EA released another video for their SimCity reboot, and it focuses on the importance of planning and balance when creating a city from scratch. From the get-go, players have to choose the best location for the type of city they wish to build. There is a focus on choosing a city’s role from the beginning; Industrial cities tend to flourish closer to water which is necessary for trade, but a casino city needs more access to roads for people to come and go as they please. It looks like one big balancing act which begins the moment the player chooses their city’s starting location. There may be a bit more freedom than we’ve seen in the past from the franchise, and that’s the point. While the game does encourage certain ways to play, clever players, it appears, will be able to build their city whichever way they like.
Many of the game’s traditional systems have been streamlined. Power and water now travel through the game’s roads instead of requiring their own separate infrastructures. Sewage does as well, however, forcing players to create roads and treatment sites in order to steer it away from anything that could be tainted like the water supply. This is really what the game is all about, and it’s much different than some of the earlier titles in the franchise. Instead of giving players endless amounts of details to tweak their city, they’re giving lots of little choices that the player must balance in order to be successful. Most of the game’s core elements remain intact, but it does look like a more intuitive (some will say simpler) version of the game many are already familiar with.
The city attempts to populate itself once the player has built the initial infrastructure, with workers coming to build the homes and factories they will soon be living in. Failing to plan ahead and make room for residential areas, businesses, and other key districts looks like it will cause some headaches, meaning there will be some trial and error for those who like to keep things running smoothly. It may all look easier on the surface, but I have a feeling they’ve only really begun to show us what this game is going to be capable of, it’s only part one after all.
Some– ok many – most likely aren’t fond of EA’s DRM practices, I’m not too fond of them myself, but this looks like it is shaping up to be a game I’ll play even with those restrictions in place. It’s easy to get mad at those sorts of things, but there’s a big difference between the publisher and the developer, and this time it looks as if the developer has made a game I’ll be willing to play despite the publisher’s restrictions.