Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The New Sim City: Not As Bad As Advertised.

Despite the online rage, I bought a copy of the newest Sim City game anyway. I knew I wanted it even as the rage over overloaded servers, space limitations, the “always-on” requirement and other items exploded all over the Internet and got it sticky. 

Luckily[!] for me, our internet connection has been spotty at best over the past few weeks, giving Electronic Arts time to get over the initial teething issues, which I knew the game would have even before the rage erupted. 

Thanks to a few technology tricks and a finally-working Internet connection, I’ve had some time to play around with the game. Here are my thoughts: 

Not as bad as advertised.

Yes, there have been odd quirks. The first city I create inexplicably disappeared – but that’s no great loss, it was a test city that I wanted to get rid of anyway. Building on what I’d learned the first time around, I quickly built a better burg. 

The game challenges are far less annoying than those in Sim City Social (which I’ve all but forgotten during this new Sim City wave). The free downloadable content is on par (so far) with its Facebook counterpart, mainly being advertising for other companies. That I can take or leave; it’s no big deal to me. 

What matters to me is the simulation which, as far as I’m concerned, is great. 

I know folks online have quibbled about the depth of the simulation as well, but they are – to put it kindly – micromanaging nitwits who want to control every little bit of thing and are the kind of people software developers sell (shudder) flight simulators to. Not my thing. I just want to build roads, encourage housing, watch fires get put out, hope my Sims aren’t too ill or too dim and eventually die happy. 

I could do without the multiplayer elements, and will, in fact, do without it. Don’t ask to be my Origin buddy; I’ll say Nay, nay. 

I could also do with more space. I like big, American cities to spread all over the landscape, and to litter the landscape between cities with farms, little assemblages of homes and businesses and such. Real world, in fact. That’s more meaningful to me by way of simulation, which tells me that Sim City 4 is going to reign supreme as the best of the franchise, as far as I’m concerned. Maybe in some future iteration, EA will open up the spaces between the spaces for the kind of intricate verisimilitude I want. But until (and even if never) it happens, I’ll be a content Sim City player.

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