thank you. To any of this. This is, without a doubt, the last PC game I buy. Steam, Origin, whatever non-sense BattleNet decides to use... No more. Not when there are three consoles sitting in front of me, eager to play games immediately, the first time. In fact, my new Mass Effect 3 DLC just installed. Quickly. The first time.

In closing:

You've done terribly. You've ruined it. For everyone. Why? Because money. Because lack of foresight and smug, self-satisfied designs that would ensure we all had a SimLeech bloodsucking us for years to come.

So it wouldn't download. And now it won't play. And now I can't get my money back. Or even talk to anyone related to the game whatsoever.

And even if it did play, the part of me that would enjoy it, he's face down in a wading pool anyhow.

Thanks. You've made my laptop my imagination's Hiroshima.
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on March 5, 2013
I've so far played this game one hour. During that time my buildings would flashing on and off in what appeared to be a video glitch.

The majority of my experience has been watching a Server is Busy error and waiting for a 20 minute timer to count down to 0. Once it does, I get a network server error and it resets.

I'm giving the game 1 star because it's been a great way to re-heat my enchiladas in the oven. Otherwise, I'd give this game a 0.

If you have not purchased, stay far away.

And if you're reading this months from now and they've seemingly fixed their issues, do yourself a favor and do not purchase the game. It's a Simcity-lite, not a true successor.

Maxis is a shell of their former selves.
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on March 6, 2013
I've been playing SimCity games since their inception in the late 1980s, and was overwhelmed with excitement about this release. Thus, it was terribly disappointing to learn that gameplay requires a constant internet connection, and a link to EA's servers. For those players who have no interest in online collaborative gameplay, this is an absurd requirement, especially considering the pathetic performance of these servers now that the game has gone live.

If EA doesn't resolve this soon, I will be requesting a refund and going back to playing SimCity 4 (as it seems now, for the rest of my life). From the other reviews and the very negative Amazon Star rating, I don't think that I am alone in this sentiment.

Overall, this is a major disappointment, and I recommend that interested buyers hold off to see how (or even if) these issues are resolved.
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on March 5, 2013
it doesnt even work, Do not buy this junk. This is a single player game that forces you to be online but the server keeps crashing the game, this is so stupid how dare you charge $60 for this crap.
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on March 5, 2013
I am extremely frustrated that, after spending over $50 on what looked like a really cool game, I now can't even play. You have to be online and connected to a server at all times, even if you don't want to play with anyone else. It is totally ridiculous. All the servers are either busy, full, or "available" but you can't actually connect to them! The tutorial won't load, I can't create a new city, and I keep getting error messages. This is the worst. EA had better fix this issue immediately or no one is going to want to buy their products again.
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on March 5, 2013
I have been waiting all day to play this game. After waiting in line for a server, I get the "Can not claim a city" error. It's the biggest waste of my time and money trying to play this game.

EA does not care about their customers. It is understandable that issues arise when a game first goes live. However, EA needs more than just 4 servers for north america. They could have easily planned for this by analyzing pre-orders. A lot of other people are upset too. EA/SimCity staff ignore all the negative posts on their facebook and twitter page and they act like everything is just fine.

If the game did not require an internet connection, everyone would be just fine. EA - If you can not support the server load, then do not implement it!

Take my advice and wait before you buy this game. Until EA gets these issues fixed, your buying nothing more than a pretty game screen with a timer & error message to stare at.
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