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A Whole New: SimCity World (Also, Beta!)

You may not have heard, but SimCity's making a big, connection-required-on-start-up play for online, er, play. That said, I doubt the decision was made entirely by a roundtable of cackling men in suits who meet in dark rooms and refer to themselves as "The Council." There is, in other words, a method to the madness - almost as though it's being guided by some omniscient presence that has a disturbing amount of trouble preventing tornadoes and wildfires from ravaging entire metroplexes. But what exactly are we getting for our trouble? Well, it's called SimCity World, and EA's dropped a video of the basics in action. Build a (curved!) road past the break to see for yourself.

A post on Maxis' blog, meanwhile, outlines SimCity World's central goal as follows:

"Whether it’s competing or collaborating in Global Challenges, checking your spot on the leaderboard, buying/selling resources in the Global Market, or keeping tabs on what your friends are up to with CityLog, SimCity World really pops the notion of isolated cities living in a bubble."

So it seems like a fairly basic setup, but it'll be interesting to see what kind of ripple effect global economies and city partnerships will have on, well, everyone. And now, a sidenote: dear publishers, please don't give us a nearly 50/50 time split of gameplay footage and giant "PRE-ORDER NOW" screens in your videos. It makes me want to break things.

Anyway, back on topic: You can now register for SimCity's upcoming-ish closed beta. The mayoral monolith will lumber into town in February, so you can expect it sometime slightly before then. Well, unless this is some strange reverse beta - in which case all bets are off, and I'm going to go live in a bunker under a mountain until the coast is clear again.

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