Review: SimCity

Review: SimCity

I can sum up my entire experience with SimCity in this anecdote. While I was waiting for the newest release to arrive in the mail, I played through SimCity 4 again, a game I enjoyed as a 10-year-old. I built up a nice little city, and it all culminated in the construction of a massive shopping district which I attacked with Truckasaurus Wrecks. After a few more hours of playing, my game was finally available, and I installed it.

Or, more accurately, I installed EA Origin, the too-eager latecomer trying to put on cool sunglasses like Steam, and then installed SimCity. I was then informed of the fact that I would have to remain online the entire time while playing. As a person who avoids online play because I go to high school, I stay home so I don’t get insulted. I was not incredibly excited about this.

When I finally got into the game with the intent of creating a massive town that spelled Jean-Claude Van Damme’s initials, it immediately crashed.

I was informed that EA’s servers were down, and so I couldn’t play the single player mode. I was quite a bit frustrated, or in simpler terms, I broke my mouse throwing it against the wall. I waited a day and finally got the chance to play, and what I played was a poor excuse for SimCity 4.

The design was attractive, and it was easy to pick up, but I was missing something: all of my freedom. Creation of districts was confined to roadside, so I couldn’t put a residential district far away from my regular streets and pretend like a crazy old man lived there, terrorizing children. All of my freedom to make a town with personality was relegated to whatever personality EA wanted me to have.

This was not the SimCity I fell in love with. While it’s true that it was easier to pick up and understand, I felt like that came at the cost of my creativity. What’s fun about SimCity is supposed to be the fact that I can make whatever I want, not whatever is next to a road.

One out of five stars