I ended up getting my copy of SimCity on Thursday, and I’ve had some time to play it, so I’m now ready to review. And, let’s just get this straight with EA:
I’m dissapointed. They made this game look like so much more than it actually was, along with ruining the experience with its newly famous server problems.
First of all, you remember all of the DRM I talked about in Wednesday’s post? Well, it went wrong but for completely different reasons.
The required internet connection and massive demand caused the servers to overload massively. They started off with nine servers, and have now gone up to twenty – but it’s still not enough. Starting at around 7 or 8 pm CET, American and Canadian players are home from school/work, European players are playing their evening away, and Japanese and Australian players have just woken up and are playing some before heading off to school/work. Even after the huge launch demand is down, I can guarantee that the servers will still be overloaded.
The servers are not only overloaded, but they don’t syncronize, they’re not stable, and they are sometimes even unaccessible even though they are “available”.
Once you finally manage to get in to the game, you’ll realize that you can’t join a public region. For some reason, EA has decided that you can only view the most popular region, which is already full. So then you’ll have to start your own, which won’t get popular unless you have tons of friends with the same game, and basically means you’re on your own – which is HARD. EA has marketed this game towards an impressive multiplayer experience, but that experience isn’t there if you can’t get anyone to join you.
When you’ve got over this, you will find that the game is nothing like it was advertised. It has worse gameplay than SimCity 4, worse graphics than Cities XL, and after a while, you’ll be sitting there thinking about why you didn’t play one of THOSE games instead.
This game gets a 4/10 from me. If you’re really going to buy this game, wait until EA have fixed the problems, and if your poor soul has already bought it, EA will offer a free game on Origin (yuck) to anyone that registers their game before March 18th (more information in the links). On the other hand, take into consideration that SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition is available on Steam for €10, and Cities XL 2012 is only €20.
Free game: http://www.simcity.com/en_US/blog/article/a-simcity-update-and-something-for-your-trouble
SimCity 4 – Deluxe Edition on Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/24780/
Cities XL 2012 – http://eu-focushop.gamesplanet.com/shop/citiesxl-platinum
EDIT: I’d just like to say, if Maxis was independent again, it would probably have been a great game, but EA comes along and ruins it all.