Well, OK, maybe fear a little. The news that SimCity‘s massive metropolises have gone down a couple belt sizes didn’t exactly sit well with longtime fans, but Maxis does have plans to do something about it. Eventually. At this point, it’s all in the cold, soon-to-be-cybernetic hands of technology, because ultimately, SimCity’s casting its net wide. You and I might have the hardware to handle a sprawling, nicely detailed building forest, but others aren’t so fortunate.
Creative director Ocean “Best Name In Games” Quigley explained the situation to IncGamers:
“We need to keep in mind that Sim City is a mainstream game, it’s not a game that is only going to run on high-end gaming PCs, it has to run in your Dad’s PC as well. That is just a performance decision. Given that was the performance constraint we decided to work under, we built a larger region environment and a bunch of the multiplay to work with 2km cities.”
“We’ll eventually get around to expanding the city size, but I can’t make any promises as to when.”
All told, it makes sense – although we’ll have no proof for our pudding until the game’s final version launches and we can see how it performs on lower-range machines. But still, I can’t fault the intention, given that any game with the proper noun “Sim” attached is destined to spread like a brightly colored, gibberish-spewing plague.
It’s a shame, though, that we can’t just have some kind of unlocked mode that’d remove the limits for those with properly hefty hardware. But then, that’d unbalance the scales of online multiplayer, which part of me would like to declare yet another needless consequence of constant connection requirements. That said, having not played the full game, it’s tough to say for sure. Plus, Cara came away with relatively positive impressions of the resulting focus on regions and specialization of cities. So I’ll reserve judgment for now – in spite of the fact that not judging everything constantly is the hardest thing in the world for me.