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Sim City Impressions

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Showing 1-23 of 23 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 5, 2013, 4:49:16 AM PST
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.

Random Thoughts:

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.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2013, 4:56:12 AM PST
Glad to hear it's fun to play.

My only gripe with the beta was the city size. I didn't like the specialization required at this time.

I'll probably pick up the game down the road if they increase the maximum size of the city.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2013, 5:01:10 AM PST
FOGE says:
"Down the road"

Ha! I see what you did there!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2013, 5:02:46 AM PST
It's not for everyone, but like I said, for me it's bigger than the cities I've made before so... works out for me!

Posted on Mar 14, 2013, 9:02:27 PM PDT
Diego Lopez says:
I've never had any problems connecting to the game itself. That being said, I have a few counter points to your review that will shed some light as to the problems you will see once you take off the rose-tinted glasses.

1. RCI is now free, yes, and it's absolutely meaningless. The C and I are not even necessary to have a thriving, fully-functioning city. Worst of all, the industrial has been proven to not even provide anything as it was claimed to pre-release except early tax revenue and pollution. The C provides it's own goods and also provides jobs to R, but R doesn't even need C to grow and be happy. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing this.

2. Power/Water is an improvement in delivery, yes. However, did you know that your water table is finite? That you will eventually run out of water completely? We were told that the water table is supposed to replenish with rainfall but that's not what's been going on at all. Even when placed next to a source such as a river, you will run dry unless you employ second tier sewage treatment next to your water facility.

3. There are no highways except for the ones leading to your city from the region. You get streets and avenues. Four variations in density to the former and only 3 for the latter, one of which is only an additional streetcar lane and not a density function. Far less options than the previous title. Aesthetically, the roads are nice as it is fun to have something other than angles to play with. However they often do not mesh well with building placement, other roads, and terrain deformations which results in many hours of frustration.

4. City buildings are kind of a joke. Due to the horrid pathfinding, which I hear they are working on so I'm crossing my fingers, having more than one service vehicle per building (particularly ambulance and fire trucks) only results in more of said vehicle responding to the exact same emergency. This makes having those extra vehicles pointless. Also, hopefully you'll give a wide swath of land to these types of buildings because you never know exactly how you'll be able to fit any of it's add-ons. I look forward to the day I'm not staring at my three fire truck circling the same block over and over right next to a burning building only to have said building burn up and spread. Also, once you reach the higher tiers of education, you can go ahead and get rid of the lower tier schools. It makes no difference to the population that you only have a university and no lower tier as a "ladder."

5. Multi-player is fine and dandy for those seeking it. Oh wait, it's not really fully functioning is it? No, I believe they turned off most aspect of regional play because their servers couldn't handle the load. A load they knew to expect and should have been prepared for. And why was this a problem to begin with? Oh yes, because EVERYONE has to be online while playing a mostly single-player game. Let's not forget the fact that this was easily, and completely avoidable. I can also reference many recent articles say that even employees at Maxis claim that the game doesn't need the server to function except for the DRM. While, prior to release, we were told this was a needed aspect to run such a "complex simulation."

6. Hey yea, the graphs are pretty. It's too bad most of it doesn't mean anything. Say you have 100k citizens in your little town. Well, let's look at those numbers in detail. How many of those people actually work? 10% right? How many "shoppers" do you have? Roughly another 10%. What is the rest of your population doing, if not in these two categories? Well, they simply do not exist. The RCI scale we used to rely on in previous games is completely broken. If follow what the RCI indicates you will be bankrupt in two months tops. Why? Because industrial means nothing, since commercial doesn't need it and it will only compete for the small 10% work force you have with commercial.

This game is massively broken. The size they give you for city plots is laughably small (with the promise of increased sized in later DLC $$$). Anyone seeking an even elementary level of sophistication of a simulation would be better off with any of the previous titles or another city builder altogether.

I admit that the allure of this game is there, and it is a pretty game to look at in my opinion, but I was hoping for so much more for a game with the "Sim City" brand. Unfortunately, after spending hours trying to figure out this one it results in being nothing more than a "farmville equivalent."

Posted on Mar 14, 2013, 11:51:58 PM PDT
anybody remember lincoln logs?

Yeah.... those were the days.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013, 4:21:28 AM PDT
J. says:
Can you build up street gangs and invade neighboring cities? Cripville vs Bloodburgh?

If not, I'm not interested.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 4:42:29 AM PDT
Coffee says:
Brilliant! Grand Theft Auto: Sim City!

Posted on Mar 15, 2013, 4:46:59 AM PDT
Aku says:
"you still have to be connected (Deal with it)."

lol, people are already debugging the game to work without the all-powerful server connection. People who pirate/mod it will be able to enjoy the game 24/7 while actual customers get buggy connections.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 4:51:14 AM PDT
This is SimCity not Grand Theft Auto.

As for what Diego said I respond with this!

1. Yes it's free, if it wasn't we would never get anywhere, as a counter to it being free, roads are far more expensive.

2.Water in my city has replenished, some spots that once were light blue are now dark blue, so it seems to be working for mine.

3. True there aren't traditional highways, but that's because highways take up so much space, if they had them you would ahve no room to build in your city. I don't see this is a problem, I view the entire region as my city not just one section being my city.

4. Can't argue with this one, but they said they are working on it. I also agree with the problem with education.

5. Again, can't argue with it, I think once the servers are al back up and running at full throttle it will really shine. Because single or multi i like the Idea of trading within a region, But i know most don't.

6. You just don't know the numbers very well, i've been doing some watching and spreadsheeting of certain things, I have observed that the total workers of a population actually varies, and shoppers are exactly 50% of workers, and students are 50% of workers. I have no clue what the others do! I assume they are people who like to visit other cities as tourists.

You may think the game is small, but in all of the sim city games I have played I always chose the smallest cities and have been quite happy with them so this isn't a change to me! Plus I like the idea of specializing.

I don't think the game is Massively broken, nor is it perfect, it has some space to grow and improve. I think you are just bitter because it isn't exactly what YOU wanted it to be.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 5:17:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2013, 5:20:36 AM PDT
J. says:
The middle ground between a full-blown GTA clone and a snoozefest road building simulator is large enough for SimCity to comfortably grow into.

I simply ask for a "simulator" to consider all aspects of urban life, to include the gang related counter-culture. Don't build enough schools and community activities for your citizens to focus their energy? Don't elect city officials to represent all communities within your city? Those underrepresented communities now have to fend for themselves.

Your city has textile mills and an oil refinery, while the adjacent city has a water park and $.10 wings on Friday? F*** that. We want that, too. Who is Mayor Badger to say what we can and can't have? If HE won't give it to us, we're gonna take it. Any. Means. Necessary. THAT is a simulator, Mayor Badger.


No need to respond to my troll post, it's a slow morning here. Enjoy your sewage treatment simulator.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 5:27:59 AM PDT
That game doesn't sound fun at all... This has never been what SimCity was about, why would they turn it into that?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 5:55:39 AM PDT
J. says:
They wouldn't, that would involve innovation, and thinking outside of the tiny box they built for themselves.


In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 5:56:00 AM PDT
Coffee says:
EVE was never about a FPS shooter, yet they did a pretty successful crossover with Dust 541. Maybe another crossover style game where you can influence crime rates and money in other peoples' cities?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 5:59:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2013, 6:01:29 AM PDT
Who are these people illegally downloading the game so that I may alert the authorities!?

Theft is no joke.

To the pirates out there - You wouldn't steal a car so why steal a game?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 6:00:03 AM PDT
So your saying you want the ability to ruin peoples cities on purpose? This isn't a competitive Multiplayer game. But I guess in todays society that's all people want. More PvP.

SimCity is a nice game to relax and play, not stress over if your city is about to be overrun by gangs. Though I REALLY wish I could disable disasters, i hate them. "Oh your city is up and running? Nope, here comes Godzilla and a tornado...

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 6:00:47 AM PDT
What bug crawled up yoor rump and died today? If you don't like SimCity you don't like SimCity, no need to bad mouth the game.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 6:03:43 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2013, 6:04:03 AM PDT

It was just a continuation of his rant.

Side note - I am interested in this game after reading your opening post. Never played a SimCity game before though....

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 6:05:00 AM PDT
It's great for those who haven't played it before IMO.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 6:09:58 AM PDT
Coffee says:
Eh, I'm bored and speculating. Been at work for 3 hours so far and not a soul is coming into the office, got to entertain myself somehow.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 6:16:35 AM PDT
J. says:
Everything I've said has been in jest, why you keep taking it seriously is beyond me. Enjoy SimRoadBuilder, I've played the first few back in the day, and thought they were perfectly adequate at putting me to sleep.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2013, 6:18:26 AM PDT
Cause I've been having this same argument with others whoa re dead serious about it, I just assumed you were one of them.

Posted on Mar 15, 2013, 8:59:13 AM PDT
Alright I'm here to give my impressions of SimCity after playing for 16 hours now.

The game play mechanics really help newcomers and veterans to SimCity mesh, and ease their way through building huge, fully functional cities. The main system used to help point out issues or problems in your city is what I call the "Status Bar". The bar on the bottom which helps you choose on what to build and where to build it. Each icon represents something whether it be roads, education, fire, police, water, electricity and so on. These icons are white at the beginning of the game but they will change color based on need or issues. When an icon turns yellow you can click on it and there will be a message from one of your local sims, explaining that you need more electricity or maybe you need an extra patient room for the hospital. It really makes improving your city quick and easy. If you want to go at it the old fashioned way they still provide charts and more in depth analysis for ever facet in the game.

Planning is an integral part of this game. Before you lay down your first hospital you need to think not only about now, but very far into the future as well. You do not want to bulldoze it days down the road because you placed it too far away from your residents or you ran out of room to expand. Also you need to plan out areas where you would like to keep residential, utilities, commercial and industrial zones at. My first city I just plopped everything down and was trying everything out. You soon realize that there are many factors to increase the density of your city and its not as easy as it looks. Be prepared to knock down some residential homes later on to improve the value of land by adding parks and attractions. Once you add value to the property you will encourage wealthier sims to move in and increase your profit.

Money can be an issue in this game if you don't budget yourself and get carried away. The option to have 3 different bonds of values from 25,000 to 100,000 can put you in a whole quickly. Early game you can only take out 25,000 simoleans but once you reach a certain peak you can grab that 100,000. My current city has a population of around 180,000 sims and I have now struggled with pulling out 3 bonds at 100,000. I wanted to upgrade some attractions to bring more money to my city and in late game the buildings get very expensive. Now, my city is running at a very small profit margin because I have to pay back all the bonds I have out. These bonds are great addition to help out on some pricey purchases at the beginning but you cannot become reliant on them either.

Roads have been fun to experiment with but I still use the classic grid pattern. It helps to utilize all the space when building large populated cities. Having electricity, water and sewage connected through roads has made life much easier when building. You do not need to worry about putting certain utilities such as power plants or sewage everywhere as long as you provide enough for the city. In one map I have all my utilities next to my industrial and they have no issues providing to my residential zones and commercial which are across a river. I just needed to make sure the have enough output to cover the whole city.

Services have become a blast in the new Simcity as you can now upgrade Police and Fire stations to increases the productivity. Fire stations also have the option to add bells on top of the garages to help your truck react quicker to fires. Airports you can add passenger terminals or go all freight terminals depending on your city and its specialization.

The information that this game gives you at your fingertips is really nice. You can view your ground water pollution, population, healthcare coverage, education, and density of land value very easily by just one click of a button. It will color code your city in real time and show you where issues may be or if you want to plan on placing your utilities. This feature is my favorite part of the new Simcity and can help you make educated decisions on placement and how to run your city.

The multiplayer aspect is a great add on and I cant wait to try it out more with some VGF people. You can trade services or utilities and you can lend a helping hand to different cities. If your neighbor needs 10,000 simoleons to build a power plant that will help produce power to the whole region you can gift him the money. Working together can really benefit each region and increase density builds quickly. You do not have to play multiplayer if you don't want to because you can create regions and lock them out from other people joining. That way you can make up to 16 of your own cities and develop your own region if you would like to.

Those are just some of my thoughts and I don't have time to go really in depth here at work but I figured people need to hear that this game is great.

Anybody down to start a VGF region let me know!
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Discussion in:  Video Games forum
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Total posts:  23
Initial post:  Mar 5, 2013
Latest post:  Mar 15, 2013

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