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SimCity: A Failed Enterprise - semi-in-depth Analysis
on December 10, 2013
I have been a loyal SimCity acolyte ever since its inception in 1992 when I was 10 years old. This newest edition has tons of potential but it has been squandered in the name of ____________ fill-in-the-blank. I purchased this edition and the future expansion pack and have logged well over 200 hours on the game. I have deleted both from my machine and do not plan on playing them again. This edition is a failed enterprise for the following reasons:
1. Still too many glitches, freezing, crashing, etc.
Much of the freezing and crashing is probably due to the incompetence of EA's various servers where SimCity is hosted; no server seems to be devoid of these issues. In the past, SimCity could be installed onto your local machine and was only limited by either the games built in capabilities or that of your personal computer. Now it is limited to EA's computing capability. Many have assumed, and probably rightly so, that the decision to "jail" SimCity on EA's servers was intended to thwart software piracy but in time I believe EA will learn that although they may have been successful in that primary goal, they will disenfranchise many acolytes such as myself in the long haul.
Homeless: Once the homeless establish themselves in your city, they are impossible to eradicate, congregating in parks and abandoned buildings lowering land value and forcing decent sims to leave the city. Even demolishing the entire city (which is no easy task) and starting anew does not solve this issue. There is no option to build a homeless shelter or other services to rehabilitate your homeless sims.
Crime: The police data view will state several criminals-at-large and flash warnings about the dangerous crime levels in the city, yet the data map will show that crime and criminals are absent or very near null. No amount of police stations, precincts, LawDrones, and detective wings can resolve this issue.
Solid Waste Management: The garbage tab will purport that not all garbage and recycling is being collected but the data view will reveal this to be false and show the city devoid of excess cans. Furthermore, the Recycling Center claims that its various product recovery lines are full but clicking on the center will reveal otherwise.
Megatowers: Some Megatowers with apartment or mall levels with the same prosperity rating (land value) will remain unhappy and claim not enough shoppers or not enough shopping and sims will move out putting your Megatower finances into the red on an hourly basis, which could eventually bankrupt your city.
2. Mayoral success is hampered by superfluous "disasters" which include earthquakes, tornadoes, UFO's, and large destructive robots and lizards.
No real city, past, present, or future has or will experience the inordinate amount of disasters perpetrated upon successful cities with such frequency as in this version of SimCity. The fantastical disasters do not suit my mayoral city-building desires. Earthquakes and tornadoes I can accept, but only with low frequency and only in select cities, as in real life. Flight simulators mimic real-life flight as closely as possible; as Wikipedia puts it: "A simulation game attempts to copy various activities from 'real life'". SimCity falls incredibly short in this regard.
3. City Size
As others have noted, the playing field is much too small and you quickly run out of building space. I'm not sure why EA reduced the city size in this edition but I can only assume it was to minimize the processing and storage requirements on their host servers for each end user. It appears they attempted to remedy the small city size with the density capabilities of the zones and with Megatowers but this has been unsuccessful.