It was rumored for the better part of a couple of weeks, and finally found itself revealed last night at one of the more tweeted-about press events in recallable memory (and not because of the game, mind you). Yes folks, there really is a new SimCity game coming from Maxis, and yes, we have details.
Intriguingly, most of those details came not from last night's event--where apparently the games press was treated to a brief announcement of the game, followed by hours of aggressively altruistic gibberish from An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim and Twitter co-founder Biz Stone (yes, that's his real name) for no discernible reason--but rather by an EA Origin page for the game that just happens to reveal a bunch of stuff you'd typically reserve for, you know, press conferences about video games.
Regardless of the method of delivery, the information is out there, and is also pretty out-there. While the idea of multiplayer in this newest SimCity has been mentioned previously, the scope of that multiplayer hadn't previously been revealed. According to the Origin page, up to 16 players will be able to build their cities within the scope of what Maxis refers to as "Social Flow." The Social Flow methodology is designed to make the development of players' cities have an affect on other players' metropolises. Purportedly your decision-making, as well as how you manage your resources and develop technology, will have great impact on the overlying world around you--or, presumably at least, the up to 15 other cities around you.
The idea of individual Sims being in the game, and communicable to the player, was acknowledged at last night's event, as was the notion of special downloadable content involving a superhero named Maxis Man, and his arch rival, the Evil Dr. Vu. According to the Origin page, content pertaining to these super-Sims--namely, both their lairs--will be included in both the retail Limited and Digital Deluxe editions of the game.
The remaining details mostly pertain to that Digital Deluxe edition, which evidently features a number of pieces of exclusive content that EA will probably just release as paid DLC somewhere down the line anyway. In EA's own words:
As well as all the great content in the Limited Edition, the Digital Deluxe includes three European City packs. Recreate European inspired neighborhoods in the center of your city! Place world renowned landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Brandenburg Gate or Big Ben to help your tourism business in your city. Receive exclusive missions, complete unique achievements and earn big bucks as waves of Sims visit the landmarks. Watch as the businesses, homes and vehicles around your landmarks start to take on the flavor, style, and architecture of those countries.
- Signature Landmarks: Be the envy of your region by placing exclusive landmarks to give your city district a fresh new look. Sims will visit your city to see the beautiful wonders.
- Change in the Streets: Watch the streets, homes, businesses, and vehicles around your landmarks start to take on the flavor of those countries.
- More Ploppables: Move your Sims in style with new transportation ploppables. Double Decker buses from London, High-Speed Rail from Germany, and police and fire services from Paris.
Hell of a thing, all of that.
The Origin page also includes details like system specs and whatnot, so it's worth taking a trip over there if you want to make sure your PC will run this damn thing. As for the information itself, it certainly does give one the impression that this SimCity will be fairly ambitious. I just can't help but hope that large swaths of that ambition won't be broken up into microtransactions, as EA is so often wont to do these days.