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General: RTSGuru Review: SimCity: A Bit of Nostalgia, A Lot of Modern

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,584MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Our friends at RTSGuru.com have been playing (when possible) Sim City for the last several days and have a review to offer up. See how Sim City fared over at RTSGuru.com.

SimCity is ambitious and it mostly succeeds. There are some glaring issues that extend beyond the server woes, but giving EA and Maxis a chance to resolve them is up to you, the player. There’s an advantage to waiting until all the server issues have been hammered out, but if you have a group of reliable friends to  play with, then you’ve got the tools you’ll need. However, if you’re nostalgic for the single player gameplay of old, it’s changed by degrees. The game is still immersive, and one you will lose hours (and sleep into). Yet the problems bring it down a couple of notches right now.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • Dreamo84Dreamo84 Niagara Falls, NYPosts: 3,437Member Uncommon
    Why anyone thinks its worth EAs time to "buy" reviews from ultimately small websites like MMORPG and RTSGURU is beyond me.

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  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon

    For all the new jazz SimCity has not really advanced beyond what it was in SimCity2000.

     

    Compared to the huge advances in other strategy series such Civilization V or Total War Rome it makes SimCity 4 look like it is more than a decade behind in game design.

    Was really hoping to be able to play "TheSims" on a massive scale. Also starting the game in 1900 is boring. Let players start in 2000BC or something.

     

    SimCity 4 feels like it should be a $4 app for my smart phone not a $40 PC game.

  • wrekognizewrekognize salt lake city, UTPosts: 384Member
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    Why anyone thinks its worth EAs time to "buy" reviews from ultimately small websites like MMORPG and RTSGURU is beyond me.

     

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  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon

    It has always on DRM, means you cannot even play single player mode if the servers are down and of course the servers have been down a lot.  So if you want to throw money away go ahead and invest in this game.  

    How the review can gloss over such a huge negative is beyond me, pretty much shouts a terrible review if you ask me.  Does not really matter if it is any good or not, the way they implemented it.

     

  • JojinJojin Jacksonville, FLPosts: 120Member Uncommon

    Always on isn't just about DRM, it is also a game design choice.  They are trying to make it so there all players interact with each other on some scale.  If you actually play it, it become obvious and actually makes the game more enjoyable.  It adds to gameplay by adding a human element to things.

    Now this doesn't mean there aren't a lot of other issues, however the idea the only reason for it being an online game is just because of DRM isn't correct.

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    I have to disagree with those who spout hatred towards the game merely for the DRM complaint. That's just bogus, especially coming from MMO players. Everything we play has "DRM", but you won't moan about buying the next big MMO.  If and when it shuts down, then cry foul.  Because that's a real possibility with EA.

    But this new Sim City's great fault isn't the always online gameplay, the "DRM", or even the server issues. It's the fact that Maxis and EA didn't do the right thing and brand the game as Sim City Online, because they were afraid to.  If they had, the server woes would still be regrettable, but par for the course for a new MMO launch.  

    But don't cry DRM foul just because Sim City hasn't been online only in the past.  It was a cop out of rage for Diablo 3, and it's a cop out here.  It's an online game, period. That's what it's packaged as, and sold as.  It was just not clear enough in marketing or advertising.  And now you can either buy into it like you do so many MMOs, or not.  It's pretty simple.

    Now, all that said? I do dislike how small land lots are.  That's the big drawback for me.  And it needs to be remedied with a free patch soon. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the game a lot and agree with Christina's assessment.

  • Lowfer69Lowfer69 La Grande, ORPosts: 65Member

       Good on ya Bill. Way to put the hammer down. Don't see enough of that around here. Ya always online and DRM being a complaint is in the past. Most people are always online anyhow. I know I spend most of my day online and my connection hardly ever goes down anymore. Internet at least in the states is so stable there really isn't a complaint anymore. Now if the servers go down because EA closes shop because it's not making the money they want then yes there is reason for complaining.

     

     
  • JojinJojin Jacksonville, FLPosts: 120Member Uncommon
    In regards to the smaller plots, while they seem like the limit your play the ability to be mayor to more than one plot can compensate.  It seems to put more focus on city interdependence versus being totally self-sufficient, which is still quite possible.
  • BurntvetBurntvet Baltimore, MDPosts: 2,938Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ozmodan

    It has always on DRM, means you cannot even play single player mode if the servers are down and of course the servers have been down a lot.  So if you want to throw money away go ahead and invest in this game.  How the review can gloss over such a huge negative is beyond me, pretty much shouts a terrible review if you ask me.  Does not really matter if it is any good or not, the way they implemented it. 

     

    ^^^ I agree and QFT. I wonder why that is not mentioned, hmmm?
  • Scorp2778Scorp2778 Swanton, OHPosts: 31Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    Now, all that said? I do dislike how small land lots are.  That's the big drawback for me.  And it needs to be remedied with a free patch soon. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the game a lot and agree with Christina's assessment.

    I agree with you here Bill. I have been able to play the game quite a bit and my only major complaint is the size of the land for cities. I dont like that it gives you a set square to work with either. I would like it better if the playable area followed the contour of the land more even if it is small.

    Two lesser complaints I have are with how service vehicles operate and how regions update. The algorithms for the service vehicles need improved. You will notice that they do a very bad  job collecting if you watch the trash/recycling vehicles make their rounds in a large city. The lag in region updates is pretty awful too. These two problems should be fixed soon I hope.

    Overall I am really enjoying the game apart from the connection problems and what I said above. I hope the launch problems don't tarnish the game too bad.

  • crazynannycrazynanny PopowoPosts: 173Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    I have to disagree with those who spout hatred towards the game merely for the DRM complaint. That's just bogus, especially coming from MMO players. Everything we play has "DRM", but you won't moan about buying the next big MMO.  

    If Sim City was indeed online game from design people might be okay with always online part. But it's a single player game with few social features that could easily be tossed into multiplayer mode instead annoying people with broken servers. Whole "feature" of forcing people to make multiple cites and freezing them in time if you play alone is feels really artificial and tailored towards DRM.

    DRM was tossed so guys in suits can present 90% less piracy and 99% less used copies sold. Who cares about customers, just pour money on advertisment and they'll buy it anyways. Sadly works so far...

  • CaldrinCaldrin CwmbranPosts: 4,533Member Uncommon
    well thats the highest review i have seen so far LOL..
  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    well thats the highest review i have seen so far LOL..

    Polygon gave it a 9.5 :)

  • KaeriganKaerigan None Of Your BusinessPosts: 689Member
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    well thats the highest review i have seen so far LOL..

    Polygon gave it a 9.5 :)

    They lowered it to a 4 because of EA's disastrous handling of the launch, though.

    <childish, provocative and highly speculative banner about your favorite game goes here>

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,356MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon
    Originally posted by Kaerigan
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    well thats the highest review i have seen so far LOL..

    Polygon gave it a 9.5 :)

    They lowered it to a 4 because of EA's disastrous handling of the launch, though.

    So they did!

    But I can't say I agree with why.  Again, it's likely my MMO sensibilities here, but these are issues with the service side of SimCity, and ones that have largely been erradicated in a week's time.  The GAME itself is a lot of fun, but not without fault.  If people had given WoW a score based on their early server woes, imagine the rating it would have received. I think lowering review scores based on server woes is a wrong step.  Unless the server woes were to continue like this and permanently effect the game.  Mark them down, sure.  As the re-review states, it dropped their score initially from a 9.5 to an 8, but then they dropped it to a 4 when issues continued and worsened... but they weren't going to raise it again when the issues were resolved?  

    I think that's a bad show, but that's just me.

  • SlickShoesSlickShoes EdinburghPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Kaerigan
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    well thats the highest review i have seen so far LOL..

    Polygon gave it a 9.5 :)

    They lowered it to a 4 because of EA's disastrous handling of the launch, though.

    So they did!

    But I can't say I agree with why.  Again, it's likely my MMO sensibilities here, but these are issues with the service side of SimCity, and ones that have largely been erradicated in a week's time.  The GAME itself is a lot of fun, but not without fault.  If people had given WoW a score based on their early server woes, imagine the rating it would have received. I think lowering review scores based on server woes is a wrong step.  Unless the server woes were to continue like this and permanently effect the game.  Mark them down, sure.  As the re-review states, it dropped their score initially from a 9.5 to an 8, but then they dropped it to a 4 when issues continued and worsened... but they weren't going to raise it again when the issues were resolved?  

    I think that's a bad show, but that's just me.

    It sets a precedent, will they do this for every game? How many times are they going to re-review other games? Have they been this harsh on other games that launched with totally broken multiplayer? Once the servers are turned off do you go back and review it and give it a 0 since no one can connect?

    They should review it as it is when the review is completed, then maybe a month later do another review and see if anything has changed.

    It would be like me reviewing the game on Friday when it came out, i'd have given it a 2/10 over the weekend I'd have given it a 9/10, this morning my save has corrupted so I am back to feel like it's a 2/10.

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  • BitterClingerBitterClinger Newark, DEPosts: 224Member Uncommon

    A good review. It is extremely fun, but the limited city size does start to feel constricting.  Also, a fair mention of the bugs.

    Top Games Played in 2015: World of Tanks, Tera, World of Warships

  • severiusseverius sacramento, CAPosts: 1,514Member Common

    The Escapist : Video Galleries : Jimquisition : SimSh!tty

    SimCity Is Inherently Broken, Let’s Not Let This Go | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    "These aren’t teething problems. These are continuous deep-running flaws designed to cripple the game for you as a player, simply to serve some nebulous notion of protecting the game against piracy."
     
     
     

    image

    image
  • IsturiIsturi Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,509Member
    Originally posted by Fendel84M
    Why anyone thinks its worth EAs time to "buy" reviews from ultimately small websites like MMORPG and RTSGURU is beyond me.

    And to top it off Sim City is not a MMO. Desprate action on EA part.

    image

  • BizkitNLBizkitNL NetherlandsPosts: 2,280Member Common
    Originally posted by SlickShoes
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Kaerigan
    Originally posted by BillMurphy
    Originally posted by Caldrin
    well thats the highest review i have seen so far LOL..

    Polygon gave it a 9.5 :)

    They lowered it to a 4 because of EA's disastrous handling of the launch, though.

    So they did!

    But I can't say I agree with why.  Again, it's likely my MMO sensibilities here, but these are issues with the service side of SimCity, and ones that have largely been erradicated in a week's time.  The GAME itself is a lot of fun, but not without fault.  If people had given WoW a score based on their early server woes, imagine the rating it would have received. I think lowering review scores based on server woes is a wrong step.  Unless the server woes were to continue like this and permanently effect the game.  Mark them down, sure.  As the re-review states, it dropped their score initially from a 9.5 to an 8, but then they dropped it to a 4 when issues continued and worsened... but they weren't going to raise it again when the issues were resolved?  

    I think that's a bad show, but that's just me.

    It sets a precedent, will they do this for every game? How many times are they going to re-review other games? Have they been this harsh on other games that launched with totally broken multiplayer? Once the servers are turned off do you go back and review it and give it a 0 since no one can connect?

    They should review it as it is when the review is completed, then maybe a month later do another review and see if anything has changed.

    It would be like me reviewing the game on Friday when it came out, i'd have given it a 2/10 over the weekend I'd have given it a 9/10, this morning my save has corrupted so I am back to feel like it's a 2/10.

    Hihihi. That makes incredible sense (really).

    10
  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,183Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    I have to disagree with those who spout hatred towards the game merely for the DRM complaint. That's just bogus, especially coming from MMO players. Everything we play has "DRM", but you won't moan about buying the next big MMO.  If and when it shuts down, then cry foul.  Because that's a real possibility with EA.

    But this new Sim City's great fault isn't the always online gameplay, the "DRM", or even the server issues. It's the fact that Maxis and EA didn't do the right thing and brand the game as Sim City Online, because they were afraid to.  If they had, the server woes would still be regrettable, but par for the course for a new MMO launch.  

    But don't cry DRM foul just because Sim City hasn't been online only in the past.  It was a cop out of rage for Diablo 3, and it's a cop out here.  It's an online game, period. That's what it's packaged as, and sold as.  It was just not clear enough in marketing or advertising.  And now you can either buy into it like you do so many MMOs, or not.  It's pretty simple.

    Now, all that said? I do dislike how small land lots are.  That's the big drawback for me.  And it needs to be remedied with a free patch soon. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the game a lot and agree with Christina's assessment.

    Well I have to disagree with you Bill, I live out in the country and my internet is not always something I can count on.  I use single player games if I don't have internet.   I like to think my objections to the game as criticisms, not hate.  Hate seems to be used a lot when people disagree with a game when I highly doubt they actually hate it, just have issues with it.

    There are a lot of games out there without what I consider very obstrusive DRM.  I vote with my pocket book and do not buy games with always on DRM.  I know a lot of my friends do the same.   Whether it is an issue for you, it is an issue for others.

    Sure I play different MMO's when I have internet, but if a game is not a MMO, I should not have to have internet to play it.

  • korvasskorvass den haagPosts: 623Member

    For those wanting to play in peace offline, they are screwed.

    So..

    Always online DRM. Combined with the €60 price tag for a digital download (or €60 in the shop) puts me off buying any new games anymore.

    To be honest, I think it's quite rude of publishers to be charging full price for digital downloads. It's like they bumped priced bit by bit over the last few years as digital download became viable, hoping that by the time they reached full price as physical objects, we would have just failed to notice..

    So I vote with my wallet. When a game comes on Steam cheaper, I might buy it. Or, I will pay full price for a physical copy. I'll be damned if I pay full price on a digital copy though.

     

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,498Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    I have to disagree with those who spout hatred towards the game merely for the DRM complaint. That's just bogus, especially coming from MMO players. Everything we play has "DRM", but you won't moan about buying the next big MMO.  If and when it shuts down, then cry foul.  Because that's a real possibility with EA.

    But this new Sim City's great fault isn't the always online gameplay, the "DRM", or even the server issues. It's the fact that Maxis and EA didn't do the right thing and brand the game as Sim City Online, because they were afraid to.  If they had, the server woes would still be regrettable, but par for the course for a new MMO launch.  

    But don't cry DRM foul just because Sim City hasn't been online only in the past.  It was a cop out of rage for Diablo 3, and it's a cop out here.  It's an online game, period. That's what it's packaged as, and sold as.  It was just not clear enough in marketing or advertising.  And now you can either buy into it like you do so many MMOs, or not.  It's pretty simple.

    Now, all that said? I do dislike how small land lots are.  That's the big drawback for me.  And it needs to be remedied with a free patch soon. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the game a lot and agree with Christina's assessment.

    The main problem I have with the game is not the DRM (although I think it was stupid and hurt the gameplay experience immensly), it's the tiny size of the cities and the extremely poor and broken simulation aspects of the game. Once I was able to play it for long stretches (some of which were cut short by disconnects that deleted hours of progress), I found that the part that they were saying was the best part of the game was actually a glaring weakness. Here are a few issues that I noticed right away.

     

    Everything seems to work on a first come first serve basis. If you follow a sim, they will go home to a different house every night depending on which house is available at the moment.

     

    When a schoolbus drops off children, they will bunch up and move house to house until the pile is reduced.

     

    Watching buses follow each other around in circle indefinitely.

     

    Storage in commercial zoned warehouses is automatically filled and not determined by industrial at all. Basically, you can plop zero industrial down in your city and reap all the benefits of not having any. The people act like they are pissed about it, but it never actually negatively affects your city in any way. Less pollution, less traffic, less crime. The only reason you would want it would be to build the advanced industrial buildings after which point you can just simply delete all industrial.

     

    When there are two crimes at once, often times all of the police cars go to one crime at once. So you get 22 police cars going to 1 crime while the other crime does not get handled for some time. 

     

    I'm sure there are so many more. It's just a poorly designed and implemented game. It has dropped considerably in the professional reviews not just for it's lack of DRM (which you seem to think is the main issue), but also because of how awful their implementation of the overall game is at the moment.

  • SlickShoesSlickShoes EdinburghPosts: 1,037Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Ozmodan
    Originally posted by BillMurphy

    I have to disagree with those who spout hatred towards the game merely for the DRM complaint. That's just bogus, especially coming from MMO players. Everything we play has "DRM", but you won't moan about buying the next big MMO.  If and when it shuts down, then cry foul.  Because that's a real possibility with EA.

    But this new Sim City's great fault isn't the always online gameplay, the "DRM", or even the server issues. It's the fact that Maxis and EA didn't do the right thing and brand the game as Sim City Online, because they were afraid to.  If they had, the server woes would still be regrettable, but par for the course for a new MMO launch.  

    But don't cry DRM foul just because Sim City hasn't been online only in the past.  It was a cop out of rage for Diablo 3, and it's a cop out here.  It's an online game, period. That's what it's packaged as, and sold as.  It was just not clear enough in marketing or advertising.  And now you can either buy into it like you do so many MMOs, or not.  It's pretty simple.

    Now, all that said? I do dislike how small land lots are.  That's the big drawback for me.  And it needs to be remedied with a free patch soon. Otherwise, I'm enjoying the game a lot and agree with Christina's assessment.

    Well I have to disagree with you Bill, I live out in the country and my internet is not always something I can count on.  I use single player games if I don't have internet.   I like to think my objections to the game as criticisms, not hate.  Hate seems to be used a lot when people disagree with a game when I highly doubt they actually hate it, just have issues with it.

    There are a lot of games out there without what I consider very obstrusive DRM.  I vote with my pocket book and do not buy games with always on DRM.  I know a lot of my friends do the same.   Whether it is an issue for you, it is an issue for others.

    Sure I play different MMO's when I have internet, but if a game is not a MMO, I should not have to have internet to play it.

    Then Sim City 5 is not for you, it says in the requirements that it requires and always on connection, you live in the country and do not meet these requirements so should not buy the game. Sim City 5 was built as a multiplayer game, it is not the Sim City single player experience you remember.

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  • NovusodNovusod Lakewood, NJPosts: 892Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by severius

    The Escapist : Video Galleries : Jimquisition : SimSh!tty

    SimCity Is Inherently Broken, Let’s Not Let This Go | Rock, Paper, Shotgun

    "These aren’t teething problems. These are continuous deep-running flaws designed to cripple the game for you as a player, simply to serve some nebulous notion of protecting the game against piracy."
     
     

    Now those are some proper reviews. Hell hath no fury like an angry videogame nerd during unexpected downtime.

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