Posts Tagged ‘SimCity’

A Load Of Hot Air: SimCity’s Airships DLC

Oh, SimCity. Its launch was far from smooth and yet the powers that be now believe it would be wise to unmoor a series of airships, allowing them to drift into the skies above the game’s colourful sort-of-simulated neighbourhoods. The blimps and balloons cost $8.99, which seems expensive, but at least they don’t have giant adverts printed on the side. I must admit, I was concerned that SimCity might receive a series of pricey add-ons that actually improved the game, making its meager municipal offering rather more sinister, an intentionally hobbled creation awaiting a costly cure-all. In a way, this gust of hot air is preferable. Video below!

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The Power Of Silence: Why The SimCity Story Went Away

Why has the SimCity story gone away? It’s a good question. And the answer for it reveals much about how both the games industry, and the games journalism industry, work.

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Maybe SimCity’s Balance-Breaking Ad DLC Isn’t All Bad

I did not, however, say it isn't mostly bad.

Good news! SimCity‘s gotten a potentially substantial piece of DLC, and it’s totally free. Bad news! It’s a gigantic ad for car company Nissan. Worse news! Its in-game functionality seems to make your city planning decisionsĀ even lessĀ consequential than before, which is quite a feat. Worst news! SimCity isn’t a very good game at all, even with its online issues mostly cleared up. Contrary opinion! This is one seemingly asinine move I think we should only partially leap down EA’s throat for. So maybe, like, just put in one leg. And do it kind of gently. Avoid the teeth, if you can.

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Wot I Think: SimCity

None of these days, all of this will be yours

We’ve had quite a lot to say about SimCity but I haven’t told you wot I think yet. I posted my initial impressions two weeks ago, feeling like I’d only just scratched the surface. I’ve been scratching away since then, off and on, and now I’m ready to tell you what lies beneath.

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A Sorry Tale: EA Offering SimCity 4 To SimCity 5 Buyers!

EA wants to say “sooorweeeee”. For pretending the game had to be online for server computations, and then ignoring us when we pointed out this wasn’t the case? No, not because of that! But for launching SimCity in the most extraordinarily inept fashion, with barely functioning servers, massive queues, frequent crashes, and the rest of the mess everyone in the whole world except EA and that one reviews editor predicted would happen. To make this up to everyone who’s activated a copy of the game, and rather madly to people who buy one any time up to the 25th March, there is a free game available. And they’re proper good ones, too. One of them is a rather fine city building game, called SimCity 4.

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SimCity Modder Tells Us Offline Regional Play Easily Done

A key moment in the week’s SimCity shenanigans was unquestionably the appearance of a video from a modder, Azzer, announcing he’d found a way to remove the game’s offline timer. The final nail in the ridiculous-claims coffin, this mod demonstrated that everything but the asynchronous multiplayer was running on your home machine. We got in touch with the man behind the mod, one Azzer, and he had a lot more to say. In his opinion, the information coming from the servers is so rudimentary that despite Maxis’s claims, there shouldn’t be any problem at all in simulating the regional play offline.

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SimCity Boss’s “Straight Answers” Seem Pretty Wiggly

GET IT?

What Maxis are doing is frankly peculiar. Earlier this week we posted a story revealing that claims that SimCity required online servers to run non-regional computations were not the case. That night we were promised a statement from the studio, but heard nothing. Repeated emails to EA have resulted in no response since, and the whole situation has become more muddy with each day. It’s since been revealed that population numbers are nonsense, even down to leaked Javascript code featuring “simcity.GetFudgedPopulation” as a function. We’ve learned that city size limits are arbitrary, pathfinding is rudimentary at best, and Eurogamer’s absolutely superb review lists many more bugs, broken features, disappearing pretend-money and never-arriving resources.

So it’s all the more odd to see Maxis head Lucy Bradshaw acting as if none of this is happening, and instead just carefully rewording her mantra of how SimCity is only supposed to be played online, but this time leaving out the bit about server-side computations for local play.

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