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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4298 Ratings

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  1. Mar 6, 2013
    Hard to write a review for a game I can't play. Even on available servers every time I try to claim a city I get an error message.

    I was able to play about an hour (which was mostly the tutorial) on launch day and since then I haven't been to resume my single player region and city (due to the server being full) and I haven't been able to start a new city.
  2. Mar 11, 2013
    It takes Ubisoft to learn that it just not worth having persistently connected games and deal with the potential customer backlash afterward. I've since wary of buying anything coming out of Ubisoft. I will stay out of EA too if this persist and vote with my money, until they learn...
  3. Mar 14, 2013
    Update 3/14: Login issues seem to be fixed, but there are still major problems with this game. We all know about the forced online and small map size, but I haven't seen too many people mention the bugs. Remember how the beta was capped at 1 hour? There are TONS of issues, and most of them only become apparent after a few hours of play. I suspect the beta was less about finding and squashing bugs, and more about publicity. I've had every single sim become homeless for no apparent reason, hundreds of thousands of simoleans disappear from my treasury, buses and trade centers refuse to work despite there being no traffic, and power to cities going out upon logging, taking several in-game days before it decides to turn on again. The list goes on. Now, the SimCity franchise is no stranger to bugs, but these are literally game-ending because there is no save ability. There are questionable gameplay mechanics too, such as the inter-connectivity of cities, where a single 'bad' player can ruin a game, or the crippling simplicity of the transit, job and housing system. The latter has only become apparent in the last few days, and it indicates everything Maxis/EA told us about sophisticated AI and massive amounts of route calculations was a lie. Google it and see for yourself. SimCity is not a 'sim' in any sense of the word, and I can't recommend it to anyone. Expand
  4. Mar 6, 2013
    I'm (was?) a huge fan of the SimCity franchise. But in this game, i gotta admit: EA really *ucked it up. You need an internet connection to play a single player game, and sometimes you got even to wait in order to play it. This was definetly my last purchase at origin. Don't waste your money in this game.
  5. Mar 11, 2013
    I'm going to ignore the server login issues, however once you are in the game you do run out of space quite fast, again not a problem as you increase density. The major issue I have with this game is that you need to cannibalise your city to provide services such as water, power, recycling, etc. Everything takes up more and more space the trading HQ takes upwards to two big city blocks.

    Now this issue wouldn't be an issue if the various cities in the region worked together with any consistent way, i'm always getting messages that x city is no longer sending me water, but I made x city with over 1000 times the water that city needed to supply this one, sending funds or resources seems to take half a day (real time), and each of my various cities in the region saw our Regional Airport at different stages which leads me to believe large amounts of resources were probably going into cyberspace never to be seen again. I have also noted it appears you can only send resources to your closest neighbours not those further distance.

    Until ALL of Simcity's server issues are resolved I cannot recommend this game, it is broken and the long game just doesn't seem to be there, i've played three cities with a region population of 300k and a total bank balance of $55M (through electronics trading) and i've run out of things to do, I have no space, I need to keep my utilities in each city as outsourcing isn't an option, so i'm stuck just watching my balance go up, and my interest go down.
  6. Mar 13, 2013
    SimCity is the biggest scam in recent gaming history.
  7. Mar 7, 2013
    I'd love to write a really favorable review about my favorite game franchise of all time. I played the original SimCity on the C64. Like I said, I'd love to. But I can't. Simply for the reason that I am unable to play the game due to the most intrusive DRM I've seen yet. I received the DVD yesterday, but of course could not install the game, since it was "unreleased". My PC at home that I am currently watching remotely, is trying to install the game since this morning 8:00 am and consistently failing due to server overload and therefore being unable to validate the key. Way to go EA. Not! Expand
  8. Mar 6, 2013
    Dear EA,

    Sadly your company has again pushed me away from the right path. I realize after a friend has told me that Sim City 5 was released. First thing I thought was its EA..I don't want to support you but the second thought came into my mind was, its Maxis. A company who was created by a brilliant programmer Will Wright (which to be honest I look up to and hope to one day achieve
    something great like him.) However after downloading the game and unable to play after 8 or so hours after I paid $80 (in support to Maxis) I am still unable to create one single city. Its either server are down, unable to login to server please login again, and unable to claim city (this was earlier in the day.) This is a horrendous experience for any customer.

    How does a large company such as yourself able to pour so much money into marketing a game yet unable to provide the support or infrastructure it needs for it to work? Its like Lamborghini made a new car and once they give you the key you can't drive it anywhere. How worthless is that to the buyer?

    Anyways, to go on with what I want to say, you have my $80.00 keep it for your unemployment checks once people are finally fed up with your B.S. I hope every single one of your executives that have had any say in pushing this product out, loose their job, loose their wealth, and have to go live in a homeless shelter. Maybe then that they would learn how to earn a respectable living before falsifying a product and shamelessly using a dearly beloved brand name to fill their pockets first.

    Also I'm probably no longer going to wait for EA to fix this crap. I'll wait for one of the hacker groups out there who are only a team of 10 or so or less able to throw in some codes to make it work offline. Seriously a group of hackers can make this game offline and a GIANT Fing company can't make a mode for offline gaming.

    P.S. If there was an offline gaming, there wouldn't be this rant, SimCity was an offline game. You want online fine, make it an option not a NECCESSARY!

    P.S.S. Comments on hackers, I really hope EA reads it and learn that hackers are going to be this brand savior instead of the opposite. We(consumers) buy legitimate games that we can't play(because of the company foolishness) but if they(pirates) get it illegitimately they will be able to play it...that is one @SS backward way to sell your games! All I can say is I root for the pirates this time all the way!
  9. Mar 7, 2013
    Could have been a brilliant game, but right now it's almost completely decimated by unreliable cloud saves, tiny maps, lack of terraforming and tacked-on online features.
  10. Mar 6, 2013
    Simply terrrible. Once again EA are too greedy for what should even be allowed. This exploitation of EA owned franchises needs to stop...

  11. Mar 6, 2013
    They've taken a what used to be a great offline game and ruined it. I do not want always-on, and their screwup of the launch proves why. EA will end up like Ubisoft, crawling back to gamers to offer fake apologies for their draconian crap. Too little, too late.
  12. egn
    Mar 6, 2013
    No amount of paid for, EA-sponsored reviews can make up for the ill-conceived fraud that this game is. Sim City has the following restrictions (features) that have all been stated by Maxis employees:

    You must be connected to the internet 100% of the time you are playing.
    ...... You must connect to Origin to load or save your city (see next item).
    ...... Games are saved to the cloud
    (EA Servers).
    ...... If you're net connection goes down for more than a couple of minutes then all gameplay since last save is lost.
    ...... The installed game is only half the software, the rest is on EA's Serves so requires a fast, reliable internet connection to transfer data.
    ...... Other players Cities will influence yours even in 'single player' mode.
    ...... Saved games once loaded must be saved so you can't change your mind and go back and reload the city.
    ...... If the game flops and servers are switched off (EA averages 2 years or so) it will become unplayable.

    No god mode terraforming. (This includes how much resources are available and where they are).
    No modding allowed at launch (if at all due to online requirements/cloud computing).
    No building density zoning.
    Buildings may spam along a single road.
    Dumbed down micro-management.
    Limited population (Max 100,000 Sims per city)
    The city tile size is only equivalent to a medium city in SC4, and that is the only size available.
    You only get European building sets if you buy the game as a digital download direct from origin.

    I don't care how fun a game is; Any amount of money you pay for this software should basically just be considered rent, because EA will inevitably shut down the servers that you NEED to run this game within the next six months to 2.5 years; after which you'll never be able to play it again.
  13. Mar 5, 2013
    did not buy, will not buy. Sim City is one of my all time favorite franchises, but I absolutely refuse to buy any game that has forced online DRM, especially for a single player game. Sorry EA has completely screwed up on this one!!
  14. Mar 5, 2013
    EA completely deviated from what used to make Sim City great. If you're expecting this game to be better or even similar to SCR4 or SC2000 you are in for a serious surprise. EA has turned the Sim City franchise into a watered down Sims clone. Instead of focusing on bigger macro city building, EA's main concern is making sure each sim has a name and where they are 24 hrs a day!!! Wow who cares. The space you get to build your city is so small you feel like you never can fully max out your city. And don't get me started on the DRM included in this game. This game honestly feels like it should have been a free to play game on Facebook instead of something we pay $60 for. You know any improvements that should have been included in the launch will be offered as a extra buy-able item. My suggestion is to save you money for a better game or wait until you find this thing on the discount rack. Expand
  15. Mar 5, 2013
    Despite promises of servers being ready I am unable to access what has in the past been a single player game due to always online DRM. I have no issues with the concept in theory from my side as I have an extremely reliable internet connection, but if the company itself cannot have and keep their servers up to allow me to access products I paid for they shouldn't do it.

    EA knows
    exactly how many preorders and copies they expected to sell on day 1, there is no excuse to not have been prepared for the server loads they are experiencing. My complete inability to access my game has resulted in the given score. Expand
  16. Mar 5, 2013
    The terrible treatment of legitimate paying customers makes the new Sim City impossible to recommend. Lacking features from the original games show that quality of service does not equal success of the game. EA is certainly not going to care about these issues, DRM or crappy DLC packs of shaved content from the original release if they sell a lot of copies, which is a sad reality with many modern AAA titles. Expand
  17. Mar 6, 2013
    Always online DRM, can't save game when I want, smaller cities, day 0 DLC. Don't bother to get this game. And the best: you can't play single player because of full servers...
  18. Mar 5, 2013
    For everyone who says that constant DRM and a botched release are not a good enough reason to destroy this game's ratings they are wrong. EA needs to learn that these types of releases cannot happen. Three hours after registering my game and it hasn't even shown up in the "My Games Library" on Origin. Pathetic and unacceptable.
  19. Mar 5, 2013
    I've played the beta's, and i feel this could be a great game. I've bought the game, but i haven't been able to normally play it due to server issues. It's sad that EA have decided to cripple it. They've crippled it in two ways: 1. DRM 2. City size. 1. After i added my key the game didn't show up in Origin until much later. Once i was finally able to launch the game i had to wait forever to be able to play due to the server being full (why?! i want to play single player! why do i have to wait for a server to play a single player game?!)

    Also what happens in 3 years when they release Simcity 2016? The servers will close and you can't play this game.

    I've paid EA money to play a game when EA lets me play, not when i want to play.... i am never going to do this agian.

    2.The city size is to small. This was a commercial decision by EA to maximize profit, they want as much people as possible to be able to buy the game, even people with a very old computer. It gives the people with a up to date computer a poor playing experience since they don't even have the option to play a bigger map, even though their computers can handle it. It's nice that the game has curved roads, but the city is so tiny there's not enough room to place curved roads...
  20. Mar 5, 2013
    Please ignore the EA shills and fan-girls who are trying to boost the score. There are some great ideas here, especially with the way the simulation works and includes surrounding regions in multiplayer. I just can't experience them for myself because EA didn't bother to provide enough server power to support the launch. Instead, I paid $60 for a mini-game where I sit in a queue for a half-hour at a time, only to restart that line when the server still isn't available. I could care less about it being DRM. I want to play the game I paid for, and I can't. Expand
  21. Mar 5, 2013
    Unable to preload the game, the Origin client failed to give me access to Sim City (or any other game I had purchased through it) for a few hours after my purchase. There's a wait to access a single-player game, which should blow any rational person's mind. Save files are frequently corrupted, causing you to lose your progress. The plot sizes are hilariously small. You're not building a city, you're building a town with high-rises. Even if the technical problems with overloaded servers and corrupted save files are solved, we all know EA is going to nickle and dime us for larger plot sizes, and they're going to hail their DRM their lord and savior. Don't make the same mistake as I did. Don't support this stuff. Expand
  22. Mar 6, 2013
    WARNING! DRM and Always Online so far, I haven't actually got to playing my game. Servers are a mess, and as many have pointed out what will happen when EA decides that they've had enough of it? Bye bye, money and saved files...
  23. Mar 6, 2013
    This review is based on my personal experience with the game. I pre-ordered the limited edition of the Sim City, however I wasn't able to actually start downloading the game until 8:00 the next morning. Seems to defeat the purpose of pre-ordering. After the game was installed, I was able to play for about 2 hours before I got a message saying the the SimCity servers were down, attempting to reconnect. I don't care about the DRM, but when it effects my gameplay experience, it is unacceptable. The 2 hours of game time I had were fun, but the game comes with so much baggage that it completely sucks the fun out of it. I know that when I am able to play again I'm going to constantly have "SimCity servers are down, attempting to reconnect" in the back of my mind, and wondering how long I'll be able to play. For a company as large as EA this is just ridiculous. They have raised the price of their games, forced you to download Origin in order to play, and then shown complete disregard for their customers. It is a fun game to play but I honestly cannot recommend purchasing it until EA straightens out its problems. Expand
  24. Mar 31, 2014
    I'll make it quick and simple.

    It's a good game ruined by game-breaking bugs. EA has shown little interest in fixing these bugs. As a result you will end up needing to restart your city/region or accepting sacrifices due to bugs.

    Be aware.
  25. Mar 11, 2013
    Ok now that the servers are back up and running alright, here is my proper review. my rating was a 3/10 because of all the crap this game threw at us at its launch. to be honest this game had one of the worst launches of any game, in history. i don't think this game will ever truly recover from it, this 1.5 rating is way too low for a game like this. and many people will not change their reviews because they are too fed up with the DRM. which is totally understandable. but the game is really fun. you can create entire trade networks and intricate cities. this increases the depth from the previous simcity games. managing the city is very fun. managing buildings is an amazing feature. although map sizes restrict you from building more advanced structures later on that is really my only complaint. this game has tons of potential and will have DLC i assure you (mostly because EA is a jerk) good game. sucks the EA gave it a bad rep. this DRM is a horrible thing for the gaming community but that doesn't mean simcity is a bad game Expand
  26. Mar 5, 2013
    A great game marred by EA's always-online requirement and cloud saves.
    1) Autosaving of cities are unclear you do not know when your creations are saved. Crashing to desktop is almost a death sentence as your cities literally disappear or got rolled back to empty wilderness when you log back on. 2) Unable to join servers and therefore unable to play a product you payed for unacceptable
    especially when no ETA on fixes are given. 3) If you idle in the join game selection lobby for abit (less than 1hr), after a while you cannot join/load.create any game you get a failed loading message. It's as if they disconnected you from their servers without telling you. Other minor bugs are present but do not impact the game too much. Except traffic pathing AI perhaps.

    Conclusion: Even if you can tolerate the online DRM, the potential loss of your friends' creations upon disconnect/crash is enough to make you give up after 2-3 fresh retries. Don't buy this game until they work out this major problem (on saving cities and crash/disconnect recovery)
  27. Mar 5, 2013
    It's Diablo 3 all over again, but this is worse, because SimCity always was a single player game and now it doesn't even have an option to play it offline. Also, the cities are extremely small, there is no terraforming, can't load a previous save (no experimentation), there is useless and unrealistic empty space between cities and lack of transportation options (no subways!). I hate you EA for ruining one of my favorite franchises. Expand
  28. Mar 5, 2013
    DRM with endless problems logging on to a single-player game. Check. A city so small you're done in an hour or two. Check. A future of nickle-and-diming paid customers to death. Check. Following the profit structured Social version rather than the fan-beloved SimCity 4 version. Check. Run by EA. Check. Critics giving 9's and 10's after playing on private servers for critics. Check. Everyone else giving 0-3 rating. Check.

    Efforts like this MUST fail or it is all we will get in the future. I remember the days when I would call in sick to work to play an awesome newly-released game. I'd spend hours playing and I wouldn't regret playing hooky at all. Now you try to do it only to discover that you spend the day in a que waiting to play a single-player game you already paid for. Thank god I tried it at a friend's house. Once it actually logged him on (an hour later), and four interruptions and two hours later, and we felt like we were basically done. Couldn't expand any further.

    This isn't the rebirth of SimCity and this isn't the way games should be made and marketed. Protest with your wallet. Keep it closed.
  29. Mar 5, 2013
    This game is a disgrace to the SimCity franchise. In summary, this version of SimCity equates to a dumbed-down Facebook game. The always-online-DRM is pretty much a dealbreaker, but I might have still considered buying it if it weren't for the restrictions this system places on you. So as the term suggests, always-online-DRM means there is NO offline single player for this game. Want to play a single player world? Cool, you can do that, just sign into our servers first. Don't have internet? Need to pass the time on an airplane? Just play SimCity- oh wait, you can't. Ok, surely it can't be THAT big a deal, right? Wrong, not when you learn that you can't even save your worlds to your own hard drive. Everything you do has to be stored in EA's collection of poorly sustained servers. This also removes some of the magic of the old SimCity games, since it restricts you from destroying a city and reloading from an old save. This DRM system is restricting pretty basic freedoms of gaming. So there's the DRM system, which is a dealbreaker in itself, but what about the gameplay? Good news, that's a dealbreaker too. The cities are extremely small, you have no control over regional transport, there are no subways, and there is no terraforming. This game is completely misleading. This version of SimCity does not qualify as a full fledged video game. It qualifies as a Facebook game, at best. Don't waste your money on EA's little trap. Expand
  30. Xel
    Mar 5, 2013
    Paid $60 to be unable to play the game on release due to EA's DRM, thanks Should have never bought and supported a DRM game. Clearly I won't be making that mistake again.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 75 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 75
  2. Negative: 10 out of 75
  1. 65
    Given enough patches and DCLs, SimCity might eventually become the game that should have been on its release and justify the ambiguous choices that its developers made. [May 2013]
  2. May 9, 2013
    Hints at great things but is limited by small cities and promises it can't deliver on. [June 2013, p.80]
  3. May 9, 2013
    There's more problems with this game than I have words. Looks great though. [June 2013, p.80]