Game Preview: SimCity (5)


Game Preview: SimCity (5)
By: Josue “Josh” Alvarez Mapp (a.k.a. DJ Mappquest)

For those who haven’t heard, EA and Maxis have been working to release the next official game in the SimCity franchise.  This game will be the 5th in the game, however, this will be the first without any numeration next to the name since the original SimCity.  Up to now, the world had been blessed with SimCity, SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000, and SimCity 4.  An off shoot was made but it wasn’t received well (SimCity Societies), and was not made by Maxis, who is the mastermind of the series.  The game is slated to launch March 5th, 2013.

In leading up to this, the beta weekend of allowed more testing by Maxis.  Given my limited time I did not get too much chance to play, but did give two full run throughs (one-hour each).  These are my thoughts on it…

Let us keep in mind one thing about me: I grew up on this.  I’ve been playing since the original SimCity.  My dad brought me into playing.  Every SimCity has been, for the most part, an improvement on the last.  It is too soon and too hard to say, based on beta, where this will stand.

The game includes its standard of simoleons for cash, sims for its citizens, and residential, commercial, and industrial zones – all fundamental staples.  Unlike the red-headed step child, SimCity Societies, it is back to laying zones and leaving the buildings to chance.  However, instead of choosing the density of the zones, density is largely based on road capacity.  Cities can become specialized if you choose (i.e. specializing in gambling, culture, drilling, and more). Specializing gives you access to special buildings.

The graphics are much improved since SimCity 4, and options for building seem plentiful, to a degree.  Many buildings are modular, which means many strategies of old are obsolete.  I find that to be a solid upgrade, along with more road choices, more transportation choices, and so much more.  The game also includes more elements that usually never gets attention, such as sewage.

The GlassBox features allows you to get more personal with your city and your Sims.  Zoom in close enough to your city and you can receive missions and requests from citizens at your City Hall, at various homes, business, industry, and more, as well as city at how buildings are holding up, responding, and more.

The other element of the game I look forward to is having regions with many cities that is shared by you or you and your friends.  Cities can exchange many services and resources from water and coal to police and garbage, as well as contribute to a “Great Work” project that will help all cities in the region.  But be warned that negative affects can spill over such as crime and pollution too.

SimCity is back.  Better than ever?  Hard to say.  In my gameplay, I felt it was even easier than ever before.  Come March 5th you can be the judge.  I enjoyed the beta, but would prefer to see the game with everything unlocked.  Alas, even I have to wait.  Consider SimCity as a 2013 purchase to make.  You can pre-order it now through Origin.  And don’t forget, disasters can strike at any time in SimCity – from earthquakes to zombie attacks (yes, zombie attacks).

Good luck, Mayor.

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  1. […] some respect or another.  If you didn’t garner from my two other blogs (my series review and my preview for the latest SimCity), I am a huge SimCity enthusiast (like many others).  The 1989 SimCity for the PC was one of my […]

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