Sunday, March 10, 2013


The issues with the latest SimCity release are pretty interesting. I personally have not purchased SimCity. City building games don't really interest me. As well, after the experience with ME3, it will take an absurdly amazing game to make me install EA's Origin again.

However, one common complaint seems to be unfair to me. Many people are complaining about how EA/Maxis is making people go online for a single player game. But after reading a couple of reviews, and following a forum thread for a bit, I think EA/Maxis has made something more interesting than a mere single-player game.

It seems to me that you don't really build cities in this new game, but that you build neighborhoods or boroughs instead. The maximum city size is fairly small, but each city trades with its neighbors. One city may have lots of jobs, and the city next door has lots of people, so the people go to the city next door for work.

Or you trade utilities or resources. It seems to me more a game where you have to specialize and harmonize with your neighbors.

To put it in terms of my city, instead of one single person building Vancouver, instead one person builds the West End, one builds Downtown, one builds North Vanouver, one builds Kitsilano, etc. Each neighborhood exists on its own, but each has a different character, and relies on the others.

In a lot of ways, this is a far more interesting and ambitious design than the single-player game where one person builds an entire city.

Though, I will have to admit that I was greatly amused by the guy complaining that the main export of one of his neighbor was criminals. Ah, online gamers, so true to form.

This design is very intriguing. It's almost enough to make one take another chance on Origin. But not quite enough.


  1. Makes you wonder if you can have a city wherein your major export is politics.

  2. "Makes you wonder if you can have a city wherein your major export is politics"

    "the main export of one of his neighbor was criminals"

    looks like it is

  3. What's the problem with Origin? It's not the best service out there, sure, but it's better then Steam was when it launched, and has a few features that puts it over Steam currently.

    It totally has terrible sales, though!

  4. I remember Origin as being dog-slow in ME3. Like it took forever just to log in and start playing.

  5. That's not Origin, that's Mass Effect's own servers. It's the same on every platform.

  6. Well, it was a "Connecting to Origin" message, so they get the blame.

  7. Didn't know you were a fellow Vancouverite!

  8. I think you missed the main reason people were complaining about having to go online to play the game: the servers were unusable for at least two days after the game went live, and even today the servers aren't working as they should, with a lot of the niceties like knowing what your region actively looks like on the big overview summation, and having an entire speed setting removed to take the stress off of the servers.

    In todays society, gamers are getting increasingly frustrated with everything needing to be online, yet game companies have yet to figure out how to launch such a game successfully. Simcity is not only the latest but one of the worst I've yet to experience - and it's still ongoing.