E3 2012: SimCity & SimCity Social Impressions
EA’s press conference had pride of place straight after Microsoft at this year’s E3. As expected we saw the usual EA titles of FIFA and Madden, yet for PC and SimCity fans we were hoping to see some action from Maxis and we weren’t disappointed. However the slight surprise was that Maxis opened with telling us about their new title, SimCity Social, that’s coming to Facebook ‘soon’. As someone who once lost a month of his life to CityVille I can only say I was pleasantly surprised by this announcement.
With SimCity Social, Maxis are hoping to wrestle the crown of city-building games from Zynga. The trailer makes a slight pop at Zynga with the caption ‘less Ville, more City’ – let us hope Maxis don’t live to eat their words and produce a fantastic City building simulation for Facebook.
SimCity Social will no doubt interest fans of the city-building series and will no doubt intrigue hard-core Zynga players – but as to whether it will win over those fans is a question we’ll soon find out the answer to!
Following on from SimCity Social, Maxis went on to their pièce de résistance – the new SimCity that is soon to grace our computer screens in February 2013. The Game Jar has covered SimCity’s progress over the last few months with videos of their new sandbox development and developer diaries. At E3 we were treated to a new gameplay trailer that shows off how you can drag and drop buildings into your city as if you were staring down at a scaled down model.
What we learnt is that all cities will be connected within your region – meaning that your actions will affect the cities around you – which unfortunately leads us onto what will be considered a big fat negative to the SimCity.
Like Diablo III, SimCity will be an ‘always online’ game, even in single player – though it promises not to make the same mistakes as Diablo did. They say this way we can all be tracked as to how much pollution we produce or who is playing better – and then react to that by spawning different challenges and scenarios for us. Maxis claim should players play in an offline mode they would become out of synch with the games continual tracking of a city. Meaning your SimCity experience will be in one vast inter-connected SimWorld.
Sorry to those people hoping to play the game whilst commuting without an internet connection.
Whilst they didn’t announce this in the press conference – unsurprisingly as it is no doubt an unpopular feature, in subsequent interviews with Maxis it was revealed – to the collection of sighs of PC gamers around the world.
Despite this I’m still hugely optimistic for the next SimCity title – the graphics looks great and the new gameplay features of inter-connection and how much the city seems to act like a real city whet’s ones appetite. SimCity Social promises to be a great void-filler at the very least before the main game is released. I can see many hours lost to city-building antics in the near future.