We had to give it one more chance; we always said we would. What with all of the talk of Maxis finally delivering an offline mode, fixing the problems that plagued SimCity during its first few months, and finally having a game that was actually playable, we felt it was important to see whether or not, one year on from release, SimCity might actually be worth paying money for.
You can nab the game for under £20 these days, a far cry from the almost laughable digital prices EA had the gall to set at launch. The content that was missing from those early days is now fully operational -- regions now make sense, and you're only left waiting a minute or two for regional features and buildings to register rather than hours or days or weeks or, in some cases, months.
The simulation is still a little wonky in places, but GlassBox does its job more or less properly now. There'll still be the occasional oddity here and there, but Benny Hill moving vans and school buses stealing children are no longer the problems they once were.
We said this time last year that visually, GlassBox did a wonderful job, and that the UI was glorious, and that still holds true. The first few hours of SimCity are better than ever, effortlessly addictive, and brimming with charm. But then you hit the wall, and you have two options: start a new city, or wait. And wait. And wait.
Fixing bugs and ironing out creases is one thing, but the trouble with tidying up the mess means that now, more clearly than ever before, we can see just how fundamentally flawed the region system is on a conceptual level. We'd hoped that the opposite might have been true, having been vociferous in our condemnation of the minuscule city sizes; but alas. You can here me chat about it in distraught and disappointed tones in the video below.