Since it was first introduced the new SimCity game has always been one that I have been excited for, but not quite sure if I should put my cash on the table or not until now that is, as after I played the beta for the title a couple off days ago I cannot seem to get I out of my head and I had to secure my pre-order right there and then.
The beta was limited to single-player despite the requirement to remain online during gameplay, and I was only able to play in one-hour increments which made me feel extremely limited on what I could do in the demo, and to make it worse certain items where also disabled in the beta.
However after all of that I still came out wanting to play more, you start the game off in a tutorial mode will take you through all of the important features of the game and how to use them, I advise not skipping this as there’s quite a lot of new stuff to use in the title.
Everything is now connected via roads, making things like energy, water and zones a lot easier to place. Now all you have to do is place wither you residential, commercial or industrial zone along the edge of the zone and it will automatically begin to fill the space left. Alongside this there’s no different qualities of zones to choose from, as that is decided by the zone’s surroundings, there’s also no pipes or wires to lay.
Alongside zone’s the game has been simplified in many other areas, for example it now comes with an advisor who will give you instructions on what to build next, forcing you to complete various objectives and evolve your town to a city, these objectives can also come from people within your town either from one person or a group of angry picketers.
When you first place a zone you will get nothing but low-income trailer homes, in order to increase this you must also increase the wealth of the rest of the town by adding things like parks and schools. During the process of placing these zone you must however make sure to meet the needs of your town, always including both high and low incomes to create a balanced town, which can be done by carefully segmenting areas.
Alongside the new zones there’s some new additions to buildings such as schools, colleges, parks and police stations, the biggest of which is the new per-building upgrade system which allows you to add-on new features to your buildings on the go, upgrading your buildings as you do the same with your city.
EA and Maxis have certainly done an amazing job on the new SimCity, and personally Icannot wait until the game is released in March. With the addition of awesome new features, they have managed to keep the game up-to-date with the current times but still keep a firm grasp on the game’s roots.
I would have liked to play a little more of the beta and maybe even try out some of the multiplayer features as well as the various new construction types that were blocked off to me, but I suppose the exclusion of these features simply adds to my excitement for the game, I can tell a lot of man-hours will be put into playing this at release.
Note: The score above is primarily my first thoughts and is not a final score for the game.