I think that we might have found the butter zone for SimCity pricing. What was broken and abusive at launch is now an enjoyable and accessible city builder, complete with advanced features like an offline mode (wow!), though restrictive compared to practically all of its prequels. 365 Games' incredibly cheap £6.99 cheap offer is tempting nevertheless. Thanks to Barst @ HUKD!
They said it couldn't be done. They said it was impossible. But, at long last, SimCity is finally going to be playable offline when a major update hits later today. Maxis have taken the servers down at the time of writing to prepare for the update, which has long topped many a mayor's wishlist.
Singleplayer sessions are saved locally, granting you access to all region maps, multiple cities and a fixed-price Global Market. Naturally Citylog, leaderboards, achievements, friends lists, region invites and other multiplayer acoutrements won't be available.
This will be great news for many players, but the issue of restrictive city size limits still hangs over SimCity like the sword of Damocles. Hopefully this will be the next priority for Maxis over the coming months (unless, as my inner cynic suggests, they're planning to just shut the servers off later this year).
One year on, we're still not particularly happy with SimCity, but at least Maxis are still working on it. Sort of. At £11.99 with the above discount code, you might want to give it a go if you've been on the fence for a while. Still not sure? Well, Matt put together an article this week on whether the game is worth buying in its current state, so go see what he says.
Thanks to Jas10 at HotUkDeals.
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.Click here to read more...
So, SimCity then. What should have been an amazing interconnected experience launched as a massive overpriced disaster, and took months getting nowhere fast. However, things have improved somewhat - and an offline mode will be added soon. Funstock Digital's £14.99 price is a damn sight better than the ludicrous £60 EA wanted at launch. Thanks to Spinderp @ HUKD!
PayPal users can alternatively consider GamersGate's £15.28 option.
SimCity is finally getting the offline mode that we stopped clamouring for six months ago after it became readily apparent that the cities would remain the same size and Maxis didn't have a clue what they were doing.
I mean SIMCITY IS GETTING AN OFFLINE MODE! Crack open the bubbly! Fire up the rock music and the inflatable vodka luge! Let's get this party started!Click here to read more...
Well it's about time. Maxis have finally begun communications with prospective modders, opening discussions for the possibility of SimCity mods and user-generated content.Click here to read more...
It appears that hot on the heals of their Red Cross fund-raising effort, Maxis have more SimCity news to share. It was announced today that that first expansion pack for the troubled city building simulation, titled Cities Of Tomorrow, is coming and will be released on 15th November. Set fifty years from today, players will be able to upgrade their metropolis with neon-clad buildings, install monorail systems, and generally turn their city into something like Blade Runner (but without the replicants, sadly.) Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your viewpoint on making people pay for it) it appears the expansion pack will not provide an offline mode for the game or increase the size of city limits, although there is mention of more verticality with the new additions.
You can check out the announcement trailer by hitting the jump.Click here to read more...
SimCity is due another update later this month, which will let players raise or lower roads to create bridges or underpasses directly from the drawing tool. It's a neat feature, at least by the looks of a new explanatory video starring Maxis’ Guillaume Pierre.Click here to read more...
Three crucial SimCity developers, including creative director Ocean Quigley, have departed from Maxis to found Jellygrade Studios; a new simulation-centric outfit targeting tablet games.Click here to read more...
This week on Game Buzz, we discuss Don Mattrick jumping ship from Microsoft to Zynga; we take a look at the suggestion that the Xbox One dashboard has been designed purposefully around advertisement opportunities; and we ask how on earth Microsoft managed to mess up a good thing in Games With Gold. Outside of the Redmond omnishambles, we talk a little bit about Broken Age and how unfettered ambition could spell danger for the crowdfunding model; we shake our heads at the recently leaked EA survey for SimCity; and we try and solve the specs vs. games debate.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
Click the banner or the title link above to play the podcast, or right click and select 'Save Link As' to download the file onto your hard drive.
Maxis are currently surveying SimCity players to see what they'd like from the game, asking whether larger cities and an offline mode might be of interest.Click here to read more...
This week's hilarious SimCity patch note of choice is the following:
"Fixed an issue where Sims would not be able to take transit out of cities with lots of streetcars or shuttle buses. This could cause some cases where commuting Sims could not return home and their homes would go abandoned."
Yep, that's right. Wondered why some of your houses were crumbling into abandoned dilapidation? It's because the game stranded your citizens in a neighbouring city.
Of course, our main issue with game still hasn't been fixed (and we'd argue calling the game SimCity is by now something of a violation in trade description given that we've only ever managed to build a small skyscraper-stuffed town) so we won't be playing it any time soon. If for some reason you're still playing the game out of misguided solidarity to... EA?!... the full patch notes are after the jump.Click here to read more...
SimCity's first major DLC pack - a selection of theme park rides and facilities - has released today on Origin for £7.99. Our wholesale disappointment with Maxis' broken simulation is a matter of public record, but if you're interested, we've got a new trailer and details after the break.
I can't help but feel that our city limits should be a bit bigger to fit all this new stuff in. I wonder if anyone's pointed that out before...?Click here to read more...
It's only taken the best part of three months, but leaderboards and a working global economy are finally coming to SimCity! Yay!
Not that this will encourage us to fish our copy out of the volcanic crater we hurled it into, you understand.
There are a number of bugs being fixed and features being restored in Update 4.0, and this time, the hilarious bug fix of the week goes to adding in features that were promised at launch.
Also, apparently the clouds weren't working properly. They will now rain, which is nice.Click here to read more...
Have you been having trouble with disappearing vehicles? Inexplicable pollution? Traffic issues? Buildings somehow being built on top of one another?
Well you can pack you fear off to distant lands, as SimCity Update 3.0 is here to save the day!
Or, you know, screw the game up even more.Check out the patch notes after the jump >>
Will Wright, the man who made Sim City a household name, has weighed in on the recent SimCity debacle, saying that although he feels for the development team and has been enjoying the game of late, releasing a fundamentally broken game at full price is "inexcusable".Click here to read more...