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SimCity 5 Review

Rayan Thomas


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.


-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


-An underachieving Multiplayer System

-Always (server) ON approach, even in Singleplayer

-DLC that you have to pay for

-Server lag and downtime


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]


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Steam is technically a form of DRM, but given its very non-obtrusive behavior (root-kits, must be online at all times, limit of 3 installs before DVD self-destructs, hogs system resource, etc), and that there are frequent rebates/sales events, it makes it a lot more tolerable than most other DRMs.

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I see SC5 as a different type of game than SC4. However, I also recognize that SC5 is terribly broken. Map size preferences aside. I'd be happy if they just got all the bugs out. Like the current issues with city services breaking and the recycling center not processing. I have no idea what they were thinking releasing it like this. Unless they significantly improve it or Maxis changes vendors.. I see the Franchise as potentially dead.

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After reading only a handful of reviews, I am absolutely baffled why anyone with even a scrap of functioning neural tissue would buy this steaming pile of crap. I get that you guys are going full on nostalgia and think that the older games in the series were really great, but was that really enough to convince you to sell your soul to EA for $60, knowing full well that this would happen?

And take a look at this, EA is threatening to disable your Origin account if you demand a refund for their unplayable steaming pile of crap: http://i.imgur.com/Tw82ymU.jpg

And these companies want to move towards cloud gaming? They can't keep a !@#$@#$ DRM server up, what makes anyone believe this is in any way at all anything except a tremendously awful idea?

I've decided that I, for one, am going to bite the bullet. I'm not boycotting SimCity. I am boycotting ALL EA products from this point forward. That means I don't get to play ME3: Citadel, and I assure you that I am upset at that one in particular. But I refuse to send the message that this kind of !@#$ is acceptable.

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So the reason the Cities are so small is because the Traffic Management and pathfinding is so bad, they had to make them that size or players would notice it?

I seriously hope EA gets destroyed by fire or something... Also what the hell happend to Will Wright?

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I find it amusing that SC 2013's pathfinding engine is only slightly better than SC4, despite a decade of software/hardware advancements. Heck, SC4 pathfinding engine with NAM installed would generate far more realistic results (at the cost of needing a 8 GHZ CPU b/c SC4 is a single-core game).

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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.

I've been saying this for years. There's a core group who will ALWAYS buy a game, and a core group who will always steal it. The majority of people, however, given a reasonably priced, customer friendly and convenient alternative, will pay a few bucks for a game and go on their way.

I was excited for SC5, but honestly the more I hear about it the less I want to do with it. Mind you, when I'm at my house during the summer, our internet is barely above dialup, meaning any games where you have to be "connected" all the time are borderline impossible to play.

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