Hands On

Opinions on SimCity after the beta

Many people got to play the SimCity beta last week, we are collecting as many opinions on the game as we can, to help you judge if you want to buy the game or not.
If you have any questions you can ask us on twitter, facebook, our IRC chat or email (platinumsimmers[at]gmail.com).

ShoeProzac – Worked great on my slow internet!
Ain’t No Poor Broadband Speeds Gonna Slow This Mayor Down

When I heard there would be a new instalment in the SimCity series I was ecstatic. Then, the news broke that the game would be cloud based, and given that I have seen snails move faster than my broadband on some occasions, I was understandably concerned. Imagine seeing the biggest, best, wonderful jar of sweets on a high shelf but not being able to find a ladder or even a chair to reach up and get it. This weekend, I found my ladder.

Having the opportunity to take part in the beta gave me the chance to really test the effect poor internet would have on SimCity. The verdict? No issues whatsoever! It took a while to download and apply the updates, but once the initial set up was done there was no adverse effect on game play or accessing the game. So for all of the Mayors who have been worrying about this, like I have, cast your fears aside!

Onto the game – quite simply put, awesome. An hour went by far too quickly, and the next hour, and the next hour, and the next hour after that. When I have played previous versions, I have never been very adept at building successful cities. SimCity, whilst not too easy, just seems to make much more sense.

I love that zone density is based on the roads. This just makes much more sense to me and I found that mapping my city out by road density rather than going “this area will be for residential, this will be for commercial, etc” worked. The control panel at the bottom is so easy to navigate and much clearer to read. The bigger thumbnails when picking a park, school or anything else make it easier to see at a glance what you are looking for. I also love that you can expand public service buildings to serve your population needs, rather than having to automatically build another hospital or school as soon as one is over capacity.

The other thing I absolutely love (and I know some people don’t feel this way) is that the city limit is quite small. I like that the point at which you can start building up will inevitably come sooner than in previous versions. It takes a lot less money to start reaching your city limits than it used to. Perhaps I will feel differently once I need to start plopping motorways and airports down, but right now I like the compact, cosier cities this constraint provides.

There also seems to be more personality this time around as well. Many moons ago, I bought and played SimCity Societies. Whilst it was not the SimCity I knew and loved, I did like the fact you could closely follow a sim around and see what they were up to. Now we are able to follow trucks, people, buses, moving vans – it’s cool to take a quick tour of your city from the viewpoint of one of its citizens.

Drawbacks? Not many. It would have been nice to have had the chance to interact with neighbouring cities in a region to see the impact trade has on your own city, or to have the chance to build a grand works. But in terms of game play performance, look and feel we have not been spun a line. From what I can see, Maxis/EA have delivered everything they promised and then some.

The only thing I feel I need to point out (for my fellow snail speed broadband users), is that I won’t be buying a digital copy, no siree. I’ll be buying the disc copy as I don’t fancy waiting 7 months for the full version to download. The only dilemma I now have is…..how on earth do I choose between Sims 3: University Life and SimCity 5 when March 8th gets here?

sww – Basic RCI is harder than I thought
I think SimCity is going to be a great game, this beta was a fantastic way for us to get a demo and to help EA crash, ahem test, the servers. We did good in my opinion with several crashes. But at the same time it should not be forgotten it was a great test for all our machines to see if we can handle the game on our current set up. I am impressed how well it works with the highest settings!

I personally already wrote about what I think of this game here, in short love it. Extra playing time during the beta showed that what I thought was just the basic building of RCI is much more difficult than I thought. I could not get my population higher than 16k, I had a lot unfulfilled jobs (of all wealths). All this makes me more anxious for the full game because the beta was very limited in the options we could build and only single-city play, I want to see how I do when I have unlimited time and building options.

BlueFairy – Game has potential but is expensive
I really enjoyed playing SimCity, and can see that it has potential. The graphics were amazing, as they should be. However, I am not sure if I will be getting the game, especially not at the current prices. I really miss a 1 player offline mode. There were also aspects of the game mechanics that I did not like, ofc this can be because it was limited functionality and limited time. I would have liked to see greater control of how the different zones developed. The current road system, and the "auto-grid" I found to be a nuisance. Once land value and density changed the grids seemed to become pointless as the building sizes changed. This might become a minor issue to me depending on how the game progresses after one hour. At the moment, I'd say the game has potential, but there is no way that I could justify spending €60 on the game from what I have seen.

Jon – Gorgeous game!
Had a great time with the Beta this weekend. Used it running Windows on a Mac and after some tweaking with the graphics it really came to life. The GUI was really easy to use and managed to simplify it compared to other Simcity games while also adding loads more options. A personal favourite was the filter option on the graphics setting allowing you to really make the city look how you want it. Gorgeous game. Will definitely be making a purchase.

Twitter Comments
Bafendo: LOVED IT! :D
HugDopey: I liked it even though the graphics are bad. I did cancel my pre-order though because of the only online playing.
Jokerpngr: it was very nice! i would like to see greek culture as an edition or in the official game!
GeminiaGR: loved it but 1 hour was not enough. There are many things i didn't try , and many things i didn't figure out
HazeofSpace: simcity feeling of the first days, liked it!
tazreentasnim: it was just AWESOME!

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