Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
    3
  • comments
    49
  • views
    7,860

SimCity 5 Review

Rayan Thomas

2,914 views

Simcity 5. The long awaited sequel to the now 10 year old Simcity 4 (Societies was not made by Maxis, therefore doesn't count). I was expecting a lot, being an avid fan and crappy modder. Nonetheless, I paid the expensive $79 premium for an extra DLC and priority purchase. Boy was I both excited and disappointed.

PROS-

-Interesting Trade, Demand and Supply system

-Inter-city travel plays a larger role

-Roads can now be placed in a curved form

-Simulation level and detail is much better then previous titles

-Effective Anti-Pirating System

CONS-

-An underachieving Multiplayer System

-Always (server) ON approach, even in Singleplayer

-DLC that you have to pay for

-Server lag and downtime

-MAP SIZE IS TOO SMALL

Now when I first logged in, it took me 20 minutes to log into the Oceania Server before being told I could not connect to any EA servers. I tried again, and again, and again. Still to no avail. I googled to see if something was wrong.

"EA servers crash 40 minutes after game launches in Australia."

I went into total rage mode. The next day was the first time I could actually connect and play. Overall the Graphics worked well, and I was impressed with what the game had to offer. Until I ran out of city space. Apparently the Map Size is about 2km squared. Which is not big enough if you want to rebuild Manhatten.

I was also wondering about modding. Even though Maxis hoped it could add modding features, I have no idea how they will be able to do such a feat if everything runs on their servers. Which brings me to my 3rd point. Servers. The Launch Crash shows how much investment has been put into upgrading their (servers) capabilities. I also wanted to ask, what happens when no one plays the game except for a handful of people? Will they shut the servers off?

Next item, Multiplayer. Now Simcity 5 is the first in the series to have an active Multiplayer. I feel as if it underperforms. It was a great idea at the start, but there isn't much you can actually DO with other people. All that happens is that you both build a city and you both send Emergency Vehicles/Resources to one another. I felt as if Multiplayer was pretty empty. There were no real objectives except for the Great Works structures...

Now as much as I hate to say it, EA's idea of having the server always ON idea is effective in battling Pirating. It's anti-consumer as hell, but it works. It would literally take years to crack the game... Or it might never be pirated (Achievement Get!). Do I like this Simcity? In a way, Yes. But I just have some serious comcerns about how it will all play out. If Maxis and EA can smooth out the rough edges, heck, it will be an epic Simulation, but for now, it is just an average game that an advanced simulation and several major flaws. Which is a real shame.

Overall Score- 68% [ABOVE-AVERAGE]



38 Comments


Recommended Comments



I finally got to play a little bit last night after getting lucky and finding a working server. I agree with you, THE MAP SIZE IS TOO SMALL!!! What do you want to bet they try to sell an expansion pack later on that includes larger maps?

Share this comment


Link to comment

I finally got to play a little bit last night after getting lucky and finding a working server. I agree with you, THE MAP SIZE IS TOO SMALL!!! What do you want to bet they try to sell an expansion pack later on that includes larger maps?

Yours, for only $39.99!

Share this comment


Link to comment

"So I think most informed people were expecting something like this to happen, especially after the Diablo III nonsense last year.


But I'm not sure anyone was anticipating this much of a catastrophe.


In case you haven't been following, EA's new SimCity launched a few days ago and included the same type of always-online DRM that everyone raged about in Diablo III. Unlike the situation with Diablo III, which mostly cooled down over the few days after release as Blizzard stabilized things, the SimCity situation has been steadily snowballing into a massive !@#$storm as EA has attempted to fix the on-going server issues by haphazardly plucking out game features which has had no noticeable impact on said server issues.

Naturally Metacritic is flooded with angry user reviews, but there's more. It's a pretty mind-boggling and glorious sight to behold.

Many of the reviews were written up before the game released and had it's servers bombarded, but some sites either waited for the game to come out to review the game or adjusted their review score in light of the recent problems. One publication downgraded their review from a 9.5/10 down to a 4.0/10 - http://www.polygon.com/game/simcity-2013/2..._update_3840603

EA has refused refunds for digital copies bought through Origin even as Amazon not only offered refunds, but even pulled the game down from their online store for a time: http://www.destructoid.com/simcity-is-now-...in-248177.phtml

EA themselves have even suspended advertising the game: http://www.polygon.com/2013/3/8/4079894/ea...iliates-to-stop"

-Legend of the Skies

Bad customer support is bad, not very encouraging for any person to purchase their games. However as you said the game itself, is good which should not be encumbered by EA's terribleness.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Yeah right

I know this is sarcasm, to further emphasize his point Diablo III was cracked within a week of release. DRM isn't going in the correct direction in terms of game experience and hardly a good method of making a strong inconvenience for the players that are going to obtain it illegally.

Share this comment


Link to comment

It takes me 20 minutes to actually get the Game Loading Screen up and a further 20 minutes to wait for Server space. What a joke.

Yeah right

I was being sarcastic there :)

Share this comment


Link to comment

I find EA's "always-online" anti-piracy laughable. Most games' DRM are broken between before launch and a month.

Assassin Creed had a similar always-online feature. If you played a pirated version, you wouldn't be able to proceed far because large portions of the game had to be downloaded from authentication servers.

Well, in about a month, somebody built a small computer that tricked the game into thinking it was the authentication server. In three months, there was a software that pretended to be the authentication server, and could be installed on the same computer that the game was running on.

As a strong SC4 fan, I despise SC5. I can live with many of the annoying features, but the lack of modding support completely turns me off.

In SC4, I can build a realistic highway with up to 10-lanes and a five-way interchange, elevated roads and avenues, a high-speed rail network, a custom seaport and airport that is far larger and more realistic than the ingame one, terraform the geography with greater precision.

There's also an extremely popular mod called "Network Addon Mod", which fixes a major traffic pathfinding bug, and adds additional road network pieces such realistic roundabouts and a diverging diamond interchange ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diverging_diamond_interchange ). In fact, many mods such as the Realistic Highway Mod or High Speed Rail Mod, require NAM installed.

But I see a reason for EA's lack of support for mods. They compete against DLCs. And that hurts profits.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I completely agree HHAYD. Mods are the lifeblood of a lot of games. They add that community and DIY feel about them and overall, improve the game experience. Hopefully, EA will bring down this ridiculous "Always-On" server and actually let us play Offline, with mods...

Share this comment


Link to comment

Soooooo, where can I get a copy of SimCity 2000?

When I was a kid, I got SimCity and an aunt had called to talk to my mom, and I spoke to her for a few minutes, and excitedly told her what dad had got me.

She was mortified that my dad had bought me Sin City and wanted to know if my mom knew what video games I was playing.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Soooooo, where can I get a copy of SimCity 2000?

When I was a kid, I got SimCity and an aunt had called to talk to my mom, and I spoke to her for a few minutes, and excitedly told her what dad had got me.

She was mortified that my dad had bought me Sin City and wanted to know if my mom knew what video games I was playing.

When I was a kid, I allowed myself to play my father's copy of Quake. Hilarity ensued.

Share this comment


Link to comment

When I was a kid, I got SimCity and an aunt had called to talk to my mom, and I spoke to her for a few minutes, and excitedly told her what dad had got me.

She was mortified that my dad had bought me Sin City and wanted to know if my mom knew what video games I was playing.

Are you sure she didn't confuse it with Duke3D?

I pre-ordered it in order to get beta access and $20 back in Amazon credit, but I knew the launch would be terrible. After my copy arrived, I decided to wait until Friday to install, after they had doubled the number of servers. At this point I've had only a few minor connection issues.

As far as the game itself goes, there really is no singleplayer. It's entirely a multiplayer-only game. For those of you who remember the alliance SSX, we set up our own private, 16-city region for those of us who already have the game. We've already found that cities will implode after a certain point if they are played "solo," and that trading resources and commuters is the lifeblood of the game.

The only major issue I see so far is that the traffic AI could be better. Once you've established a successful industry and trading network, the challenge then becomes how to deal with the frieght trucks, commuters, and all the rest. We've had more than one city essentially self-destruct after gridlock undermined its ability to ship freight, or even get local citizens to work in the mornings. Two things they need to fix in a patch are that commuters don't realize the need for detours, and city service vehicles tend to travel in groups from one point of need to another, resulting in there being almost no point to having multiple fire trucks, police cars, etc.

Share this comment


Link to comment

The launch was a total failure. Entirely due to the fact they forced everyone to play via their servers even people just wanting to play by themselves. They then proceeded to only open a couple servers and the entire thing went to hell for a few days after launch.

Now I will say its much much better, overall the maps are indeed too small. But the game is pretty cool. They need to create an offline play mode with larger maps I think and the game would be just that little bit better.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I find EA's "always-online" anti-piracy laughable. Most games' DRM are broken between before launch and a month.

What about Diablo 3, did that get cracked yet?

Share this comment


Link to comment

Diablo 3 offline crack: done:

Also, I don't want to play diplomacy with other random people (as most of my friends are still playing Skyrim). I want to build my own city, with no outside interference from some idiot that decides to shuts off the power after agreeing to supply the entire region with.

Nor do I want to play Sim SOCIALISM. I would love to start in certain regions and build a city based on it (but not play direct role in trades), such as:

Fertile soil = agriculture, food processing, chemicals (corn and soybeans have hundreds of uses...), and etc. However, it's up to the commerce to develop and trade on granted land and infrastructure.

Rich iron ores = mining, smelting, iron/steel works, light industry (such as cars or utensils)

Central location, great natural harbors = massive seaport, rail/highway networks, possibly airport

Subsidies, tax breaks, and other methods could be used to attract certain businesses, or drive them away. But micromanaging the economy? I wouldn't be playing Sim City. I would be playing Anno 2070.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Out of character

CN has less server issues than Sim City, and that's saying something. EA games is horrible. They already had server problems with their initial launch of The Simpsons: Tapped out. That's the free game on the Ipad, and I'm sure people forgave them because it was free. However, this is SimCity. They had a lot of time to do market research, and assess the usage. They have tons of resources, so they should have installed more servers.

Share this comment


Link to comment

I disagree with map size to small. I've already fit over 350,000 sims onto one of these maps. Cities aren't always built out.. some are built up. See Tokyo and NY, if you need a big map, you're doing it wrong.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Tokyo and NYC started out wide then up. That's what almost every city does. They spread out because land is cheap, then build up as it becomes more expensive to continue expanding.

Plus, not everyone wants to build a field of concrete/glass/steel sardine boxes. If you read Simtropolis City Journal, there's quite a bit of screenshots showing expansive suburbs, farms, or clusters of small metropolis centers surrounded by low-mid density areas. Many of the CJ writers have a preference of a realistic city, combo of expansive and tall.

In SC4, one can somewhat replicate the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area on a single region map given sufficient imagination, effort, and time. Try doing the same in SC 2013.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Out of character

CN has less server issues than Sim City, and that's saying something. EA games is horrible. They already had server problems with their initial launch of The Simpsons: Tapped out. That's the free game on the Ipad, and I'm sure people forgave them because it was free. However, this is SimCity. They had a lot of time to do market research, and assess the usage. They have tons of resources, so they should have installed more servers.

That's a terrible method of validating server issues, CN is a text based game...... with at most 10k-15k users anymore. While I agree EA is horrible as a company comparing CN to SimCity is hardly saying anything.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Now as much as I hate to say it, EA's idea of having the server always ON idea is effective in battling Pirating

Steam is also effective. Offer a fair game at a fair price without drm and people will come and pay. Probably almost all of us have bought something off steam. Not to say that a few of the games there don't have bad DRM. I just won't buy them.

It isn't about piracy. It's about control. Of course EA doesn't want modding. If you want to change the game you should buy an overpriced dlc.

This is all really sad is I used to like Sim City as a kid and even though of getting the game before i found out what they had done.

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×