SimCity Review

SimCity Review

Developer: Maxis | Publisher: Electronic Arts

Reviewed by Darryl Linington
Platform: PC

Developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts, SimCity is the latest edition to the much loved simulator genre. While SimCity suffered a rather diabolical launch phase, it is still a game that I have been looking forward to for a while now. I mean who can pass up building their own city, making a profit, and accumulating mass amounts of debt and then recover skilfully?

SimCity Review

Before I can carry on, I would like to point out that, over the past few weeks, I have also suffered through the constant trials and tribulations of the having to have a constant internet connection in order to play this title. While most of the issues have been ironed out, it is still something that gamers should have not experienced.

Once you eventually get past the start-up screen, SimCity is actually a well thought out title (apart from the Always-on DRM) that will indeed capture your attention. Things start off with a much needed tutorial, which will guide you through the most important aspects of building your thriving new city.

Once the tutorial is done with, you will have the opportunity to finally start your own city from scratch. One of the more important decisions you will make is picking a region to build in. Each region has its own pros and cons, which come in the form of whether or not your region is rich in some elements, or poor in others. Additionally, try and select a region that most of your friends are playing in, as this will help improve the overall experience and help your city thrive even further.

SimCity Review

Once you are settled in your new region, you will be presented with a large area of land and 50 000 Simoleans. While this may sound like a lot of cash, it is only enough to get you started. I personally found myself in a mass amount of debt while building my very first city, as I kept taking out various bonds in order to keep things running smoothly… not a good idea at all. Instead of rushing things, it is always better to take your time and rather place necessities like roads, water towers, power plants, waste maintenance and so on. After that is all up, you can start placing residential, commercial and industrial areas down in order to progress smoothly.

Education also plays an important role in your city. Much like real life, Sims need to be educated in order to progress through life. Without education, your city will not progress and your residents will eventually set fire to things, get sick more often and harm your cities potential for becoming a technologically advanced community.

One thing I would like to point out is the actual detail that has gone into this title. Once your city is up and running you will be able to view various statistics that relate to your city. These statistics will inform you, in detail, on the Sims living in your city, the pollution levels and anything else you would like to know. It is quite honestly refreshing to experience a game with this much detail and information; however, the information provided can be a little overwhelming and confusing at times. Furthermore, each city can be turned into specific type of city for example gambling and entertainment cities and so on.

SimCity Review

Going further into detail, everything from your Sims, buildings and business are unique in their own special way. I mean you can always zoom in on the Magtoto household and see what makes them happy, or check in on the local Burger Shack to see how business is going, which is rather awesome.  SimCity also allows players to take on additional challenges. These challenges help keep the game moving, and help earn you a rather large amount of cash. I will admit that trying to take on these challenges in the very beginning of the game is not entirely the best thing to do. This was due to the fact that my entire city burnt down compliments to a fireworks display held by the fire department, who could not contain the fire… thanks!

Natural, and not so natural, disasters are also featured within SimCity. These disasters come in the form of tornadoes, meteor strikes, and a massive lizard that attacks the city. While there are indeed more disasters featured within SimCity, I would rather you find out what they are in order to prevent spoilers.

SimCity is not entirely the most graphically advanced gaming title out there; however it does look good… even on lower spec machines it looks pretty superb. Just be sure to check the system requirements before purchasing this title as you wouldn’t want to get home and be disappointed that you cannot play.

While SimCity is a gem, it also has its problems. Graphical and audio glitches are present as well as a few gameplay glitches. A few gameplay issues that I came across was the inability to bulldoze various buildings, which causes many problems, as well as some rather awkward traffic backups.

SimCity Review

Conclusion:
Overall, SimCity is a gem of a game… despite its diabolical launch phase. It features great gameplay, decent graphics and enough lasting appeal to keep you coming back for more.

While it still has various issues that still need to be ironed out, EA seems to be doing a pretty good job when it comes to issuing frequent patches in order to fix bugs.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 8.5/10
Graphics: 7/10
Sound: 8.5/10
Lasting appeal: 8/10

The Overlord, the master, the one who tries to get things done… I think they call it the “Editor-in-Chief”… I may even be cooler than Master Chief, but that remains to be questioned.

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The Verdict

8Great

The Good: - Great Gameplay
- Decent Graphics

The Bad: - Always-On DRM


  • http://fancierthanthoupants.org McFancypants HD 3.0

    While SimCity isn’t something I’d play, the lolz were had while reading this (the fire department’s ineptness).

    Excellent review (again), a very fair scoring, based on your description of the game :)

    • Tomahawk “Lightning” Jones

      Get it, I’ll get it, we become a War Nation and f**k s**t up for everyone else.

      • http://fancierthanthoupants.org McFancypants HD 3.0

        Go all Red Dawn, and invade small towns and eventually, cities? Only, we kidnap all the teenagers before the time, during months of preparation, making it appear as though they had one by one left for bigger and better things – because, in instances such as this, only the kids can save the town. The adults are useless, because most of them have forgotten how to use their imagination. And the few who still know how, have lent their skills to developing games, making movies and writing works of literature.

        • Tomahawk “Lightning” Jones

          Or rather like Grey Dawn. South Park episode.

          Nah, son. We just gots be makin’ us all dem giant robotic lizard creatures and unleahin’ that sh*t on the people, yo. Then we name ourselves something dope and starts with “General” or “Baron.” DAYUM! DIBS ON “BARON BADASS MOTHERFU**ER!”

  • NotExactlyMars

    Great review guy… Really enjoy this game

    • http://www.itfgaming.com/ Darryl Linington

      Thanks :) I’m also enjoying it, good to see that a lot of the issues have been sorted.

      • NotExactlyMars

        I selected Medal of Honor as my free game purely because I already own all of the other titles on offer, But I doubt I’ll ever get around to downloading it because its 16GB o___0 After the major issues we’re resolved I’ve been really enjoying the game (when my crappy 3G connection isn’t dropping the whole time) the apparent issues that remain like ^ that guy up there is moaning about. I haven’t seem them or they are so minuscule that I haven’t noticed. So your score is more than fair

  • DragonSire

    We playing the same game? Traffic broken, AI Broken, Regions Broken, Population Tax System Broken, Resources Broken, Road Placement Terrain Issues Buggy, Numerous features missing. Let me guess played 20 minutes thought hey it’s pretty and did this review. This is why companies get away with releasing unfinished games.

    • http://www.itfgaming.com/ Darryl Linington

      I put quite a few hours into it… EA had fixed most of the issue. It feels like you skimmed the review rather than actually reading it. Pretty doesn’t get decent graphics.

      • DragonSire

        No I read it. But I suggest you either play it longer or in less a casual manor. The problems become apparent once your past the honeymoon phase of the game. AI pathing is broken. The Agent system relies on Sims taking the first hole, either house or job, so they all move together like lemmings all wanting the same location until being diverted. Service vehicles are the same, hence why 10 trucks will try to go to same fire. Get blocked by other traffic, and you watch as your buildings just burn. How about 10k population giving almost the same tax money as 100k, because of the fudged population. That’s only 2 bugs. There are dozens of major bugs, not glitches, not minor problems. People are reporting issues with trade, education, recycling. Not even mentioning the server rollbacks,This game MIGHT be worth an 8 out of 10 when the bugs are fixed, and more content restored to the game. It’s got a lot of good going for it. But it’s just another example of a rushed out the door product from EA. Right now it’s just plain broken. In MY opinion you are doing a disservice to people. I could link you to a dozen websites that actually show the issues, but a quick google search and you will find them on your own. Your entitled to an opinion, I just hope people don’t feel they wasted money because of it.

        • NotExactlyMars

          I haven’t really experienced any of the above mentioned issues either because it’s either been fixed or its so minuscule that I haven’t noticed them. Of the people I personally know who bought the game (including myself) the only complaint they’ve had about the game was the DRM, server issues and updates. Other than that after putting in between 20 and 40 hours of play time they have nothing but praise for the game