If you came here to see another person complain about Always online DRM, Non required Micro-transactions and how much Origin sucks, you can stop reading now because that isn't what this is. I'm sure all sites will have the game at an average of 3/10 just like D3 because it's EA, and it's online only. And uses Origin... yawn.
Now onto the game. Also keep in mind I have only gotten to play for 3 hours, so this is on the first 3 hours of the game. I have not tried Region play yet.
Sim City is a reboot of the popular city building Franchise. IT has always been a blast for me to play these games in the past even if I was never really any good at them. I picked it up today and thought I would share my thoughts on the changes and general goings on in the game.
Solid as ever. And deceptively simple as ever. I'm not going to go into the nitty gritty as most of those interested in Sim City already know how the games work I'm going to more or less focus on the changes.
1. Zoning: You don't ahve to pay for it anymore, zoning is free. You can only zone along a road and there are only 3 types of zones, Commercial Residential and Industrial. Gone are the days of three different types of each zone, instead your choices and city planning can change the land value, which upgrades the zones automatically in that area. To offset the cost of no longer having to zone, roads have gotten quite expensive. It's best to start with a cheap road and upgrade the road later (Which has become MUCH easier now)
2. Power/Water: SO much better this time around. Instead of the power and water being moved by a wierd pipe system or powerlines that magically didn't have to be everywhere, the roads carry power and water (As they would in real life in general). This is why everything must be connected to a road.
3. Roads: There are many different types from dirt road to 6 lane highways. Each road supports a certain type of Zone Density (Low Medium or High) And can be drawn in many more interesting shapes this time. Circles, Arcs, Free line, Squares, etc... It's a lot of fun to build crazy roads, even if they arne't as functional.
4. City Buildings: These are the schools, Police Stations, Fire stations etc... These have gotten a massive upgrade in this game. Not only can you build them, but yuou can upgrade them with different add-ons and options to increase their ability to do whatever it is they do. For instance you can add more ambulences to the hospitals to increase reponse times. If you have too much of a service you can even offer it to neighboring cities...
5. Which brings me to the Multiplayer aspect, Regions: You do not have to play with others you can chose to do so alone, you still have to be connected (Deal with it). Each region has 3+ cities in it and you can control them all, trade resources and utilities between them, attract tourists from one city to the next with attractions etc... The whole point of this is no longer do you have to have EVERYTHING in one city. You can focus on say a Casino City, or a Factory City or a Power City that provides power tot he whole region. It's a very interesting concept and one i look forward to playing with my friends.
6. Last but not least is the Micro-Management and Information Displays. Sim City has outdone themselves on this one. Each screen for information is a visual representation of all the information on the map itself. For instance if you wanted to see how bad Crime was in your city you click the Crime Display, and the whole city will turn white, accept for blotches of color where the crime is worse. If you wanted to see the happiness of your Sims clickt he Happiness layer and a 3D Bar Graph will appear on Every Single House, Shop and Factory, showing their happiness, and likelyhood of upgrading. It's a fantastic tool and I do very much enjoy it. However, if you liked the old SPreadsheet look that isn't here this time around and you may not be as pleased.
The Graphics aren't ground breaking, but they are charming and fit the game perfectly. Buildings have a nice amount of detail on them, you can see what every single sim in the game is thinking about and/or doing if you click on them. It's fun to watch the cars moving back and forth on the roads, see giant buildings built from the ground up, etc... This means the game will not have much trouble running on lower end computers. They have also added weather effects like Wind, Rain, Night and Day, and others.
I made the mistake again of goign to Metacritic and reading some of the user reviews. They are all the same about how EA is a monster and should be closed down, Origin is worthless, etc... But one of them did have a complaint that I have seen others talking about which is City Size. They are smaller than the largest cities in Sim City 4 there is no denying that. However I believe in the video i watched Maxis mentioned that each city is the same size, and is twice the size of the smallest area from SC4. This works for me since I never built anything bigger than those tiny cities (LIke I said I like the game I'm just bad at it!). So while I can see why to some this is an issue, I believe they are forgetting that the focus is more on region play than 1 city. So I think it will balance out.
All in all I think the game is fantastic, It is noobie friendly, while still being difficult enough to keep you constantly balancing things out in the city for your sims. While I have never been in the negative on earnings in the game, things do get real expensive, real fast so you will always need more money!
If you like Sim City, I would highly recommend this game.
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