For those of us who enjoy the complex yet rewarding gameplay associated with simulation games there is perhaps no series that’s delivered more goodness than that of the “Sim City” franchise. Naturally, a lot of gamers have been quite excited because we were to be treated to another Sim title this year (2013); this time, with a great number of improvements being implemented. Sadly however, for all the great things about this game, it has problems. Having said that however, some gamers might not have to deal with nearly as many as others; I know, we shouldn’t make excuses for bad design choices, but it’s true – not everyone will agree about the quality of this title. In fact, the stability of your internet connection and dare I say it, the “luck” you possess in connecting with servers will play more of an integral role in your enjoyment than anything else.
As was the case with previous titles in the series (and as the name clearly implies), the point of Sim City is to build virtual cities. What separates this game from many of the pretenders to the throne, so to speak, is its incredibly deep gameplay and seemingly never-ending options. However, whereas previous installments allowed gamers to play using only the software you purchased, this edition requires you to maintain an online connection throughout play. Needless to say, this little problem, along with several others, is enough to cause significant disruption if you’re one of the unlucky ones, that is. Aside from that however, Sim City is a really fun game with a generous helping of upgraded features and a newly innovated online multiplayer / participation dynamic.
Simply put, this game looks terrific. The basic art direction and style isn’t at all a radical departure from that which helped to build franchise, it’s basically an upgrade of what we’re already used to. There’s a lot of detail too – whether you’re viewing things from the “bird’s eye” viewpoint or more closely. In terms of graphics, there’s not very much to complain about at all.
One of the biggest additions to this title is the ability to engage in cooperative play. For instance, you can set up trade rules and use your alliances to create mutually beneficial situations. Likewise, you might encounter some negatively-minded players who want to behave more like opponents than developers (you just never know). Moreover, you will share an entire geographical area with many different gamers; in other words, this isn’t an experience where you get to become god or something, you are forced (by the very design of the game mechanics and level infrastructure) to participate in city building with others.
In this regard, Sim City is a move forward toward a more interactive experience which will truly challenge gamers and present them with unexpected variables. Sadly, this would be a revolutionary concept if it weren’t for the nearly broken nature of the game itself (by hey, perhaps they’ll soon fix this problem? We can only hope).
As previously stated, if it weren’t for the game-crashing problems, which are thankfully becoming less and less, Sim City would be taking home even more awards (the game has won 26 PC game awards). It already possess a great number of features which are truly world-class, it’s too bad that the inherent potential of Sim City’s success has been marred by these technical problems. Having said that, those who are either big fans of the franchise or simulation games in general should definatley get this title, particularly if they have a good fast and stable connection to the internet. It’s only a matter of time before EA totally fix all server issues, which will leave us with the best city building game available to date.