Simcity takes the scope of previous games and both scales it back and expands upon it at the same time. Individual cities are scaled back in that they can't be nearly as large as in previous games. The reasons for doing this stem from the game's GlassBox engine, which is said to visually represent every element that makes up your city. As an example, each Sim within your city will be visible walking around, going to work, driving to school, heading home, etc. This even allows you to view the individual wants and desires of each Sim in your city. Because of the amount of data that is visually represented within the game, the size of any one city had to be made smaller so that the game could be made available to the largest range of computers.
One of its primary additions to the franchise is the notion of "Social Flow", or the ability of your city to impact other cities surrounding it in what's called a region. Each region can have up to 16 cities within it, with the player being able to dictate if (s)he controls each city plot themselves, opens it up to a friends or allows anyone on the internet to be able to build in the region. This can lead to both positive and negative effects. For example, a player can create an entirely industrial city that provides jobs for people living in another nearby city, but pollution from the industrial city may also make it's way to that same residential neighborhood. The game also allows the sharing of resources between cities, letting players sell everything from electricity to coal to garbage to other cities within a region. Each region has one region wide project that multiple cities can contribute money and resources to completing. Cities can also be abandoned, opening them up to other players to attempt to resurrect.
Similar to the editing in Spore, individual buildings can be upgraded and modified in a modular manner. If you build say a coal power plant, rather than just placing two plants next to each other you can instead add extra smokestacks to an existing plant, increasing it's capacity. This even applied to utilities such as police and fire stations, which can be made more effective through upgrades.
All cities and regions within SimCities are saved on EA's central servers, requiring an Internet connection and authentication through the Origin client before a person can play the game. This not only servers as a DRM scheme, but also allows players to interact with not only other cities in real time, but a larger global market for buying and selling resources. The game can be run in sandbox mode to allow players more freedom to create whatever they want, but it will limit them from interacting with other cities and the global economy.
A Digital Deluxe Edition is available only through Origin, which will include the ability to create European inspired buildings and landmarks. These buildings will affect how Sims act around their neighborhood, adopting customs and other intricacies native to that culture.
A Limited Edition of the game will be given to everyone who pre-orders, adding the Heroes & Villains pack to the game.
It is widely rumored, from instructional manuals provided with the beta, that Electronic Arts will be offering DLC after the game launches. Any information about what type of DLC will be made available is still speculation.
Closed BetaRoad can go anywhere you like.
SimCity accepted beta applications from August 2012 up until when it the first closed beta ran on the weekend of January 26-27, 2013. A second closed beta ran from February 16, for 24-hours. The closed beta was betas were limited to one hour play sessions, and cities could not be saved.
Access to the beta can be granted by pre-ordering the game via EA's Origin game store.
PC minimum system requirements
- OS: Windows XP / Windows Vista / Windows 7
- Processor: Intel 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo / AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+
- Memory: 2GB
- Graphics: 512MB video card with nVidia 7800, Radeon HD 2x00, or Intel Series 4
- Hard Drive: 10GB
PC recommended specifications
- Processor: Intel Core i5 or better
- OS: Windows 7
- RAM: 4GB or higher
- Graphics: nVidia GTX 275 or better, or ATI 5850 or Better
Mac minimum system requirements
- OS: Mac OS X 10.6.4
- Processor: Intel 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo
- Memory: 2GB
- Graphics: Intel HD3000 or nVidia 9400M
- Hard Drive: 10GB