Game of the show for me, folks. Game. Of. Show. SimCity is next in line for the series and it’s been five years since the last PC game. It’s no secret I’m looking forward to SimCity as it’s no secret I look forward to any game that allows me an insane amount of power over a large group of people. So it was I who took over the grueling job of demoing SimCity. Ugh, what a horrible task. Nah, just kidding, it won our Best PC Game award.
I didn’t play a lot (up until the end of the tutorial, really) as I had about fifty appointments and knew I’d be there for 48 hours if I didn’t leave then. The game at the Nvidia booth was also not a completely finished build, so the bugs and glitches you would expect to see were there and will likely be gone by the time it goes gold. I’m not sure how much that changes this, but the people animations and graphics were on the ridiculous side. Again, not the final build, so that may change. But if it doesn’t, sheesh, I’m going to be spending a lot of time zoomed out.
The foundation from past iterations is still here. Your mouse is God, ready to do all your bidding. You still can decide on a city-wide scale where every building will be placed. That ultimately leaves you in the position of mayor and it’s your job to balance what people want with what will keep your city’s economy afloat. Pretty standard stuff.
You need to look at things from a logical sense, the more your population grows, the more houses you’ll need to build, the more demand for entertainment and things to do, and the more money your city can accumulate thanks to them. It all works together and you have to find that balance to make your city the best around. Everything in the end goes to satisfy the citizens and I’m happy that this time around SimCity is focusing more on the citizens individually. They have more of a say on a personal level now it seems.
I never really got into SimCity before because I felt disconnected with the inhabitants of the city I was constructing for them. How can I feel like the ultimate supreme being if no one reacts to my choices, am I right? In games like Tropico you can actually see specific wants. I like that while scrolling around my SimCity, bubbles would pop up randomly depicting a thought a citizen had. They generally would tell me how things were going. They’d let me know if there was a fire in their neighbor’s house and needed me to build a new station, whether they had any water to bathe, or even whether their poop was going anywhere.
There’s plenty you need to do to keep them satisfied and service buildings help with the most basic needs. Places like schools, fire stations, and hospitals all make returns and are available for your every customization. Choose how many buses to send out, choose how many kids to seat in a class, choose the radius around the school in which citizens can attend it, you decide it all for all of them. How well your city is doing will also evidently have an effect on surrounding cities, so that should be an interesting gameplay mechanic. I wouldn’t dare mess up my city just to see a neighbor’s covered in smog, but it’s cool that it’s a choice. And that’s the really awesome part of SimCity, the ability to make a city with all the choices you’d expect a mayor to have. Even on the micromanaging scale that makes gamers with God complexes everywhere happy.