The classic strategy game SimCity is back with incredible graphics and some fresh gameplay ideas. As Mayor of your own city, you'll choose how it develops, building residential and industrial areas, and providing your residents with everything they need to help your city thrive.
Single or multiplayer?
When you start a game, you can join a populated region, which will have other online players, or to start a fresh region yourself. Cities are limited in size, and SimCity works best when you have multiple cities that cooperate and specialize.
Whether you prefer to play alone or with others, it's enjoyable, but it's clearly designed more with multiplayer in mind. You cannot play without being connected to EA's servers, and while we expect early reliability problems to be resolved, never being able to play offline is a shame.
Playing the game
SimCity's interface is excellent. A beautifully designed thing that lets you do everything, while allowing you to enjoy the impressive views of your creation. The amount of information and detail available is incredible, and really gives your city the feeling of being alive.
You can learn about every individual resident's wishes and concerns, and pull up statistics on pretty much anything about the development of your city. You can also check out neighbors to see how they might complement you or offer you services.
Graphics and sound
The graphics cannot be faulted. SimCity just looks great, and the filters you can add mean you can make the game look the way you want. When you're zoomed in, the detail and animation is great, and even each resident seems to have somewhat of a personality. Everything is accompanied by pleasant background music and ambient effects.
SimCity is an excellent and very impressive game. But it's not quite the same as it used to be. This SimCity thrives in multiplayer games, and whether you enjoy that will dictate to an extent how much you like the game.
The teething problems with servers won't last, but even reliable servers won't allow you to play the game on your laptop away from an internet connection.