Editor's Note: Although Sim City continues to suffer from online connectivity issues related to its always-online DRM, PMS Nova has chosen to review the game based on her personal experience, which wasn't hampered by said problems. Because of the overloaded servers, your experience may vary.
SimCity is back! The critically acclaimed franchise that paved the way for simulated city builders has surfaced once again with full force, allowing players plenty of imaginative avenues to build their dream cities. Whether you're bustling town is strictly industrial, rampant with criminals, or bent on “going green,” the choices are up to you.
SimCity’s history dates back to 1989, when developer Will Wright turned his love of creating maps into a full-fledged game and created the first installment in this well-loved series. 2013’s addition to the SimCity line features stunning backdrops for players’ growing cities, an ode to the new GlassBox engine currently in use. Despite some shaky server issues throughout launch week, SimCity is already backed by a supportive community, one that continues to thrive over two decades. This title deserves to be appreciated for both it’s history and sheer growth spurt over the past 24 years.
SimCity utilizes an online structure, paramount in connecting players across the globe. The social experience is worth this title alone, and useful in order to trade resources to create healthy, regional relationships. Regions work together to build up Great Works sites, gigantic undertakings that require many workers, tons of resources and materials, and plenty of funding. Some of these Great Works include an Arcology site, an International Airport and a Space Station. Each work is a huge build that demands citywide teamwork. Up to 16 players can transform a region, each tackling their separate mayoral duties in their own, claimed city sites. While working together is the central idea here, players who enjoy a solitary experience can tackle a regional build themselves through control of multiple cities. No city is meant to specialize in all the offered areas of resources, however, and the city sizes reflect this restriction. One can specialize in gambling or tourism while other city sites can focus on mining, oil, etc.
The passage of time have players seeing growth in many directions. Factories might flourish but air pollution will be on the rise. There might be a thriving shopping district but a player’s power station might be causing brownouts in some areas. The complexities begin to mount, and soon one has lost several hours to a stunning experience. All in all, this latest addition to the SimCity family marks an apparent rebirth to the city simulator and blends the tried-and-true favorite with next generation capabilities and visuals. The landscapes alone are enough to keep players logging in for more, with breathtaking views and sprawling backdrops that are fit for any architect. The connection between players, however, is what drives this latest installment home. Together, they can tackle global challenges like natural disasters, climate changes, and the hunt for more resources in order to shape their world. Since server issues are steadily being resolved, this beauty of a game deserves an equally beautiful reception.
Written by PMS Nova, member of the PMS|H2O Editorial Team. Follow her on Twitter!