Building a better tomorrow
SimCity 2013 came up in last week’s Reset Transmission episode, and after an almost-obnoxious amount of whining on Twitter, someone graciously took pity and provided me with a beta code. I’d never played a SimCity game before but I just knew that it was something that would appeal to me, especially after being Aenne Schumann’s backseat driver while she played it at PAX Prime 2012.
I was always fond of games like Age of Empires where you could build up your city, advance, and conquer. Although I could do without the conquering bit. I also enjoyed all of the The Sims games. I’d often spend hours designing the houses before even getting my Sims moved in. There’s just something strangely addicting about having total control of people and micromanaging cities.
SimCity is ridiculously fun. I took advantage of the tutorial, feeling like the game was a little too complex for me to wing it (as I’d advised Aenne to do at PAX), and then went on from there. My first beta playthrough started off a little shaky, accidentally trying to attach a road to the railway tracks rather than the highway. By the end of my first hour the city was very much on fire and unfortunately I didn’t have the funds to build a fire department.
By my fourth playthrough, I finally had the hang of it. My city was thriving and I couldn’t do much more in terms of upgrading. The beta was limited in that sense and it was a little maddening. It was just enough to give me a really good taste but left me wanting more. The possibilities!
While I stuck to a very symmetrical and rectangle-based layout, I was inspired and wowed by some of the designs I saw being tweeted by others. Other aspects that I look forward to exploring are city-specialization, multicity play with and without friends, and unlocking more ploppables! Being able to connect and collaborate or compete with others will definitely be interesting and will bring a new dynamic to the simulation game model.
To say that SimCity is addicting is an understatement. There are very few games that I can sit down and play all day. I’d usually have to call it quits at the three hour mark. After supper on Friday night I dove right in and didn’t come up for air until my body was begging me to sleep. After shutting it all down I was shocked to see that it was well past midnight.
I dropped an easy 10 hours into the beta over the course of the weekend. Will I preorder this title? Absolutely. The question is which edition to get. The Limited Edition comes with something called the Heroes and Villains set, while the Digital Deluxe Editions comes with that plus French, German, and British sets. It’s really annoying that it’s $20 more just to get some city theme sets but said sets are very tempting for added style, transportation, and services that are supposedly included. I’m sure once the game is released we’ll have many more extras and DLC to look forward to as well.