I know it is hip and cool to hate SimCity for the always-online DRM it is going to need to pull off this SimCity World business, but I am not hip nor am I cool. Ever since the game was first announced, I have been curious how additional social elements would enhance the game. This trailer gives us a first glimpse into the integrated, global social network that comes with playing SimCity.
I couldn’t be more happy at this first look. If you pay any attention at all to important topics like the economy or the environment or even something as specific as hard drive prices, you’ll know that we now live in a global village. Everything we do has a global impact and importance, at least to some extent. I think Maxis has found the perfect way to capture those elements of city building and planning while also bringing new and (hopefully) fun elements to the genre.
Let’s face it. City-building sims aren’t exactly the most popular games anymore. SimCity 4 is over 9 years old. More recent games, like Tropico 3, are awesome in their own right, but often get discounted rather rapidly after release. It isn’t just a popularity issue, either. City-building games have a hard time walking the fine line between simulation depth and fun accessibility. In many cases, building a good and proper city is a labor of love rather than a love of the labor. Honestly, the genre has gotten a little stale, and I have a hard time imagining what anyone can do to not make their game seem like a re-tread of the last.
And that’s where I think SimCity World helps. It finally gives a competitive element to an old PC gaming staple. It brings a greater social and community aspect to the game than sharing screenshots on a forum. It also hopefully brings in a newer, younger crowd to a genre that I really, really want to be relevant again.
Once upon a time, games like SimCity, Caesar, and Pharoah, were the games to get for a proper PC Gamer. In today’s world of online gaming and e-sports, they are more like the games to forget. And that is definitely not the world I would build.