SimCity 5 Review
After over 10 years since a major PC release in the franchise the popular city building simulation game SimCity now has a new entry in the franchise. The last edition, SimCity 4, was a game that pleased old fans of the series and introduced many new younger fans to the games. But does the new instalment live up to the series’ history?
One of the biggest changes in the new game, SimCity 5, is the Glassbox engine. This engine simulates every citizen in your city. Every Sim (the name given to the inhabitants of the virtual cities) is effected by the decisions you make, for example, if you build lots of business and factories your Sims will look for work and soon you will need to build more houses for new Sims to move into your city because there is plenty of work around.
The Glassbox engine also simulates changes in the environment. Iif you build a large amount of factories Sims will be unhappy and soon move out and the world will change around you becoming a more bleaker and grimy area. The new game also focuses on social aspects; you and your friend can build cities together in the region and your decisions will not only effect you but they will affect your neighbouring city as well.
Along with the new multiplayer the game now has a global market and city specialisation, your city can mine resources or drill for oil and sell the resources to other players around the world so they can keep powering their power stations and factories. One of the final major changes in the new game is a complete graphics overhall. The game has bright vibrant colours and a new more realistic and simple aesthetic.
But the game has been had a controversial launch. The game needs to be constantly online when playing and many fans are avoiding the title because of EA’s, publisher of the new game, digital distribution service Origin. Origin has had a bad reputation recently after games have reported to have been inaccessible from the online library at times and have even been removed from a customers collection. Simcity must be installed through Origin and the constant online connection necessary to play the game has perturbed many fans from buying it. Fans also find the map size of which you have been given to build in too small and restrictive and that the social aspect of playing takes away from the single player at the root of the series.
Even if you are still unsure about purchasing the new title reviews across the internet mostly say similar to what has been mentioned. ‘Get ready for the harsh reality: the first thing you build in SimCity will be terrible.’ Chelsea Stark, Mashable.com. ‘A fantastic city simulation that meets all expectations. So perfectly balanced it makes it easy to pick up and enjoy, but proves to be very difficult to master. Funny, addictive and with great options for both co-operative and competitive online play – Sim City is a clear candidate for Game of the Year, 10/10.’ EuroGamer Sweden
If you are still undecided about buying SimCity 5 take something into account. You must have a stable internet connection constantly and you will need a semi decent computer to run the simulation. Also if you are not a fan of long in depth strategy games SimCity does cost, around £35 to £45 the price of other more popular games. But if you want a refreshing change from new more busy and action fuelled games SimCity could be recommended as a fun relaxing game that remains constantly challenging and interesting with new ways of playing with every city!