Review | SimCity (2013)
This game is the biggest disappointment since Diablo 3. Hopefully unlike Diablo 3, this doesn’t eventually turn out to be a PS3 port that PC users get to beta test.
My biggest complaint about Simcity is the DRM setup which forces players to log on (and stay logged on) to Origin any time they want to play.
The maps are tiny. Unlike Simcity 4 which had maps ranging from tiny to huge, all the maps on this Simcity are incredibly small. This leaves very little space to set up your city, and that’s assuming you don’t have a river or mountain in the middle of your city to work around.
Resources (especially water) are limited. The effect this has is: once your town is set up perfect, and your trade network is FINALLY running smoothly after clearing all the traffic off your streets…you run out of ore, or coal, or water, or something you need to keep your city going. Now you had best break out the bulldozer and respeciallize while you still have money to do it (or start a new city). It is possible to buy water and other utility services from your neighbors, but that assumes they have enough surplus to supply your city that’s going thirsty despite the giant river running through it.
Another obnoxious feature is the preset regions. These cannot be edited, and come with preset roads and rails to connect the cities in the region. For some dumbass reason, not all cities have rail access, or access to water (which if you’re manufacturing any goods to ship to the global market are pretty much essential).
Freight is another new addition to this game. The idea is: businesses need to ship stuff (freight) which your trucks or planes will do. At least they would if fright worked. It’ll be nice when they get this fixed so I don’t need to keep reading that the reason my industrial areas are unhappy due to lack of fright shipping. Meanwhile my trade depot is across the street with pleanty of storage for more freight.
Another thing that gets obnoxious is upgrading roads. First of all, if you don’t plan out your avenues when you are initially setting up your city, you’ll have to bulldoze your existing roads (and everything on them) to make room for bigger ones. And even if you have your avenues set up how you want them, you need to upgrade your roads in pieces (every time you make an intersection, you just cut one piece into two when upgrading). When you finally have enough money to upgrade all your roads, it would be nice if it didn’t take 10 minutes of clicking. At the very least they should add a hotkey which allows you to upgrade each piece with one click.
Another new feature: Great works. Region wide projects that take FOREVER to build (since ‘cheetah’ speed is disabled at the moment). Cool idea if cities didn’t have a limited shelf life (probably only useful for trying to top the leaderboards…whenever they enable those).
Bugs galore. This game should not have been released…once again the end users end up paying for the game AND beta testing it. And this is after the initial fiasco with the servers not working (making it impossible to play your shiny new $80 game for a few days after launch). The game has been getting better with each patch, but most of what they’re fixing should have been sorted out in the testing phase.
Another thing I’ve noticed, is that all the public games that come up on the “Play” list are full. Whenever I try to start a new region, nobody ever joins…ever. The only way I’ve been able to co-op on this game is with friends.
Much like its predecessor, the traffic in this game is a nightmare. Despite your best efforts to add public transportation and upgrade roads, the traffic AI will have 1 car go on a greenlight with hundreds waiting. There is no way I’ve found to deal with the traffic problem once your city gets to about 250,000 sims. And every time I do get my city that big, it stops growing. Most likely these two issues are related, but since I can’t make bigger roads, and adding busses is just clogging up my streets more…guess I’ll just have to wait until the subway system dlc is released (wishful thinking) and spend $20 on it if I haven’t already given up on this game.
Modular building addons. Need more police services? Add a jail expansion and a couple more cop cars to your existing police station. Need more trash picked up daily? Add some more garbage truck garages to the dump. Not having to constantly make room for more police stations (or other miscellaneous entitlement for your Sims) is convenient. With enough upgrades, you can offer utility services to your neighbors in the region…for a price.
Wind. Now buildings that produce air pollution can be put downwind of the residential area, making people a lot happier.
Curved roads. Not really game making, but they do look cool…also they allow you to build roads that follow the terrain giving you better use of the land.
I like the idea of co-op Simcity. The challenges look especially interesting (whenever those are supposed to be enabled), letting you and the other mayors in your region compete against other regions.
The ability to turn off buildings (or building add-ons), so if money’s tight, you can trim down the monthly budget a bit without bulldozing an expensive building.
Unless you’re a diehard Simcity fan, don’t waste your money on this junk. I’ve loved Simcity since the original, but after playing this one for a couple weeks, I’m already tired of it. Maybe when they’ve finished the beta test I’ll try it again, but this game has been frustrating so far.