There were only two Sim games that I could play for hours and never get bored till today. One was SimTower which continues to live in secret on my work PC for days where I am on duty with nothing to do over the weekends and the other is SimCity 2000. Yes SimCity 2000 and not the later versions.
Somehow to me, only SimCity 2000 was worthy of staying in that secret little corner in my harddisk. It was simple enough for quick one hour games and yet offers all the complexity if I wanted to construct a major city. Yet as the years go by, I yearn for a proper update to the series, where that good old formula would be resurrected with today’s gaming technology.
Well, as of 4th of March 2305 hours, my hopes and dreams for a SimCity that would once again help me realise my ambition to become a digital Mayor came true.
The first thing that hit me after installing the game via Origin (Yay for high speed fiber connection), is the update look the developers have given to the game. Yes it still feels like I am playing a familiar SimCity, just that everything looks so good, I actually paused for a few moments to take everything in.
The game also sounds good with that subtle background music which helps you fight the monotony of times where you just gotta sit back and wait for things to happen. Not forgetting the busy roads and the constructions going on and my favorite, the protest going on outside the Mayor’s home when people feel you are bad at your job.
Not forgetting the really helpful tutorial that would help even the newest of gamers get the hang of the basics before they go off in planning their own SimCity. Oh and if you have friends who play the game, the multiplayer mode is something I would recommend giving a try. Not only can you now trade surplus resources for money or other resources your city needs, you can also preplan with friends how to support each others city.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect game and one glaring flaw that SimCity has (which gamers have been lamenting for years) is the need to be always connected to the EA servers. This means you not only need to make sure your internet line is always up when you want to play, it also means the servers need to be up as well. And as with Murphy’s Law, things can happen when you least expect it.
Another warning which I feel I must share is that the game is not as forgiving as other city simulators. Make a mistake early and you still might be able to clean up the mess. Make it even at the beginning of mid game and I would suggest restarting from scratch rather than wasting more time trying to fire fight.
Overall SimCity is still a highly recommended game if you can live with the two major flaws which sometimes is not really one depending on how you view them. Even gamers new to the series should give it a try since it has one of the better game tutorials around. So if you are looking around for a game to play this march, SimCity would be one to be considered the top few on the list.
Ratings: 4.5 out of 5 Stars.
By Kenneth Wong
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