SimCity Plans a Triumphant 2013 Return
I've got some awesome news, guys! There's a new SimCity on the way, and it could well end up being one of the best SimCity games ever made!
Okay, to be fair, everybody probably already knew that there was a new SimCity on the way months before E3 2012. Maxis and EA didn't exactly do a good job of keeping things under wraps, after all. Still, from what we've heard about the game thus far, it could very well blow previous entries in the series straight out of the water.
First up, the title is built from the ground up on EA / Maxis's Glassbox simulation engine. Basically, Glassbox is an advanced statistics and probability engine. This is the first detail of SimCity that got me excited.
Every single minute detail of the city's operation, from the delivery of a factory's goods to gridlock during rush hour, is visualized and dynamically generated on the map. If something's happening somewhere in the city, you'll be able to see a visual representation of it. Not too shabby, right? Plus, as a result of how things are done in Glassbox, there's a rather intense sense of realism to the game. That is, if you see a traffic jam generated by a bunch of sims, you can bet that every single sim caught in traffic has somewhere to be, and they'll go there the moment they're out of gridlock.
The revamp (that truly seems the best thing to call SimCity 2013) could end up being one of the deepest titles in the series as well. You need to manage your resources in the same way you manage the rest of your city. If your city is a coal mining hub, you can bet that once the coal is all mined out, your economy is going to go south in a very bad way. Cooperation with other cities in the region isn't just important, it's pretty much integral to the survival of your 'burg.
That leads me to another exciting detail: the online component. Now, I'll give you folks the bad news first. EA has ham-handedly decided that they want the game to require a constant Internet connection. Yes, it's a terrible idea, yes, it's the worst kind of DRM, and no, I'm not particularly happy about it. At the same time, that bitter pill is made slightly more palpable by what they're doing with the Internet connection: SimCity is the first game in the franchise to feature multiplayer since SimCity 2000. That isn't particularly exciting in itself, of course. What is exciting is how this feature will be realized.
You and the other SimCity players will all set up shop in a single region. Every city in this region is linked, in a way. Choices made in one city will have a direct impact on every other city in the region. If your city's got a pollution problem, there's a good chance other cities in the area will feel the heat. Similarly, if you construct an airport, it'll serve as a transportation hub for all the other urban centers in the area. What's more, depending on where you choose to play, your cities might all end up being part of a larger, dynamic, online world.
February 2013 seems a long way away, doesn't it?
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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