To many fans of the original city building simulation series, the idea of an online multiplayer game that required even solo players to be connected to the internet at all times seemed like a recipe for disaster. Maxis' latest creation is easily the most compelling SimCity I've played since the 1989 original.
It's also a disaster.
The weekend before the game's March 5 launch, I had a chance to experience SimCity the way everyone is supposed to be experiencing it right now. The handful of press participating barely put a dent on the special servers EA set up for the event. The game played (for the most part) flawlessly, giving early reviewers an exquisite taste of the collaborative multiplayer that defines the release. I saw what the developers no doubt wanted every player to see post-launch — a new SimCity capable of bringing together people from across the planet to strive towards a common goal. It was glorious.
SimCity is a total reboot of the franchise and goes back to its roots as a true city-building simulator. There are several new gameplay elements, such as finite resources and upgradeable buildings, and Maxis promises to simulate everything you see, from the individual cars on the road to citizens facing everyday challenges.
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