Community Review: Sim City

Okay, so we're all aware of the debacle that was the Sim City launch. We all got a little bit angry at the DRM thing. Not being able to play the game you paid good money for is hardly ideal practice either. But for today's Community Review I'd like to hear about a wide spectrum of Sim City experiences...

What about the folks who did manage to play for a prolonged period of time, how was it for you? How about the person who couldn't get on at all? How about the person who spent hours building up their dream city only to lose it all for some messed up reason? No matter what happened to you on Sim City, no matter how positive or negative your experience, I'd like to hear about it!

Let us know in the comments below.


Comments

    Popcorn is at the ready...

    I can sum my review up into a few sentences. As far as the game itself is concerned, I think its wonderful. The depth of simulation makes it an utterly engrossing and delightful experience to watch your city grow from its first road to a full-blown urban sprawl.

    On the other side of the coin though, its only this wonderful if you can navigate your way through the myriad of issues that have been well documented since it's release last week. In short, the game is excellent. The experience, however, has been one of immense frustration.

      In short, the game is excellent. The experience, however, has been one of immense frustration.

      Haven't played it myself, but that right there is probably the most reasonable statement I've seen by a player to date. Nicely said.

      I enjoyed it for the first couple of hours but am now at a point where my city is growing up (ie limited space and I've used it up) and the momentum has seriously slowed down for me. I enjoyed building it and laying it out and now I'm just trying to grow the population and get my ore and oil traded out for cash. I have the biggest hospital, cop shop and fore department and I'm playing in a shared map so there is no other city in my region. I can either plod along in a somewhat more boring city or leave it completely for a new one.

    I've played for the last three days and only had issues once, I personally think the excessive whinging is unjustified (based on my time in the game). The game is a ton of fun and I've really been enjoying the social aspect of it.

    On another note would anyone be up for making a Kotaku AU region? If so leave me a reply and I'll set one up! :)

      Its all justified... Consider your self lucky... I still cant access my city which I spend 4-5 hours on from the first few days

        Yeah fair enough, that does suck pretty hard.

      There's already one Kotaku AU region, but it's full (I think). By all means make another one and I'll join the region immediately. What's you Origin username?

        goryasitgets3 Don't ask....

          least its not "luvdemtitties69lolzmrbigdik"

          Last edited 11/03/13 1:10 pm

          Cool beans. I'll send you a friend request now.

      Even server problems aside... the game isn't actually ready... If only the betas they did were actual betas instead of share-ware trials...
      There are serious issues with traffic routing in particular. But other things you'd expect to work simply don't. For example - all but the cheapest Casino don't actually work properly - this is known and they're working on a fix.
      It's definitely a really enjoyable game; but all the hate they've been getting is totally justified.
      Hopefully in a month (or a few weeks!), the most glaring of errors will be fixed and server load will be a bit more under control. I really can't comprehend how they managed to screw up the launch despite knowing how many copies had been pre-ordered. They're not even using their own servers (they're using Amazon AWS).

        I have found the traffic routing problem too. Sims take the shortest route by distance and don't take into account travel time. If there's a high density avenue around the corner, sims still drive through the dirt road adjacent.
        Hope they fix it soon

      This is what I dislike about people's reports about them not having the trouble with "insert name here" game. It's one thing to chime in and say that you're not having the problem, which helps to support the game and let people know that there is a good game to be played here... but for some reason the majority of the people reporting this don't stop there. For some inexplicable reason they feel obliged to call everyone who IS experiencing a problem a whinger and that the issues are blown out of proportion...

      Just leave it at "The game is playing good for me".. that's fine.. no need to say more.

        I did say 'based on my time in the game'...

          Yeah which means you are implying that everyone else's whinging is unjustified, did you honestly believe thousands of people are posting photoshopped screenshots and just flat out making things up?

          "Based on my time in the game I have concluded the rest of you are full of crap" is basically what you have said.

          "Personally my time in the game has been very stable and enjoyable" is what you could have said.

            Valid point, there was no intention of insulting other people however I can clearly see how it came across that way. I'll be more thoughtful in the future.

    I have so far lost 2 cities due to server bullshit. I've never seen an MMO lose characters no matter how bad the launch.

    That is all.

    I have been playing since the night of launch here in AU and except for waiting a bit long to log in the first time, have had no problems whatsoever. I have created heaps of cities and different regions, joined random public regions and had fun feeding off their lack of residentials.
    I am yet to play with actual friends of mine.
    The only problem or issue I have with the game is I think the city space is too small. I mean, in the matter of half an hour you can completely fill up your space, and then you spend the next hour upgrading all the roads. It would be nice to have a selection of space sizes, ranging from what we have now as the smallest, and going up through to spaces the size of small regions.

    Otherwise it's an excellent game. Seamless visuals, interesting gameplay that has been different every city I play. Immersive multiplayer.

    Come to think of it the only issue I had was gifting simoleons to myself in another city. Both times I tried, a little truck came and took the money and I watched it travel back to the other city. After a message saying my money has been delivered I zoomed to the region and entered the other city and my money was nowhere to be seen. I think that is the only real bug I have noticed yet.

    Hopefully everyone else gets through and has an opportunity to experience the game to its entirety cause its awesome!

    First things first, I love the Tilt Shift style and the variety of colour filters avaliable.
    This is the first SimCity I've ever owned and put any real time into (over 20 hours apparently) its not too much to handle all at once and Im far from a master of its current machanics. When the servers are up and the cities are syncing properly its a fantastic experiance and Im glad I have so many others to play with in the AEF. Also its nice the game doesnt boot you if the servers do go down.

    However sometimes the internet side of things does trip over itself and while I feel ive been lucky so far in only having any real problems on day one I can understand where others are comming from.

    Furhtermore there are some parts of the game missing that I and others thought would be included and are not such as farming and subways. Smart money is on future DLC, probably priced a bit too high. Its also a shame that while a region can host up to 16 sepearte cities and/or players most allow only a maximum of 4 to connect to each other via roads and railway, perhaps in the late game there is a way around this but I nor anyone I have played with is yet to discover such a solution.

    But at the end of the day Im going to keep playing it for the forseeable future.

    This game is addictive, once you get past the server crap this game is awesome.

    First day playing took me 3 hours of continuous attempts to login, the 2 times I managed to get in on launch day both times the tutorial crashed.

    BUT.

    Since then, I’ve had very few issues with connection drops or logins.
    I've been playing on the Oceanic server 1 and 2, the game is very pretty to watch, sometimes I forget that im supposed to be managing the city due to just watching the Sims go about there lives (http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/03/06), and watching the city grow or burn to the ground depending on my whim.

    I didn’t realise just how heavily the game relies on the online function, until I hit a population of 60k, my primary city has been running in "the black" for most of the game, however I have plenty of cash due to the online trade market and assistance I provide to my mates in the same region with ambo's/cops/firefighters and my ever present fully upgraded recycling centre (seriously this thing reaps in the cash, I collect recyclables from other peoples towns and sell them on the trade market).

    There are lag issues for sure, the chat functions doesn’t function half the time, the lag between providing support to another city is incredible, I needed 20k to build my first uni, a mate sent it to me via Rail, and it never arrived.
    About 10 hours later (real time) I get a msg, "you have been gifted 20k semoliens" bit fricken late, uni has been built and upgraded 3 times by now and 20k is chump change.

    The learning curve is fairly steep if you haven’t played a sim city game before (and in fact, even if you have this ones a fair chunk different).

    Overall the game IMO is a must play, it’s incredibly rewarding, there’s so much to do, and it looks and runs beautifully

    I've had to build and destroy a few towns before getting the layout and the progress I wanted.

    A few things to remember if you do play.

    1. make sure you select a plot of land that’s actually connected to someone else via the main road, otherwise you can’t share resources or ambos/police/firetrucks or recycling trucks (these bring in lots of cash later in the game)

    2. before your build pay attention to where the resources are, and which way the wind blows, you don’t want your city drowning in air pollution because you placed the industrial district upwind form your city.

    3. Water becomes scares fast, make sure you put a water pumping station next to your sewerage treatment plant, it basically = infinite water (as long as you upgrade the water plant to have filters)

    4. pay attention to the wealth level of your cities, don’t place high wealth parks next to your low wealth residential areas, you can grow density in low wealth areas so that you have unskilled people to work your plants/mines and low skill businesses.

    5. Grow your city to a 5k population as fast as possible to get your first city service, I suggest utilities if the region you are playing in doesn’t have one (this allows you to build sewerage treatment plants and water pumping stations, super important), but once you hit 5k, slow down, get your City under control before trying to grow your population much more.

      Damn.... that was a lot more typed than i thought.

        Could you please sum it up with an emoticon? It's the only language I understand now :(

          there is some :( followed up by lots of :D

          Last edited 11/03/13 12:21 pm

    As far as I'm concerned, the game launches in April. I'll def pick it up because I have no doubt the game is awesome when it works. They'll get it sorted soon enough, I can wait until then.

      April may be too late - you're more interconnected than you think to other cities in the region, and it'll be a lot harder to find groups of friends who are still playing as regularly as you'll want to in a month's time.

    Have not played it yet but I'm enjoying the walkthroughs on youtube.

    By the time the mac version comes in April all of the kinks should be ironed out :)

    The game it self is great, when it works....

    THe issues I see facing the game moving forward and still currently is the logic behind cloud saving. I have had 2 issues where my game im playing and the game stored in the 'cloud' have gotten out of sync with only a reset able to fix the issue (meaning a lot of lost time)

    Overall connection issues aside the game it self is great, will be good to see it all in its full glory connection issue free...

    The lag. Oh, the lag. I don't know if it's a memory leak or just problems with the servers, but after half an hour the game slows to a crawl.

    One thing that doesn't seem to have been mentioned often is that if you want to solo the game (and you do, because the griefers are running rampant and it's so easy for one griefer to stuff up a region), you end up having to run every city in a region - build all of them up to a population of 5,000 before going back to the first one to start working on the rest of the city.

    On the server side, I've had zero issues playing on US West 2. My client crashed once, leading to the first few minutes of a new city being lost which wasn't really a problem. No login queues, no real lag.

    On the game side, it's great. Cities aren't massive but the regional interactions (now that they're re-enabled) alleviate it, especially when you get some co-operation going in multiplayer. Managing the city is straightforward, with the alert system and convenient little meters. Following your sim-citizens around for their day is a joy. The graphics are lovely. My only real wish was that the roads were easier to place on extremely steep inclines - you can do bridges and tunnels but they're far from easy to place.

    I played the 1st beta and I loved it. My computer is aging a bit but it handled everything at maximum settings with ease.

    Unfortunately I am one of those who had little success with playing the retail release, although I do have the luxury of having another game I'm in the middle of keeping me from really missing the new Simcity experience and I'm happy to be patient while the issues are ironed out and just keep playing The Old Republic.

    Well done to EA for offering a free game from their catalogue, now I don't have to pirate Tomb Raider lol!

    In all a great game, however aside from all the server issues, I have been having other bugs in the game as well, which has tainted the experience a bit.

    One example - building placement. I've now had multiple experiences where I could simply not place a building due to a glitch. You click, the building disappears and deletes everything below it, as if it were placed, but then blam. Nothing.

    It's a bug, and on the one hand, a minor one, but on the other - where you're a city planner and can't for example, place a light rail station in the one place in your city that's connected and will not screw up your zoning it's hella frustrating.

    The game is good, but would never pass muster back in the days of having to ship "finished" games. Not sure when shipping a game that has massive bugs in it became common with the "we'll fix it eventually" being the motto, but here we are.

    The game does some interesting things - I like how many of the systems actually interact with each other in natural ways (road size, education, wind, industry, power generation - they're all interconnected). I enjoy the visual style, for the most part (it does start to look pretty crummy if you zoom in too closely). I like the Music as well, and the controls generally work pretty well. The game also has a pretty logical and great pathway towards city progression, which allows you to make a good city without having to rezone everything periodically. I also like the curved roads.

    However, no random maps? Limited City Size (I am aware that you can have multiple cities in a region - I don't want 16 medium cities that look and feel disconnected from each other. I'd be happy with 1 big city, thank you very much), a really obnoxious, unskippable tutorial every time you switch servers, the need to have neighboring cities and, of course, the awful server issues leave a sour taste in my mouth. You know what's worse than not being able to log on? Being able to log on, play the game for hours, and HAVE NONE OF YOUR WORK COUNT BECAUSE THE SERVERS GOT DISCONNECTED. That was f-ing GREAT. Also, a few of my cities straight up disappeared. WONDERFUL.

    Also, sometimes I couldn't place a road on a perfectly flat surface, because the game complained about the "angle being too sharp". Really. Too sharp. Extending the road perfectly straight ahead on a flat surface is "too sharp"? Right. I've also noticed buildings sometimes spazzing in and out of existence.

    A very enjoyable game, though there are bugs and occasional crashes.

    Well some times the game can get frustrating, I'm building a casino city with an airport, trains and buses and not even able to get enough tourist in to get the gambling HQ.

    The gameplay is good although there are some difficulties trying to maintain water after the population reaches over 100k and getting educated sims to work in the high tech factories, even placing an industrial zone inside an area with a load of educated sims doesn't work no matter what I do they will always go out of business due to unskilled workers. The cities are also very small and difficult to work with.

    On the positive side I found out that it's easier to make skyscrapers because it shows the density (happiness of the area) which is required to advance and it tells you what you need to do e.g. Upgrade road to increase density. Unlike in Sim City 4 when I placed parks everywhere and I was only getting mansions out of it. Overall it's a great game it's just the DRM and the limitations of the cities.

    I'm impressed by how Maxis is handling this. The non-stop updates, the Q&A's, the hard work they are doing to fix Sim City and the servers.

    Last edited 11/03/13 2:18 pm

    Game is ok, maps are way too small though.. Need maps four times the size (apparently coming later on). Certain things annoy me like fire trucks in an emergency aren't given way so usually a town building burns down before they can get to it.

    I give it a 7/10

    The game itself is absolutely brilliant. I have been playing as a solo player on a small region to begin with, managing all three cities. From a simulation standpoint, it is lots of fun and highly addictive, definitely worthy of the SimCity brand. I would say it easily surpasses earlier instalments of the game.

    I have been playing for 2 days and have experienced no crashes (server: Oceanic 2). The only thing I have seen is that the connection drops out for about 10 seconds, that has happened a couple of times but didn't interrupt my play at all.

    I have no doubt the problems plaguing the game exist, but all I can say is once they are straightened out you should look forward to an awesome game. Cheers.

    I bought the game a couple of days ago and have had no problems whatsoever.

    I just created my own Region last night. Looking for neighbouring Mayors :)

    Please join
    Server – North America West 3
    Region – Macedonia
    Me - GozzaV

    The game itself is quite good, save from a some minor bugs that can be somewhat irritating.

    My main concern with the whole online aspect is the fact that you can't save/load cities. This makes sense because of the multiplayer aspect, and is usually fine for some games. But for a game which relies on as much complexity as simcity. Look at it this way:

    You spend 20+ hours creating a city, then along comes a patch that includes a bug... (example: I think there's currently a bug that means freight isn't being delivered to the Trading Depot) it messes up your budget, and sure the bug might get fixed, but by then it's too late. Your city is in flames, there's sewage in your drinking water, and you're in the red.

    End result?
    Old Sim City = load old save game
    New Sim City = Start fresh or toss the game in the trash

    I'll keep playing for now because I actually like the game, but I'm not blind to see what's coming....

    I've played roughly 40 hours, so far.

    I find that the game can be taken several different ways. It can be a fun experience where you just put random things everywhere and it still works or it can be a more serious approach where you need to put everything in the right spot to maximize income.

    When I first started, it was just random stuff everywhere, no sort of organisation. My income was still in the green so I didn't really care. But in the last 2 - 3 days, I've begun to take the game more seriously, ensuring all residential areas are upwind from factories. I'm learning how to create the perfect city.

    I must admit, I did have some issues initially with the crashes, couldn't get in game etc but it has since settled down.

    PRO: Great game for any age. You can sit a 10 year old in front of it and they'll be able to create a working city without much assistance.
    CON: I find the city sizes too small, there should be varying sizes to choose from.
    Another con for me, is the online DRM (as it is probably for most people). If you're going to make a single player game, make it single player with the option of an online mode. Don't make the single players suffer.

    FIX THE DAMN CHAT FUNCTION! It seriously takes 5 minutes for me to post a message up on the region wall and then its completely flooded with useless messages about city interactions. Make seperate boxes, make messages instant!

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