SimCity Trailer Is A Disasterpiece

By Craig Pearson on October 15th, 2012 at 5:00 pm.

Oh, the Simmanity!
Electrical grids? Meh. Highways? Fleh. Civic infrastructure? Poo. If you’re a real SimCity fan, you know it’s all about the disasters that the apathetic world throws your way. You know that something will come, and that you’ll need to deal with it. It’s inevitable. If it’s a worry you’ve had to relate to your psychiatrist, then you need worry no more. This is what you’ve been waiting for: a faux ‘olde’ style trailer showing off the various ways that your Simulated City (5) could be destroyed, and the various avenues open to you to protect it.

Mostly it seems like you actually do need the civic infrastructure to help recover. So build fewer statues to your awesomeness so you can have more hospitals and police. I have an idea for SimCity DLC: the game’s always online, so how about a metagame where players are allowed to unleash disasters on others cities? I’m not all that bothered about making things, but if you gave a me a button and said I had 50 disasters to do with what I pleased, why I’d wear that button down until it only existed in two dimensions. And this is what I’d do.

It’s still scheduled for February of 2013. Barring an invasion by UFOs.

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71 Comments »

  1. rocketman71 says:

    Sadly, the true disaster is the always online component.

    • QuasiBelgium says:

      … and the lack of zoning density, good transportation options and intercity connections, that piece of crap SimCity World and piece of crap city specialisation, small city size, the lack of terraforming, the probable heap of DLC with maps and other kind of crappy building packs, with that the probable absence of mods, the fact that it’s not on Steam, and the price.

      • rockman29 says:

        I’m also even questioning the scale of the simulation. I mean hats off to the amazing simulation, but the specialization is really off putting.

      • filss says:

        Zoning density is in the game. It is featured in the gameplay strategy video released last week ;)

        • mr.ioes says:

          I would be surprised if you didn’t mistake zoning density for zoning desire. Afaik zoning density levels aren’t selectable by the player.

          • Cerebulon says:

            They sort of round-about are. They depend on the type of road bordering the tile.
            Yup.
            Yyyyup.

      • crinkles esq. says:

        Right. So, apart from the lack of zoning density, good transportation options and intercity connections, the piece of crap SimCity World and piece of crap city specialisation, small city size, lack of terraforming, the probable heap of DLC with maps and other kind of crappy building packs, with that the probable absence of mods, the fact that it’s not on Steam, and the price, WHAT HAVE THE ROMANS EVER DONE TO YOU?

      • TimMc says:

        Wait what? Simcity 2000 has stuff Simcity 2012 does not? Surely newer is supposed to be better?

      • Aankhen says:

        the fact that it’s not on Steam

        That’s definitely not a disaster. Being on Origin is; not being on Steam isn’t.

    • Premium User Badge

      Smashbox says:

      You can always count on snark in comment one!

      I’m conflicted about this game – it actually looks really compelling and a bit deep, but I’m worried they’re going to gloss over some of the systems that made SimCity 4 awesome (and maybe not-too-popular).

      Chief concerns: Online policy, obviously, no terraforming/landfilling, no subway system, the fact that in the prev. video railways connected at a 90° angle. I want to struggle to find space for my train tracks!

      Hoping they launch the beta soon (and let me play it). This has the potential to be really amazing.

      • Premium User Badge

        Smashbox says:

        Also, it only just occurred to me, probably because I’m a dullard, but subways are totally going to be a Sims-style expansion pack, aren’t they.

        SimCity Goin’ Mobile™ or somesuch nonsense.

        • Dark Nexus says:

          ….probably.

        • Premium User Badge

          FriendlyFire says:

          SimCity: Rush Hour?

          • Premium User Badge

            Smashbox says:

            Fair point, actually. I didn’t remember that avenues & one-ways were added that late. Route query was a nice Rush Hour addition, and fair I think.

            Subways seem rather at the core of the SimCity experience, though.

          • MrLebanon says:

            Rush Hour was the name of SC4′s expansion… unless you knew that then I am just being redundant

        • astronaute says:

          You don’t need subway in such small cities (max is 2km), there is only enough space for bicycles.

    • mrmalodor says:

      Well said.

  2. Premium User Badge

    JohnS says:

    That trailer wasn’t as funny as it thought it was. Luckily, the guys behind The Stanley Parable know how to properly parody old timey stuff: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DsMuHIjCMU

  3. Leaufai says:

    I’m pretty sure that high-rise city would only grow like that if it had at least adequate public services that would make rebuilding easier than the industrial dump aka Detroit.

  4. Kucd says:

    Too much hubris in this game that makes it no longer a full SimCity game but rather a SimCityLite/Mobile game.

    Not getting it. Such a wasted opportunity to make an unbelievable strong single-player city building game and they opt to go down this route. Sigh.

    • Premium User Badge

      Smashbox says:

      If you’re talking about the online mode, you can opt to make your own offline, single-player regions. This seems to be a common misconception, as they’ve not hyped the offline stuff at all.

      • mrmalodor says:

        Nope, you can’t make your own offline region. You can make an online region that doesn’t take advantage of any online features, yes. But good luck starting the game without an internet connection.

        • Premium User Badge

          Smashbox says:

          Semantics! Offline region, as in a region not played online. I didn’t say offline game.

          • Kucd says:

            Then I still am not interested in this. No offline, no buy. Simple. Don’t want to go around circles just to play offline, even if that is not confirmed at all.

          • Bensam123 says:

            You made it seem as though you were talking about the game being offline. That’s the way I read your comment till the following comment.

        • codename_bloodfist says:

          It’s okay, there’ll be a fix from SKIDROW in no time.

    • JonClaw says:

      Also known as the Lickboot Route.

      • Kucd says:

        Then let’s not forget also:
        -no zone density
        -Very limited city sizes
        -No terraforming
        -DLC galore
        -No confirmation of offline mode yet.
        -Having to buy at pre-order or release one style of architecture if you want to play with it.

        Why is this called SimCity and not another name is beyond me. The more I learn about this game the less it has to do with the past SimCity titles. A shame.

  5. Cooper says:

    Please do not forget:

    It has been confirmed that the online component means that disasters can be started at will but you cannot return to an older save.

    Do you enjoy saving a game, inflicting a disaster upon your carefully built city to watch it burn, then returning to before?

    Do you enjoy the catharsis of unleashing a tornado when managing the city has become a difficult task, then returning to an older save after that catahrtic moment?

    Do you simply enjoy saving a city then trying out two or more different directions of development to see what would work best then returning to the old save and building from your new knowledge?

    Do you simply like the idea of having a series of saves on your hard drive of a city over time to see how it developed and return to past states of your city at any given time? Do you simply like having control over your save games?

    Well with SimCity’s inline mode, none of this will happen. Because. yay! The import6ance of being able to play with other people over-rides the save / load to local disk function that’s been in all SimCity games since the first!

    • Premium User Badge

      Smashbox says:

      But you can play your own regions offline.

      • MrLebanon says:

        can you reload previous saves offline?

        • Premium User Badge

          Smashbox says:

          What possible reason could they have for not letting you do that offline? I will eat my hat if they force you to play in ‘Iron Man’ mode.

          • Edlennion says:

            I think you may want to invest in a tasty hat before February…

          • Dark Nexus says:

            Because it’s not truly offline. It’s always “asynchronous online play” (allowing for interrupted connections). You can play solo, but not completely offline. All saves go to the cloud, for your convenience of course.

          • Cooper says:

            They have stated that -even- if you play in your own region without other players as your neighbours. even if you try to be as offline as possible, you will -still- be an input into their inline community. The moment the game goes online it’ll update your activities so as to add to whatever statistical system they use to model multiple player behaviour.

            The only way to do this and avoid trolls is to keep games in permanent iron man mode. Offline or online.

            By not allowing a total and entire opt-out of the online functionality (bar pulling the cable after the initial start-up activation checks during which it’ll download and upload as it needs), they have lead to the required “no save, no load” “ironman” mode to be across the board.

          • MentatYP says:

            I recommend a hat made out of cake.

      • GamerOS says:

        But as far as everyone knows right now you still can’t reload your saves.
        It’s like iron man mode in Xcom, except it doesn’t contribute to the gameplay.

      • mrmalodor says:

        No, you can’t. You need an internet connection to start the game. You cannot play offline, you can only opt out of certain online features.

    • LionsPhil says:

      That’s utterly dire.

    • Synesthesia says:

      what on earth is these people’s fucking problem? Stop it already! Let me play my game as i want to, please! I was actually very hyped by this, but the micro cities and the inability to have my own saves has murdered it for me. Fuck you sideways ea.

    • Cooper says:

      @Cooper42
      @oceanquigley I’m playing XCOM on Ironman mode. Makes me hapy that SimCity will have cloud only saves and no reload and be Ironman too…

      Ocean Quigley ‏@oceanquigley:
      @Cooper42 Right. I know that you need to be able to reload your city after a disaster. Still trying to figure out the best way to do that.
      Details

      ‏@Cooper42
      @oceanquigley Best way to reload? Local saves? Mutliple saves of the city? Then if I change PC, I could store them on a floppy disk.

      https://twitter.com/Cooper42/status/258016516237312000

    • Cooper says:

      @Cooper42
      @oceanquigley I’m playing XCOM on Ironman mode. Makes me hapy that SimCity will have cloud only saves and no reload and be Ironman too…

      Ocean Quigley ‏@oceanquigley:
      @Cooper42 Right. I know that you need to be able to reload your city after a disaster. Still trying to figure out the best way to do that.

      ‏@Cooper42
      @oceanquigley Best way to reload? Local saves? Mutliple saves of the city? Then if I change PC, I could store them on a floppy disk.

      https://twitter.com/Cooper42/status/258016516237312000

  6. mehteh says:

    Always-online DRM, no mods, and cant reload saves. No thanks EA. I can always count on you to ruin a game

  7. Discopanda says:

    1up called it stunning! Definitely a day 1 buy now.

  8. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Dear RPS
    I had this on my amiga 500.
    I sucked at it.
    Thank you for reading.

  9. captain nemo says:

    *sigh* ; industry executives never learn – This will be another Ubisoft-style screw up.

    And in breaking news, see ‘EA’s Origin Leaves The Doors Unlocked, Looting Ensues’
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/10/15/eas-origin-leaves-the-doors-unlock-looting-ensues/

  10. wodin says:

    God the collapsing buildings looked rubbish..

    • socrate says:

      yep i though exactly the same the game doesn’t look that great when you compare it with stuff like anno that did the 3d stuff for a long time now.

      Oh and why the hell would i buy a game that didn’t evolve at all since the first game in any interesting way?…i mean disaster were a sure thing right?…why make a vid about it and just not show some screen cause that trailer made the game look even worst then it did before…also i was never a big fan of blowing up my city after im done building it…i never saw any fun in it…at least destroying card castle or lego castle was quite fun because there was such a randomness with it…in simcity its always the same thing..there was never any chain effect or stuff like that…instead they should put more effort in improving the base game which they haven’t in this entire genre since the beginning…i have totally lost interest in that genre really and even the last anno was a big let down…more so with the online stuff

    • LionsPhil says:

      It’s, uh, yeah. Below the graphical expectations of something with big publisher money behind it.

  11. MentatYP says:

    Maxis giveth, Maxis taketh away. So disasters are in, but you can’t revert to a previous game after unleashing a disaster on your city just to see what happens. This game gets better and better with every new revelation.

  12. oyog says:

    So the general consensus is this is going to the Spore of SimCities? Guess I’ll stick with SimCity 4 and the active modding community, huzzah!

    I probably won’t try any until I’m comfortably playing on medium difficulty but would anyone care to suggest some quality mods? I’ve just started getting back into SC4 and so far I’m mostly excited about DrunkApple’s maps. I really hope he’d be interested in making a Western Massachusetts map if I request it.

    Out of curiosity, has anyone seen footage or screen shots of anything but flat terrain in NewSimCity?

    • SketchyGalore says:

      Yep, it was in their high school presentation… er, I mean… live interview. They said that hills and such have a major effect on building placement, as well as resources and whatnot (mining operations on mountains, I suppose). They called “playing the puzzle of the land you’re given” their reason for not having terraforming. So… yay/boo?

  13. somnolentsurfer says:

    They’ve actually included the UFO from the box of SimCity 2000! I waited hours for that thing to show.

  14. SketchyGalore says:

    There seems to be as much bitterness toward this one as there was to XCOM when it was first being reveled. I guess that’s the nature of the game industry these days, not only is it cool to be pissy but trying to revive the feeling of something great for the past is like proposing a fresh coat of neon pink to the Sistine Chapel.

    The agonizing thing about this for me, personally, is that I’ve been a Maxis junkie since I was seven years old. The games I see them make these days still have hints of that same brilliance that made them great. Even new Sims 3 expansion packs and such have some really neat designs and excellent execution. But, of course, it’s filtered through the EA machine. Moneygrabs and marketing foul up the experience and anger fans, while general commercial success makes sure that your average gaming-snob (really avoiding the word hipster there) will never take anything they do seriously.

    When I look at trailers and footage of SimCity, I’m so conflicted. I WANT it to be as amazing as it looks like it potentially could be. I want Maxis back on the map and I want the management sim genre to come back (there’s potential: just look what happens when one of those “games” goes up on Facebook). But, I feel like I could take a pair of tweezers and pick out every single feature of the game I’ve heard so far and deposit them into bowls labeled “Maxis Idea” and “EA Forced Idea”. There’s no doubt in my mind that if Maxis had total control over this project, it would be incredible: the perfect blend of strategy, customization, and mod-ability. So the whole thing hinges on how much Maxis and how much EA is going into the stew. If those boneheads back off and let the smart people work, I’ll have something I’ve been waiting for for a very long time. If EA goes by their usual tactics… then yeah, everyone above this post was right.

    • John Connor says:

      Oh look, another person who can’t tell the difference between the two entirely separate Xcom games.

      There was bitterness to the Xcom FPS because it totally shat on what the previous games in the series were. There was no, and is no, bitterness towards the new Xcom: Enemy Unknown because they did it right and it’s amazing.

      People hate the new Sim City because they are going the Xcom FPS route, not the Xcom:EU route.

      • Hahaha says:

        Which is funny because that game is actually dumbed down and consolized but for some reason it’s given a pass, maybe due to being turn based?

        • Xardas Kane says:

          Probably because it isn’t dumbed down and the interface works just fine on PC.

          • Hahaha says:

            Don’t write about things you have no knowledge in.

            A) the enemy only appear once you set them off
            B) the UI is horrid mish mash of buttons designed to work by pressing keys not by clicking them using the mouse.

            There is more but seeing as you haven’t played the game it’s pointless listing them.

        • codename_bloodfist says:

          It’s a little lacking in the feature department. In particular when it comes to inventory management, free targeting and the number of squaddies. It’s still pretty challenging, even on Classic.

        • zeroskill says:

          I do not understand this either, the new Xcom game is nowhere near as good as the classic. Somehow it got a free pass for being turn-based. I’ll keep to the original. And continue waiting for a new game that is worthy of what the Gollop brothers created almost 20 years ago.

          It’s an ok-ish game but eventually shallow and forgettable. It’s not really worthy of the Gollop legacy. But at least it’s putting turn-based games back on the map, and I guess that is why it got a free pass from RPS.

        • Filden says:

          It’s a pretty well designed game with solid and addictive core gameplay, and like lots of people, I’m really enjoying it. Like the original game, it has some rough edges I wish were a bit more polished, and a few things that bug me (I’ve never played a game worth a damn where that wasn’t true). It might not have quite as many features as I might like, but features in and of themselves don’t make a game good. All the features in the world won’t make a game good, if it doesn’t have what XCOM:EU has.

          I understand that some people might be unable to get over the lack of x or Y feature from the original game enough to enjoy it for what it is, but what I don’t understand is why they think badmouthing the game at every opportunity is in any way likely to help them see a triple A effort like the one they want. If this game is successful, who knows the sort of things it might encourage, and how subsequent games might try to differentiate themselves. If it tanks, it’s not going to encourage a publisher to release a game just like it tailored to an even smaller niche audience.

          If you don’t enjoy the game that’s a pity, but I have to believe you still wish it well.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Wait, first you accuse others of being willfully pessimistic and then go ahead and admit that the game is being ruined by EA anyway…?

      @Hahaha: Yeah, there are several things that’s been dumbed down (the whole shenanigan with bases, for example), but other things like the entire combat gameplay has been massively improved and made more tense and enjoyable. I’ve seen very few people who are actually playing the thing grumbling about the experience.

      • zeroskill says:

        I think the combat has been dumbed down just like everything else. Where is the awesome bullet mechanic from the original? Where if you would miss your target, the bullet would keep on flying and maybe create lucky (or unlucky) accidents?

        And what happend to randomly generated maps? How is this an improvement?

        • Raiyan 1.0 says:

          Randomly generated maps aren’t superior to hand-crafted maps by professional map designers.

          And I’m not suggesting XCOM can’t be improved.

        • Dark Nexus says:

          Yeah!

          And what happened to using Zapp Brannigan tactics of sending wave after wave of my own men?

          Or just blowing holes in everything in a map to find an alien?

  15. mulderfox says:

    I am seriously disappointed by the level of graphics in this new installment. I expected something much more.. detailed. Instead, we get cube-ish buildings, and when they explode it looks like some angry baby threw his cube tower in the air. After all this time, I expected a serious improvement. but got none.
    Cities XL 2012 has better graphics than this 2013 release.. :-(
    http://www.eyalo.com

  16. Zorn says:

    My first Sim City was on a friend’s Atari ST, have we even been out of elementary school? I still had my C-64, saw it a store and learned the difference between the two versions. Oh man, but still, I took the challenge. Enter the PC. Another youth-friend was the first one with a PC, and there was Sim City 2000. It was the world at this point in time. It has it shortcomings. I recognize them when I return to my gog version. But it’s still THE Sim City for me. The look, feel and complexity. I always have been hoping, over the years, there will be something that resembles this.