Saturday, 12 October 2013

SimCity 2013 – a Broken Game


Many years ago I played this awesome game called SimCity 200. It is a game where get a massive square plot and you, the Mayor, build and manage a massive city. You need to supply your city with power, water and other necessities in order to have a functioning city full of satisfied people. It was a fun game. I recently started playing the new SimCity – SimCity 2013 also called SimCity 5 and here are my conclusions of this game.simcity

At first when I heard the news that there was going to be a new SimCity released I was excited. As far as City building games go Maxis always did a good job. I did not get the game when it was first released – mostly due to the DRM – must be always online to be able to play the game which is a new disappointing feature in the SimCity franchise. Also – there were massive problems with their servers when the game launched.

So, after several months and game patches later I decided to play the game. At first it was a good game, but then the more I played the more I noticed that the game is actually broken. Traffic makes the game unplayable – once your city grows big cars get stuck in traffic and the city falls apart, because the fire trucks can’t get to the burning buildings and the ambulances can’t get to injured Sims. People have been complaining about the traffic and the creators have released patches that did improve the traffic flow, but it is still not right. MAXIS released a blog called “State of SimCity” and had this to say about traffic:

“ Traffic was always meant to be a challenge; in fact, many of our team considered traffic to be a strategy game all on its own. But, in reality, traffic was behaving irrationally. We got the player feedback and fixed it.”

Traffic is not fixed. Another problem is trying to find a balance between available jobs and workers. I have tried to find a balance and have not succeeded. I have low wealth Sims leaving my city, because they can’t find work, at the same time I have low wealth work places complaining they need workers. It doesn’t make sense!

Great works also do not work that great. There are syncing issues with different city plots to the Great works were some city plots can’t see the great work. I have built the International Airport and it would say my city benefits with 600 high wealth tourist, but then I cannot find any high wealth tourists in my city even though it is primed for them. Many others have complained about this glitch.

SimCity-2013-01-25-13-41-38-67The main issue with SimCity 2013 is the small plot size you get to build your city – it is far too small and should at least be double the size. It is a constant struggle to find space to plop your buildings and almost always you have to sacrifice/bulldoze parts of you City in order to place necessary buildings. The fact is that the map sizes must be larger to make SimCity 2013 an enjoyable experience. MAXIS had this to say :

“City sizes have been a constant point of conversation among our players since we released the game. The game’s original design focused on the density of an intimate urban environment. It was about intercity connectivity and the challenge of managing a region of cities instead of one metropolis in isolation.”

Unfortunately traffic makes it impossible for cities to interconnect. You end up having a massive traffic jam on the highway before the cars even reach your city, because there is only one road coming into your city. They designed the game to be interconnected, but the game mechanics keeps it from working properly. The sad disappointed here is that MAXIS revealed the fact that:

“ I confirm that we will not be providing bigger city sizes…”

No Bigger city sizes for SimCity 2013 ever. Very sad indeed. They are releasing DLC “Cities of tomorrow” where you build futuristic Cities and has a new feature where you can expand upwards into the sky, but not outwards like we all want. To me that seems very sneaky of them, knowing full well we want more space to build and then release this DLC that we have to pay for.

simcity-2013-screenshot-17 I am sure there are many angry SimCity fans out there right now. I enjoyed SimCity 200, but the SimCity 2013 is ultimately a disappointment. The Game has so much potential to be excellent, but the game plays like an unfinished beta version. They released the game too soon with far too many glitches. Why? I do not know. Some say EA is to blame for pushing MAXIS to release the game early to make money, for profit. Whatever the reason – they gave us a broken, unfinished game that needed more time to get the glitches sorted. That is my conclusion of the game SimCity 2013.

1 comment:

  1. Since SimCity had a rather large following, it's not surprising that the new version of the simulation game has been selling like crazy. SimCity 2013 was released for Windows in March 2013. It was developed by Maxis, which is a subsidiary of Electronic Arts.

    What makes the game so popular is that it gives the average person the ability to develop and build sprawling cities and landscapes. You don't have to be an architect or have access to expensive simulation equipment. All you need is a Windows PC and a bit of creativity. The controls and gameplay are easy enough to get a hang of, yet not so easy that the game becomes boring. It CAN get challenging at times.