Preview – SIM CITY


Preview – SIM CITY
SIM-pli-CITY itself
It’s to be expected at an event showcasing EA’s upcoming titles. But it quickly developed into the day’s dominant theme....
Bret Berry, of legendary video game maker people Maxis, prefaced his presentation of next year’s SIM CITY by stressing the fact it was an early build.

This did not shock.

In addition, however, Berry explained that it was not the finalised UI.
Also, the graphics will probably change.
And the same deal applied to features, units, bugs and pretty much everything else we were shown.

So to be fair, it could be argued that I didn’t ACTUALLY witness a tech demo for the hotly anticipated SIM CITY 2013, especially when so much stands to change. But this line of reasoning leads to a metaphysical cul-de-sac so I’m going to abandon it here.

I will say this: Here’s hoping Maxis don’t tinker about too much. Because whatever the hell I did see,
it were Freakin’ Awesome!!!

I’ve never actually played SIM CITY. Too interested was I in their destruction, to care about the altruistic construction of virtual cities. That said I’m hardly unfamiliar with the premise. It would be some impressive feat of ignorance to observe the industry, even from its peripherals, and remain insensitive to the influence of Maxis’ 1989 debut!

Still, my latent inexperience with the series left me wholly vulnerable. Inside of thirty seconds, I was reeling.
Primarily because SIM CITY looks astonishing.

Every facet of the expanding urban sprawl onscreen was rendered with gloriously detailed animation, positioned and improved with a tactile, intuitive interface and resulted in ramifications and repercussions destined to reverberate not just across the player’s utopia, but in wider society ofMaxis’ networked cities.
If your city is tranquil, You Are Playing A Different Game!
If your city is tranquil, You Are Playing A Different Game!Enlarge Enlarge

Challenges are inestimable for the servant/mayor/fürher of any simulated city. Some of them are preventable via intelligent resource management i.e. residents could protest over availability of power, unemployment and standard of living. Meanwhile certain, less predictable civic trials can arise i.e. invading pyromaniacs aren’t shy of setting tall buildings alight.

Regardless, some a well placed emergency services, curving access routes and a series of conjoined tower masts and power cables should see said crises averted.
Devil in the Detail. A single city could boast hundreds of similar structures
Devil in the Detail. A single city could boast hundreds of similar structuresEnlarge Enlarge

Besides, it’s not all doom and gloom. SIM CITY is a happy place, dammit!

Berry alluded to progressing social goals such as the search for renewable, clean energy, the construction of tourism attractions like the Godzilla Museum or a Truckosaurus Derby (can’t really call yourself a cultural hub without one...) and he even hinted at the possibility of a space race!

Being honest, I’m too intimidated by SIM CITY to actually play it. I’m a veteran of Demon’s Souls and Devil May Cry 3 but the prospect of managing so many interconnected gizmos terrifies both my face and, of course, my brain.

That said I would happily watch an experienced player go about their civic duty, constructing hospitals, managing traffic flow, phasing out fossil fuels and co-operating with neighbouring cities. Forget Journey (actually don’t, it’s pretty good!) the bustle of hundreds of individual animations going about their lives on a grand scale is one of the most hypnotically relaxing sights I’ve yet experienced!

Despite being a relatively brief demonstration and not featuring underside grenade launchers, breeching options, plasma rifles or enchanted pitchforks, SIM CITY was THE title of the showcase.

It’s just a shame I don’t own a decent rig.
Still, I have about 12 months to save for one before SIM CITY hits shelves in 2013.

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