I got a bad feeling about this game.

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#51 Posted by Jimbo (10460 posts) -

Waiting and seeing on this one. I don't buy games with half the content missing at launch, and £65 ($100) is a lot to ask for the complete version. That's ~3 times the price I'm used to paying for brand new PC games.

I'd still pay it if the game warranted it, but it'll need to be a lot of game to justify £65.

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#52 Posted by spiralcut (140 posts) -

Ok, just to alleviate some of the terrible rumors and opinions about this game. All of my information is from (a) the designers of the games themselves, taken from the interviews posted on Gamespot, and (b) the dev comments made about the background systems involved in the Glassbox engine.

City Size; The one fundamental reason that they decided on the city size cap is that this game, unlike all other past SimCity titles, simulates every citizen of your city continuously. This means that they go home, commute, work, and play in a simulated fashion. What that means is that instead of cars magically appearing at intersections to show congestion (as in past titles), you can track the cars as they drive throughout the city without them magically despawning (until they get to their destination).

Now, where past SimCity titles have made extensive use of size and scale, this version is significantly deeper. The whole concept of specializations and inter-region play is meant to simulate your average metro area. Where I live, D.C. metro area, there are over a dozen municipalities within a one hour drive, each with their specific industries, facilities, and management. Even the largest cities in America are rarely above 200 sq miles (NYC is 303) and that one is actually five separate municipalities incorporated into one consolidated city. The only major criticism left then would be the arbitrary square boundaries which are mostly due to limitations of the engine.

Simulation Depth; Expanding on the above concept, the team wanted to make your independent cities feel distinct, while maintaining regional cohesiveness and keep the whole thing entertaining. Because Jeff chose not to beautify his city, he put a ceiling on the overall quality of the residents who would move in. This point was elaborated in his second city, where he couldn't understand why placing beautification and entertainment suddenly made people like living there. You can make a crappy coal mining town with low tax rates that encourages poorer Sims to move in, while exporting that coal to more luxurious towns with massive technology and parks. Just go watch some of EA's videos and let them coach you through the diverse ways you can change your city. Most of these factors are not hidden, but rather simply kept under the hood, accesible from a few quick mouse clicks.

Future Expansion/Modding; EA has already announced that there will be extensive mod support for this game, just not at launch. I suppose this is something that one could be critical about, but hey, they have a vision of their product and deserve to let the consumers speak with their wallets about what they desire. If you are complaining about the size size, then build a mod for it. It's that simple. I imagine the average user will simply take what they are given and never change a thing, but there are always the idiosyncratic gamers, which I imagine are represented in higher than average numbers on GiantBomb.

Seriously duders, just give this thing a shot. At the very worst, you get a reminder that your childhood was way better than the kids these days (and you get to complain like your grandpa). On the flipside, at the very best you get one of the best simulations likely to grace the market for a long time to come.

Cheers.

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#53 Posted by RollingZeppelin (2429 posts) -

I'm cautiously optimistic about this game. I've known that the city sizes were gonna be small for a while now, I'm hoping the region play will make up for that.

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#54 Edited by Funkydupe (3603 posts) -

How many minutes of actual game time do you spend on tracking a car to its destination? Once? Twice? I appreciate that it is in the game. But a city creation and management game should be focusing on the macro aspects, and not so much the micro.

I feel that the game should have depth as well as size. Adding different of layers of micro analysis, but at the high cost of reduced city sizes sounds bad for a city building game. I want to zoom out and look at my city and say I built that metropolis. It is going to take a serious upgrade to get from the size we saw today, to something looking like a major city.

Can players really fit 1 million sims in the space we're given? Was this process fun, or did it just amount to tedious work trying to find ways to compromise your own creativity/city design to gain more high value buildings? So pretty much every city that wants a high population needs to do the same moves? That was my impression when Jeff talked during the visit to Alex' city.

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#55 Posted by spiralcut (140 posts) -

@funkydupe:

How many minutes of actual game time do you spend on tracking a car to its destination? Once? Twice?

Myself? I only spend about half my time actually building my city on a macro level. The rest of the time I am at speeds 1 or 2 at the street level, watching how my Sims interact. But along with that, you can spot fundamental problems in your city from the street view that you just don't see from the macro level. I think it adds to the immersion of the game. And yes, that does sound terribly picky, but it's still a Sims game. Who doesn't just like to watch what happens as you play God?

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#56 Edited by Sanity (2143 posts) -

@funkydupe said:

How many minutes of actual game time do you spend on tracking a car to its destination? Once? Twice? I appreciate that it is in the game. But a city creation and management game should be focusing on the macro aspects, and not so much the micro.

I feel that the game should have depth as well as size. Adding different of layers of micro analysis, but at the high cost of reduced city sizes sounds bad for a city building game. I want to zoom out and look at my city and say I built that metropolis. It is going to take a serious upgrade to get from the size we saw today, to something looking like a major city.

Can players really fit 1 million sims in the space we're given? Was this process fun, or did it just amount to tedious work trying to find ways to compromise your own creativity/city design to gain more high value buildings? So pretty much every city that wants a high population needs to do the same moves? That was my impression when Jeff talked during the visit to Alex' city.

I agree somewhat but i also think its cool that every citizen actually exists in my city and there not just a product of a background calculation saying theirs x amount that live here. Personally i wont grid every city the same way like jeff was talking about as that not really fun, Jeff tends min-max games without getting too creative and thats one way to play but i dont think your tied to playing like that either. I hope to god they can improve city size soon but i think theres enough here to justify a purchase, its got issues but its still fun is what Jeff basically said. I think it will get 4 stars in the review still and keep improving as they year goes on.

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#59 Posted by KaosAngel (14251 posts) -

@donpixel: These same dumbasses bitch and moan when a game sucks. No shit, you fucking bought it without waiting for what the retail is like. Shit, you wonder why EA and other companies do the shit they do, it's because dumbasses still buy.

How hard is it to wait for Steam or Amazon sales?

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#60 Edited by Funkydupe (3603 posts) -

@spiralcut: It is neat, but at the cost of city size... I don't know man. If they could get all of this running in a bigger format that'd really help. The way some lots in regions have mountains you can't build anything on, or water that limits your building space even further, isn't cool either. Terra forming is a cool "Godly" ability stripped from us because of this new and fantastic engine.

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#61 Edited by Daveyo520 (7733 posts) -
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#62 Edited by KaosAngel (14251 posts) -
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#63 Posted by Daveyo520 (7733 posts) -
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#64 Posted by Nictel (2695 posts) -

I'll get this at this years Steam Christmas sale.

Yes I know it is only on Origin.

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#65 Posted by Zeg (163 posts) -

It's all well and good to say they couldn't make bigger maps because of all that simulating going on, but when you zoom in and track vehicles, isn't the first thing you notice that... they're still pretty dumb?

I mean, constant U-turns, maybe that's an acceptable simplification. But when a garbage truck or fire engine just seems to randomly turn off and go on a tour of some city blocks for no apparent reason, rather than going straight to the rubbish/fire, then I start to question just how good a simulation this even is. Also, last I saw in beta 2, emergency vehicles still seemed to get stuck in traffic or at lights... that one maybe is not so acceptable as a simplification.

Probably, I'm not at all representative of how people will look at this game. Back in the Sim City 4 expansion, the route query tool that actually showed you the path people were travelling to work was my doom. Because once you got that, you realised the routing in that game was also real dumb. It was all 'as the crow flies' nearest road selection, even when one block over from the traffic filled residential road there was a highway going parallel directly to their destination.

I did do a brief experiment in the beta, to try and see if that specific problem still existed, but I couldn't tell. Partially because I don't think I had enough population at the time to really get traffic jams, and partially because the traffic overlay is real time... which is a whole other problem, one which I specifically sent feedback on. Like, a 'last 24 hours' traffic overlay guys, come on.

Sooo... yeah. That's some random, maybe not so relevant thoughts on Sim City I guess. I'm going to play the new one for sure, and I'm totally prepared for it to just be 'alright'. I'd say I would hope for it to lead to a better Sim City 2(...), but just by them calling it 'Sim City', it makes me feel like its just Maxis saying 'EA are only going to let us do this one more time'.

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#66 Posted by Ben_H (3894 posts) -

I was actually going to preorder this but I also got a bad feeling and thought maybe I should wait for reviews. In the mean time I am playing Simcity 2000 on my Mac thanks to GOG and wow is this game amazing. I loved it as a kid.

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#67 Posted by Spankmealotus (321 posts) -

I've cancelled my pre-order on amazon today (they gave me 10 bucks off.) I'll wait and see how the launch goes and what people are saying about it after more than 1-3 hours of play time with it. I was super excited for it, but it seems to be getting a lot of middling reactions from people, and that is just the game itself and not EA's business bullshit they do to all of their games. If they do the microtransaction stuff like they do in The Sims 3 I'd be okay with that because I got more than enough enjoyment from that game without feeling like the stuff they were selling was withheld from the game.

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#68 Posted by Deathpooky (1679 posts) -

Had my misgivings and was holding off, but the Quick Look convinced me to completely pass on this. The city size is just crippling, and the region concept doesn't fix that. Popping out to a region and pretending a region is a big "city" is not the same thing. I want to make a big city, not pop in and out of 16 different towns and try to get them to interact in the right way or trade residents/resources. And I really don't want to do that with other people.

If the intensive simulation (which we can barely see when playing from on high) created the tiny towns, they should have fundamentally rethought their design, or reduced the simulation processing. The simulation still appears pretty stupid, no matter how granular it is, and it's not like micro-simulation is all that important to a player trying to manage a city of hundreds of thousands or millions.

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#69 Posted by Sackmanjones (5397 posts) -

I bet it's pretty good. I had to pre-order to get it for a mere 26 bucks. Soo ya know what, if its only mediocre it was only 26 bucks. If its amazing then fuck ya I got it for 26 bucks!

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#70 Posted by KaosAngel (14251 posts) -
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#71 Posted by Skytylz (4129 posts) -

@rolyatkcinmai: I personally think some of their microtranactions have been pretty bad so far and it sounds like they even held buildings back in Sim City. Concerning Origin, I haven't used it since I had to reinstall Battlefield 3 everytime I wanted to play it if it hadn't been launched in a week or two!

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#72 Edited by djou (895 posts) -

@bibamatt@mosdl: I know that the road density controls the RCI density and that its theoretically possible to go over a million, but from all the cities I've seen built reviewers seem have a problem surpassing 250,000. Check out Jeff's city in the QL. He was "done" at 240,000 population. Most seem stuck at this level unable to rework their grid to accommodate for the high density road. I'm worried that this is poor game design.

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#73 Posted by kishinfoulux (3181 posts) -

@kaosangel said:

Winner winner chicken dinner. People bitch about D3 but sales don't lie. Consumers want it, 12 million units don't lie.

That was on the good faith of Diablo 2, and hype behind Diablo 3. I think the real question is, can they do it again after shipping this one? Diablo 3 for all intents and purposes was a solid game. But, I don't think it's what a lot of people came to expect. Either they were too attached to Diablo 2..or weren't prepared for the monotonous grind this game had to offer.

I don't think it's fair to say the game was successful because it sold a shitload of copies. I can take a shit in a box, and write Half Life 3 on it. And it'll fuckin' sell 15-30million.

I saw plenty of people trashing Diablo III during the beta. There was plenty of time and indication to see how the game would turn out and it STILL sold that much. The hilarious part is most of these people have pumped 100 hours into the game that they supposedly "hate".

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#74 Posted by mosdl (3422 posts) -

@djou said:

@bibamatt@mosdl: I know that the road density controls the RCI density and that its theoretically possible to go over a million, but from all the cities I've seen built reviewers seem have a problem surpassing 250,000. Check out Jeff's city in the QL. He was "done" at 240,000 population. Most seem stuck at this level unable to rework their grid to accommodate for the high density road. I'm worried that this is poor game design.

Perhaps it is poor design or more likely it requires better planning? Too early to tell but I have to wonder if better planning and slower growth are key. Growing too fast might be bad for the city due to the smaller buildable area. The more area you have the easier it is to compensate for earlier mistakes.

If the game requires learning from your mistakes to get past 250k then that isn't a bad thing, its what strategy games have always been. However, if its really a design issue and there is only one way to get past (basically you have to follow a rigid build order) 250k then yes the game should be panned.

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#75 Edited by Reisz (1621 posts) -

@subyman said:

Its not only the city size that kills it for me, but the unnatural square box that my city must reside in. Even if the shape was the same area but more organic I think it would not look so arbitrarily limiting. Jeff's huge city tightly packed into a tiny box with open fields all around looks idiotic.

I'm feeling that way too,I haven't played anything like Sim City for so long I've been looking forward to checking it out, but after that quick look, coming from a purely visual standpoint I just can't get into it. If you get rid of that dotted line around your city nothing about the appearance of the land tells me I can't build on the other hundred acres surrounding it. I know that the region style of multiplayer they designed requires a huge expanse to accommodate multiple cities but if the cities themselves are so limited, why not make each region a series of oddly shaped large islands or something? Anything to break up the rigidity would look better. Even if aesthetically the borders of the cities kind of blended out into just nondescript suburbia or something, beyond the playable "city limits". I don't know man the whole thing looks jarring to me, kind of a bummer.

Especially when you can get this for $20

No Caption Provided

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#76 Edited by Sackmanjones (5397 posts) -

@kaosangel: I used toe promotional code on amazon for 15 dollars off and then found out I also had an extra 20 dollars of amazon credit just layin around.

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#77 Edited by Wonloong (407 posts) -

@skytylz said:

It's pretty disgusting what EA has been doing with micro transactions in their games lately. I agree that a lot of the things they've said about Simcity could definitely hurt the quality of the game. It's like they don't understand that mobile games and facebook games do micro transactions because they're free. I'm paying 60 fucking dollars for this thing, I better get all the content! It requiring Origin doesn't help either.

But what about games like Guild Wars 2, an MMO that you have to purchase a copy, but free of any subscription model in place with a micro-transaction one? Does that model work for only MMOs and not other genres?

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#78 Posted by itspizza (470 posts) -

@reisz said:

@subyman said:

Its not only the city size that kills it for me, but the unnatural square box that my city must reside in. Even if the shape was the same area but more organic I think it would not look so arbitrarily limiting. Jeff's huge city tightly packed into a tiny box with open fields all around looks idiotic.

I'm feeling that way too,I haven't played anything like Sim City for so long I've been looking forward to checking it out, but after that quick look, coming from a purely visual standpoint I just can't get into it. If you get rid of that dotted line around your city nothing about the appearance of the land tells me I can't build on the other hundred acres surrounding it. I know that the region style of multiplayer they designed requires a huge expanse to accommodate multiple cities but if the cities themselves are so limited, why not make each region a series of oddly shaped large islands or something? Anything to break up the rigidity would look better. Even if aesthetically the borders of the cities kind of blended out into just nondescript suburbia or something, beyond the playable "city limits". I don't know man the whole thing looks jarring to me, kind of a bummer.

Especially when you can get this for $20

No Caption Provided

I would not recommend cities XL 2011 to anyone, it is super janky and buggy. I tried re-installing and playing it yesterday and uninstalled it after 10 min of playing. I cannot say if 2012 is any better.

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#79 Posted by Skytylz (4129 posts) -

@wonloong: Yes and I feel that way because of the reasons you stated. For an MMO, the way things currently are, it has either micro-transactions or subscription whether you paid $50/$60 for the game or it was free. Other genres are different because I was never going to have to pay a subscription for SimCity. I feel, for non-MMOs, a game is either monetized through an initial purchase or micro-transactions and it shouldn't be both. Video games would kinda suck if I never felt like I was getting the full experience when I paid $60 for a game unless I shelled out a bunch of money for micro-transactions.

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