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SimCity (2013) review

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damien c 8th April 2013, 09:54 Quote
A few friends of mine have this game and nearly all of them hate it due to the always online connection being required.

1 of my friends has had his city wiped every night for the last 2 weeks and is now at the point where he has uninstalled the game and won't be playing it again.

I was looking forward to playing this as it looked and sounded fun to play but since all of these issues have happened and the likes of cities being wiped overnight etc, I just don't think it's worth the money being asked for it and if it became a Free To Play game I probably still wouldn't play it.
will_123 8th April 2013, 10:39 Quote
Really think this game earns more than 40%. Its the first game in a while i have started and realised its like 2am before i know it! Truely addictive, with a few more patches I feel this will keep getting better. Needs a few kinks ironed out I agree with that. But 40% is very harash in my opinion. I waited a week before buying it and have not experienced any problems with servers at all. Surely the game should be judged on its content and not the problems with launch...?
Bogomip 8th April 2013, 10:42 Quote
Ill be honest, I really dont get what all the fuss was about. I bought it after I read all about the massive problems with servers and stuff (but enough time so they had been fixed). The small cities were complained about etc, forced multiplayer...

I havent had a problem at all - I picked a little place to build and made it private (nobody but me can build in bogland :)), selected a town and had fun building it up - now im working on making it higher density, more populous and so more profitable. After its denser im going to start on one of the other plots in my little area to provide more business for my sims in the first town to work at.

The always online I disagree with in principle, but in practice I have had no issues whatsoever (edit: like the guy above) - my internet IS always on. I hate EA for lying about it but everybody knows they have poor business practice anyway so no change there.

The one thing im not so happy about is the ease of it. In SC4 the first city you built in your area would be really difficult because there was nothing in the area to support you, but my first city here was actually really easy to build. It might also be nice if the blocks you can build in were a little bit closer, more like a grid, to make it more metropolis like on the map - but thats neither here nor there if the sims dont mind driving :)

40% seems very harsh if im honest for what is actually fundamentally an interesting game, and what is a more detailed simulation than previous incarnations. Its more gamey too than previous incarnations because, if you are multi-playering with yourself, like I am, then setting up your cities becomes a strategic decision - as well as what you put in them. Its just hard to see how you can justify 40% when you give some games 99% and list some issues you have with said games.
Pieface 8th April 2013, 10:59 Quote
40%?

Bit-Tech trying to jump on the bandwagon or something? Or trying to be cool and be anti-EA?
fdbh96 8th April 2013, 11:01 Quote
Took your time getting this review out...
sotu1 8th April 2013, 12:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieface
40%?

Bit-Tech trying to jump on the bandwagon or something? Or trying to be cool and be anti-EA?

EXACTLY what I was thinking....

Having played the game, my guesses are that it's currently around the 80% mark. A few bug fixes and tweaks and it's in the 90% range. Considering it'll continue to get supported with new content and updates over the next few years I can see it getting fixed, even under EA time.
blacko 8th April 2013, 12:12 Quote
can we have a rating systems for articles?
Shirty 8th April 2013, 12:17 Quote
Perhaps Mat just doesn't like it? I can't play a game requiring always on internet anyway (rural copper ftl), but the consensus seems quite mixed on this one. If you don't believe the negative reviews then buy it and play it. You might like it, you might not.

Reviews ain't gospel.
XXAOSICXX 8th April 2013, 12:38 Quote
I don't get the hate about this review and I think people are so used to seeing scores in the 80-90% brackets that they now think that anything less is unthinkable.

For a game to be 80-90% it would have to be stunning, in my opinion - a "must have" game - perfect in almost every way.

If a game is average - a bit of fun but ultimately not GREAT - it should score somewhere around the 50% mark. If it's below average, which the reviewer clearly believes it to be, then it should score less.

This all sounds very obvious, but everyone seems to think that because they've had some fun with the game it shouldn't be given any less than 80% - this is nonsense.

If the game has limited long term appeal, puts barriers in the way of the user enjoying it and is "fun, but i won't play be playing it for long" it deserves a below average score.
Silver51 8th April 2013, 12:45 Quote
And yet, I really enjoy the game. I haven't played a title to 2AM on a work night in a while.

If you're having trouble with the game not saving, avoid cheetah speed for now. From personal experience it seems to desync the game and you'll end up losing stuff.


The always on aspect; suck it up? Software in general is moving to a subscription model with clouds and Internet dependencies for 'our convenience', which is in no way a system to milk users for monies.
Roskoken 8th April 2013, 12:45 Quote
40% is still too high for this piece of ****.

**** EA.
stanonwheels 8th April 2013, 12:59 Quote
Agree with the review. My biggest gripe with the game is it feels so restrictive. Sandbox, god games should make you feel like a god, not some hapless planner in Swindon town council. No fun when the latest version of your favorite game has all the good bits stripped out and replaced with Nissan Leaf ads.
Bogomip 8th April 2013, 13:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roskoken
40% is still too high for this piece of ****.

**** EA.

Constructive, nice to see you really have a good idea of why you dislike it and well done for communicating that point so very eloquently ;)

At the end of the day - 40% is below "average" which bit-tech says is 50%. It isnt a below average game at all. There are a few design choices Maxis made that people dont agree with, such as having multiple cities for your empire as opposed to one, but dropping it a substantial amount for the bits you have pointed out doesnt make sense.

I refer now to this post I made relating to the 99% score given to CS:GO: http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p=3144076&postcount=9
Quote:
Few new maps, lack of kill cam, but still gets 99%? Seems a bit high given the lac k of new maps especially is a fairly large omission. What is better to regenerate a series after all than brand spanking new maps that new players be on level playing field with the older player?.

Two things drop down 1% from a possible 100%. CS:GO is a good game I would wager but how does it really build upon what had come before except having fancier graphics? CS was great at what it was which was part of the reason why it was so persistently played.

I guess what im saying is how do you even decide upon these scores? :S

edit: also not saying it shouldnt be a 40% if thats what you believe, I just cant fathom it :)
rollo 8th April 2013, 13:11 Quote
Having played it for a while now and completed my first 3 city plot + 1 expansion thing. Ive had alot of fun played 50hrs + now and even got a free game from EA to boot lol.

First title in a while were ive lost track of time and relised its morning then needed to go to work after been up most of the night building and planning a city.

Game has some issues but not to 40% mark. id of give it 70% personally and it will rise in time. Arma 2 had a worse launch and it scored 80% so something not entirely correct here.

Always online makes no difference to me im always on anyway. Unless you live in the middle of nowhere i dont see how an always online requirement makes alot of difference.

Starcraft 2 has a similar requirement did not see it get brought up for it. Most of the big pc sellers are online games or online only. ( WOW BF3 SC2 + heart of swarm) Thats the future people time to go console if its such a big problem. ( enough the next xbox is not available to you as its online only too)

PC piracy brought this on to legit pc gamers, Want to blame someone talk to your m8s that dont pay for games as thats whos brought this on.
Shirty 8th April 2013, 13:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogomip
I guess what im saying is how do you even decide upon these scores? :S

AFAIK Joe gave up on scores a while back before leaving games journalism altogether. Hence some pretty zany percentages. The idea being that assigning a subjective number to a game detracts from the time and effort spent writing the review in the first place.

Let's be honest most of us skip to the score first, then if that piques our interest we read the review more thoroughly. What better way to get people looking at a review and discussing it than giving a game a silly, arbitrary score?

Joe's not here any more though, and I'm sure Mat can fight his own battles. Whether he will or not remains to be seen.
DXR_13KE 8th April 2013, 13:20 Quote
IIRC pirates have already cracked this always on DRM, so... DRM is really effective at killing piracy.
Tomrh99 8th April 2013, 13:40 Quote
I think this game deserves the 40% it got. Aside from the awful DRM which cripples the game as a whole, the poor AI makes road managing and building managing really poor (they will always take the shortest road route, even if it is full of traffic). The online play is not really needed and is less fun in a lot of ways than if you had just one big city. It also apparently is not fun after about 10 hours for many people, which limits the playtime a lot compared to previous editions.
GeorgeStorm 8th April 2013, 13:43 Quote
Whilst this review doesn't make me want to play it, watching people actually play it (both IRL and on youtube) really does.
You can see the bugs etc and it's still a fun game, with a lot of potential, the worst part for me is the possibility they'll be a million DLCs making the game cost even more than it already does...
fdbh96 8th April 2013, 13:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeStorm
Whilst this review doesn't make me want to play it, watching people actually play it (both IRL and on youtube) really does.
You can see the bugs etc and it's still a fun game, with a lot of potential, the worst part for me is the possibility they'll be a million DLCs making the game cost even more than it already does...

Hopefully they'll do a bf3 type premium thing so you can pay for it up front.
GeorgeStorm 8th April 2013, 13:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by fdbh96
Hopefully they'll do a bf3 type premium thing so you can pay for it up front.

Same problem, will mean the game ends up costing waaaaaaay too much (in my opinion)
Panos 8th April 2013, 13:54 Quote
It will be cracked when they come with loading & saving city locally, without the requirement to load a city from server, while you lost all progression when you were "offline". And have multiple cities of the region communicating with each other, and load them at the same session. While offline.

Until then, the rest is bs.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


As for the review. Really disappointing. 70% maybe, 80% more likely. 90% maybe, after patch 2.0.
But 40% seems bit-tech jumped the hate bandwagon to cash in.

I bought it the week after the initial release. And after all the issues. Because two of my colleagues got it and said was fun. (I had cancelled the pre-order due to the "scaremongering" about the always online).


Now I have clocked 160 hours ( 10x more than I spent on Cities XL and as much playing SC4 back in 2004).

And as the others said, many working day "nights" went without sleep or at 2-3am. Weekends? What is Monday already? Lunch breaks on laptop, from work, with a network going through proxies at the HQ in Denmark (from England). No issue what so ever with internet connection then

The game is FUN. No boring excel spreadsheets to go through like in SC4. You have traffic issue. Is because cars physically go from A to B. It not a representation of statistics. Try to fix it.

Small maps, yes some feel small, especially the ones where half map is hill. But that can be improved.

Overall the game is awesome, and worth the money. On the contrary a game that lasts 6-7 hours like Crysis and costs the same, how's possible to get more than 10%. Because the value/time played is abysmal compared to SC (2013).
thom804 8th April 2013, 14:08 Quote
I really don't think 40% is harsh at all, rather dead on in fact.

It has potential to be great, but the overall lack of scale and always on requirement means it is mediocre at best. I count the connectivity into the score because there are an awful lot of people in the country who won't be able to play this game for varying amounts of time, and whats the point in spending £40 on a game that won't work consistently?

Add in the fact that advertising is now invading the game with the charging stations (and more to come) and it smacks of a money grab operation before the realisation that the game just isn't that good.



Also..
Quote:
Small maps, yes some feel small, especially the ones where half map is hill. But that can be improved.
It can be improved, yes. Will it be improved without a crack or paid for dlc? No. Hence downmarking for this.

Rating a game on playtime is just, well, no. Crysis doesn't have a 6-7 hour playtime. Did you just purposely ignore the inclusion of a multiplayer aspect?
Example: I played Borderlands 2 for about 4 hours singleplayer, but 130 hours in coop. Does that mean it only gets 10%?
Baz 8th April 2013, 14:12 Quote
It's the worst great game I've played in a while, and Mat hits it spot on in his conclusion. Building your city, watching it grow, is all super fun.

Then you find fire engines not responding to fires, endless traffic jams ( a bit fixed now), resource sharing that takes forvever, garbage collection that never gets all the cans of trash, conga-lines of buses/street cars, massive traffic gridlock at the single entry point to the city, no over passes, no one way streets, no subways, and so it goes on and on and on.

IMO 40% is a bit harsh, but Mat argues his case well if you look beyond just going to the score on the second page. It doesn't change the fact that this is a game I paid for, and that I think is simultaneously great and totally rubbish.
sakzzz 8th April 2013, 15:55 Quote
It did deserve better!! Like sm1 mentioned, you can loose complete track of time while playing this game. I was annoyed at the multi city format at first, but once cities are connected, workers travel to other places etc just like a real city. You cant have a casino, an oil mine, a coal mine,university in the same little city- makes sense.

Dont understand why everyone is aggravated with EA these days? They are just protecting their interests.
Lockinvar 8th April 2013, 16:48 Quote
Wow. Glad to see bit-tech standing up and telling it how it is - I agree with the article completely.

Also, what XXAOSICXX said - "... but everyone seems to think that because they've had some fun with the game it shouldn't be given any less than 80% - this is nonsense. If the game has limited long term appeal, puts barriers in the way of the user enjoying it and is "fun, but i won't play be playing it for long" it deserves a below average score."
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