So I (and likely millions of other SimCity nerds, including some of you) have got a taste for the new SimCity - and so far, I like it quite a bit. With the beta, you can play for an hour in a city before it boots you out - as far as I can tell , you can play as often as you like though, just having to start from scratch each time.
Things I don't like:
1. The game, somewhat like an MMO, relies on a server to play - you must, as far as I can tell, always be connected to the internet, and always talk to the server. I wonder if this will be an issue in 5 years if the game is only popular with a certain niche of geeks - but then Everquest is still around despite it's tiny corner of society.
2. I can't rename buildings - It's a very small thing in the grand scheme, and I often don't even do it - but I really like to have the option of naming everything I come across in a game like this. If I get the whim, I want to rename the local public school to Senor Poopypants' Institute for Gifted Primates
Things I like:
1. The graphics - they're cartoonish, clean and crisp, and they work like an absolute wonder. They've learned a lot from games like Spore and The Sims 3 and how to optimize their rendering - I was expecting a slower experience on my aging graphics card and mid-range CPU, but it's very fast.
2. The game concepts - like contemporary cousin Civilization V, it's abstracted some things even more than SimCity 4 did. I thought I would hate it, but I think it works - zoning along snap points on roads makes sense, as does using the road system to automatically build the power and water grid - instead of trying to figure out where your sewage system or power grid broke, you just have to make sure your roads, be they dusty dirt roads or busy avenues, are all connecting to everywhere. They've also added some complexity in interesting areas, like addition of wind speed affecting wind power generation and the spread of noxious fumes and pollution - and the need to buy resources from the world or neighbouring cities
3. The little things - Sims are now individuals and you can click on them when they're driving or walking around - you can't rename them unfortunately (as I would like) but you can see what they're thinking, where they're going and whatnot. Police chases and robberies are all animated in all their silly abstract detail with police officers shooting and robbers surrendering, protestors riot as before (but tell you what they want) and the sounds of the expanding power and water grid as you turn on the electricity or water are enjoyable to me on some level.
In short, while I balk at the price of this game, I'm likely going to pay full for it (the Limited Edition, not the 80 dollar one). Has anyone else played the beta?