Reviews Strategy

Sim City

Developer: Maxis | Publisher: Electronic Arts | Release Date: Tuesday, 5 March, 2013

A franchise adored by many strategy/city building fans around the world. Sim City is the pinnacle of the city building genre. Or so it was….
The graphics are nice and sharp with an array of municipal buildings to build and upgrade. They each have upgrade perks such as fire service has specialist hasmat teams and helicopters. Police have detectives and crime education centers. Hospitals have specialist centers. They all cost a lot to maintain along with all the other buildings you’ll need to have a growing thriving city with happy residents. Schools, garbage waste collection, sewage, water treatment, electricity, public transport are all important to have in every city.

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Managing resources and trading is vital. Resources can be mixed at specialist buildings to create more valuable products though for it to run optimally roads need to be placed efficiently and have plenty of delivery trucks with trade depots well organised. The city running costs become increasingly strained as services are pushed to their limit. Revenue can be acquired by either increasing tax, issuing a loan bond or having an efficient well managed city generating regular profit.

Problems

The game runs and saves online only. Servers can disconnect which results in the game closing and can’t play again until an connection to the server is re-established. A big problem with the game is the incredibly small plot sizes. In truth the game is titled Sim City however with the plot sizes it’s more like building a town than a city! The premise of this Sim City is to be social connected between a group of cities in close proximity. Municipal resources can be shared with each town focusing on something unique such as a tourist destination, industrial or commercial success. The idea is that local cities can benefit one another. However the design is flawed as delivery trucks go missing bringing cities to a halt with city funds depleting.

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As there’s hardly any room to expand a city, everything has to be managed tightly. If you want to build an airport or stadium the you’ll have to sacrifice a current building. By the time the city is full nearly all the buildings are essential. Deciding which one to demolish is a difficult choice. It’s a grind as a lot of people don’t want to create a collection of small cities they want a plot large enough for a decent sized city where all amenities fit, and give the user the chance to be creative with the chance to build a thriving metropolis.

Maxis have announced that they will never be making larger city plot sizes available however an offline only mode could be in the offing in the near future.

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Download content is very expensive considering the limited items received in the package. For instance to have a few tents camp outside buildings as disaster relief from the ‘Red Cross’ dlc pack will cost users £7.99 hardly value for money. The new full expansion “Cities of Tomorrow” focuses on futuristic buildings that go incredibly high. Clearly Maxis can’t create bigger plots so they’ll just have everyone building higher instead at a cost of £24.99 + the cost of the base game £29.99!!

Closing Comments

Sim City starts with great premise but once you begin to notice the games misgivings and limited gameplay you’ll fail to be fascinated by it. It’s a lackluster attempt to bring Sim City to the forefront of glory instead alienating fans by not listening or providing the type of game most people wanted. Its a huge a miss and an astonishing fall from grace.

Sim City

5.5

Gameplay

3/10

    Graphics

    8/10

      Pros

      • Building and environment detail
      • Variety of buildings
      • Easy learning curve

      Cons

      • Very small plots of land
      • Poor traffic infrastructure
      Stephen Bradley-Waters
      Website creator and gaming geek! Huge fan of Zelda. During my early teens I loved playing Unreal Tournament & Age of Empires. I'm currently enjoying Euro Truck Simulator 2, American Truck Simulator and various other games from racing, strategy, rpg to action, fps and indie.
      http://www.stevieonline.me