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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4418 Ratings

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  1. Mar 5, 2013
    Server reached maximum capacity and so I was placed in a queue and was not allowed to play a SINGLE PLAYER GAME because it forces me to constantly be online. So despite my flawless internet connection, EA's incompetence has forced me to postpone playing a game I'd like to play on my own anyway. I have played the beta and the city size limits are awful. But it isn't all bad, I do enjoy the new features, such as removal of the piping networks and the add-ons for buildings. But it's awful comopated to SC4 Expand
  2. Mar 5, 2013
    It may be looked down upon to use this as a megaphone to shout through but the fact is that people need to see this, that NO-ONE should EVER support always online DRM for a single player game, on my partners 2nd attempt to play this game, she was told the servers were at full capacity and could not play until 235 minutes had elapsed. There are a staggering amount of other problems, such as the save states being tied to client-side servers, so that once EA decides this game is finished so is your progress and your ability to play it, forever. Not only that but, as probably said before, this game is on Origin only, so you must install this malicious, unoptimized, buggy front-end to just begin to play the game.
    Regardless of how the game plays as a Simulator, or whether or not it is improved upon it's predecessors, these issues need to not just ironed out, but abolished completely and utterly. The business practices being executed here are absolutely disgusting and should not be tolerated, at all.
  3. Mar 5, 2013
    BEWARE: Forced online DRM, will you be playing this 10 years down the track like previous Sim Cities? No, you wont. And they want this, so you buy the next one. Servers go down? Well screw you, EA already has your money. DLC available from release, server side save-games. I repeat, FORCED ONLINE DRM Also, server queues at launch. Thanks for destroying video gaming and my most treasured franchise.
  4. Mar 5, 2013
    This is an $80 facebook game. This origin (spyware) dumbed down piece of garbage, not only costs $80 for the full game (any lesser version witholds ingame content), but comes intact with intrusive, always-online DRM. Many people, even reviewers, were unable to access their games or load old saves because this. As a consumer, we should have a zero-tolerance for this sort of practice and boycott any game which is essentially an $80 rental. As to the content of the game, the city plots are abysmal in size, deals with neighboring cities is done automatically, connections with other cities (highways and rails) is done automatically, and much content like subway stations have been cut. The overall nature of the game is so limited that it when taken into context with it's social gaming aspects, you have to conclude that would be better fit for a facebook or iphone game. Expand
  5. Mar 5, 2013
    Always online DRM, smaller, non-connected cities due to engine limitations, DAY 0 DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT, poor customer service and delivery of product (waited almost an hour to connect to my single player game), and a swath of simplifications in the gameplay that ruins it for a SC veteran like myself.

    Don't bother to get this game. Save some money and buy Sim City 4, or Sim City 2000.
    You can play them OFFLINE as well. Expand
  6. Mar 5, 2013
    The critic reviews are undeniable proof of "gaming journalism" being rotten to the core. This is the exact same game as SimCity Social, except you have to pay $80 before you're allowed to start paying for extras.
  7. Mar 6, 2013
    Played the game for 3 hrs today. Thought waiting two days would make everything OK. Game crashes after 3 hrs of happily playing an online game with 6 other people... guess what... this is why online saves are terrible and you get metacritic stomped... because the entire save is gone and none of us have any of our 3-4 hrs of progress to continue with. The experience of all building our cities to help each other is simply lost in the cloud forever. Well that's a 5/10 or below in anyone's book. Fix this please. It is depressing that even 2 days post launch you still don't have the cloud side save system figured out if you're going to go live with this sort of DRM it better damn well at least save the game. Expand
  8. Mar 5, 2013
    The gameplay elements are what is expected of a SimCity game, however innovation outside bus stops and the moods of the citizens (along with other The Sims features) do not exist. It's sad to realize that many people are okay with having extremely small plots of land (2x2 km), far smaller than any previous SimCity game, the reason why it's tolerated? Fanboyism? The ridiculous notion that the game should be played by connecting 5 plots to each other on one area (going to a different plot will pause all the others, that doesn't seem very "connected"). I don't care for excuses like "Oh, but it will cause graphical bugs", am I supposed to give them sympathy for incompetence?

    Outside the game. I hope everyone enjoys a game which has always been a single player game, now turned in to an always-online internet required with multi player features... such as having friends in the same region work on their own cities, wow thanks for adding that, it wasn't excuse to justify recent EA policies against piracy which only hurts actual customers and delays a cracked version by a few days? Maybe less? Well, I bought this for only $40 on a sale, refunding it already and uninstalled Origin. You've ruined the SimCity series and you've corrupted Maxis, just like every other previous game developing company. Go bankrupt already, EA.
  9. Mar 9, 2013
    I will skip the drm part. The game is a limited version of sim city 4, cities are small, gameplay is limited. The cooperation and social part is interesting, but soon this new aspect gets boring and what you have is a very limited game. It is not that bad, but afterall games like Tropico 4 and all dlc's feel way more fun and cost 9 dollars not 60.
  10. Mar 5, 2013
    Played this game for 6 hours. DO NOT BUY IT. I got disconnected from the server 3 cannot save your own game! So there is no more let me test and reload if it doesn't work. I started over at least 10 times while getting used to some of the features. The city size is just unacceptable. Its not a city AT ALL...More like a village. You will fill it up in an hour. I'm already bored with the game. I won't even get into the always on drm...its a terrible move IMO...but in addition to that the game is not worth the money. I gave it a 3 because some of the new features are neat and useful but its they aren't enough to save the experience. Buy tomb raider instead. Expand
  11. Mar 5, 2013
    While it might be a good game, the always online DRM for single player is an insult to the player base (another one of a long series of insults from EA to their customers), and it's absolutely unacceptable. It seems EA didn't learn anything from Ubisoft's DRM failure...
  12. Mar 6, 2013
    Perhaps because most cannot get on the servers to play. A complete fail from EA once again, I will not be giving Maxis my money again EA can suck my
  13. Mar 5, 2013
    Unable to play due to server at capacity. In a single-player game. This is ridiculous. Simplified gameplay that does not provide as deep an experience as any of the previous SimCity games. While I'm sure that the server errors will be ironed out over time, the simplified gameplay will not.
  14. Mar 5, 2013
    Map is too small very too small. This game is only game's marketing that's all Price, dlc it's a joke from EA. I hope people don't buy this game now.
  15. Mar 5, 2013
    All the 10 positive reviewers are complete morons. Spouting rubbish to try and defend this game. My favourite so far was, "There's a reason why it's sitting at 91% from the critics right now" Jaylenko Do I need to point you in the direction of; MASS EFFECT 3, DIABLO 3, COD:MW2&3, COD:BOPS1&2 ETC ETC to make you realise just how stupid that kind of statement is? These are all prime examples of games that were complete and utter blunders, had next to no innovation in just about any aspect of their game and yet reviewers gave them all extremely favourable reviews. It would almost lead someone to believe that EA/Activision are blackmailing Reviewers, or Buying them out, telling them they won't give them games pre-release or bribing them so they get a good review. Honestly if anyone ACTUALLY believes any kind of Big Gaming review websites these days, they're a complete moron. Now onto these same people trying to defend Always Online DRM, you can't defend it, PERIOD. It's a cheap and dirty practice that holds no place in the gaming world. What happens when you grab your Laptop and go somewhere that doesn't have internet access? What happens to the people with bad connections? What happens to your game when the servers crash? What happens when they do maintenance and you can't play for hours? What happens when the Cloud Saves glitch and you have to roll back your town (Which btw has already happened to people)? Honestly the problems with always online DRM is endless and serves no place in Gaming. Have a Singleplayer version of the game which can be accessed without Origin or can be accessed from a "Origin Offline Mode (Where you don't need to log in Like you can do in Steam)" and then have a Multiplayer version, then people get to choose which they prefer and you can do make changes to the different versions of the game without effecting the other. It's a disgusting practice by EA (And Blizzard for that matter with D3) and if you are enabling this kind of crap by buying these companies games then you are part of the Cancer that is slowly destroying gaming. I suppose I should talk about the game, well it doesn't come out till the 7th in Australia and I wasn't going to buy it anyway, I've boycotted all EA Products. But there's streams going on and Videos all over the net showcasing the gameplay (In great detail mind you since Press had the game for a solid week or so pre-release and made tons and tons of cities). And they all agree it's good, but not great. I only gave the game a 2 because morons are giving this 10 to try and counter-balance the 0's, and whilst I think the 0's are taking things a little to far, low scores have to be given to balance. Frankly with none of this always online rubbish, bigger build plots and less focus on Multiplayer, I'd say this game could definitely be a Solid 7-8/10. In it's current state, but without Always Online DRM probably a 5/10 is an honest Score. But sadly with the Always online BS in place, I think the 3-4/10 mark is spot on where this game deserves to be. Expand
  16. Mar 5, 2013
    BEWARE: Forced online DRM, will you be playing this 10 years down the track like previous Sim Cities? No, you wont. And they want this, so you buy the next one. Servers go down? Well screw you, EA already has your money. DLC available from release, server side save-games. I repeat, FORCED ONLINE DRM Also, server queues at launch. Thanks for destroying video gaming and my most treasured franchise.
  17. Mar 5, 2013
    EA once again ruins a beloved franchise by trying to milk it for every cent it's worth. Rather than building on old concepts and introducing new fun elements for the player to experience, Sim City waters down the gameplay of its predecessors under the guise of "streamlined gameplay", and introduces mandatory mechanics that require the player to either have the assistance of other players online, or to manage multiple cities as if the player was playing with others. Gameplay has been stripped down to the bare minimum, and city sizes have NEVER been smaller in a Sim City game. This leads to a fairly short few hours of tedious zoning(which has also been "streamlined" in such a way that the player is hardly even doing anything) and watching as you very quickly hit the strict city limits. Past this point the player can attempt to make their city more dense and profitable, but it only takes a couple of hours after reaching the city size limit to do this. As far as the single player goes, that's it. Every playthrough, every city, will be exactly the same.

    The one differentiating factor in this version of SimCity is that EA has managed to shoehorn in multiplayer mechanics to justify invasive DRM. So while you're building your city that will be nearly identical to every other player's and even your own subsequent cities, you can trade resources between other players in your 'region' and work towards a common goal of a grand work resting just outside of your city limits. Building this grand work is a very simple task, you need resources, you tell your city to siphon resources into the project, that's it. You're not actively doing anything at all to construct this project, you just click a button, and wait. Now here's the kicker about these multiplayer features, you MUST participate. Sim City will not start without an active internet connection, once you've made it past that part it's very likely you'll be waiting in a rather long queue to be allowed access to the game. The player can start a region and set it to private, meaning only those invited or the players themselves can join the game and make a city. Effectively making it a single player experience, but the player still has to be connected to the internet to play for some unknown reason, as well as having to wait in the queue to access their single player experience. Fortunately due to the lack of variety in Sim City's content, I'm relatively sure the queues won't last long.

    In summary, this is a poor quality cash-in from a company willing to do whatever it takes to squeeze a little bit more money out of a popular franchise. I give Sim City a 0 for the simple fact that while you may be able to have a minuscule amount of fun making your first City, you could very easily get an earlier installment in the series, and have more fun for longer, at a cheaper price, wherever you are regardless of whether there's a nearby internet connection, without having to wait in a queue a couple thousand people long. There is absolutely no value in owning this game.
  18. Mar 5, 2013
    Always on single player... almost unbelievable! Why do companies insist on trying to tackle piracy with a nuclear bomb, when pirates get a better gaming experience in the end, and legitimate customers are left with a horrible one?

    Another EA train wreck
  19. Mar 5, 2013
    This game is a 10 out of then, if not for: -micro-transactions -very small city size -always on DRM (on a single-player game) -multiplayer feels forced down you throat

    and worst, you CAN'T PLAY the f***ing game because the servers are busy.

    oh, and just to make matters worse it forces you to use Origin.

    Seriously EA, rethink you business strategy.
  20. Mar 5, 2013
    I won't even start on the mandatory online component/DRM that stuff is bad enough but what really bothers me are the tiny map sizes. Who at Maxis/EA possibly thought that would be a good idea? People said it's a limit of the beta version, but now the full game is just like that. This is NOT SimCity. This is SimVillage.
  21. Mar 5, 2013
    City size is painfully bad. If you enjoyed creating metropolis sized cities then you will be very disappointed. To give you a rough idea, the size of a city in SimCity is 2 km x 2 km; 4 km^2. That is about the size of a city block. If you traveled at 50 km/h (around about 30 mph) you would get from one side of the city to the other in about 2 minutes 24 seconds (even if your journey was doubled because of traffic, that is still only 5 minutes). The "city" size really is that bad. Expand
  22. Mar 7, 2013
    Its a major drawback when you cant actually play a game you purchase. Constant server issues and in-game glitches make this a game we all should have avoided. Governments should legislate against gaming companies which continue to release games unfinished or so poorly supported Don't buy it until you are given guarantees that it will work or that they are discontinuing DRM
  23. Mar 5, 2013
    Always-online DRM, which depends on unreliable EA servers; overly simplified gameplay (to the point where underground was removed completely); city size is small; zoning is faulty and reduced (no farms and such)
  24. Mar 5, 2013
    Great game, but the fact that you can't play it on the go, that the city sizes are so small, and that you have no save/load function really breaks the game for me.

    1. I am dishearted by the fact that a singleplayer game is not avalible to play unless you are always online. I like playing games on the go, and Simcity 4 is one of the games that I enjoy a lot when commuting or relaxing in
    the park. Also, I fear for the day that EA want to cash in on a new version of Simcity, and closes the Simcity 2013 servers efficiently deleting my creative work.

    2. This is not Simcity, it's Sim neighborhood. You have no room to expand or create experimental designs, because the city area is so cramped together that you will struggle to stay afloat without utilizing the area most efficiently. There is no possibility to create a huge buzzing metropolis, or vast rural farm areas firstly the city plots are too small, but they are also spread apart with a green blanket separating the individual city sites. On top of this, the cities are perfectly squared, meaning that the borders between city and "country side" looks very unappealing from an aesthetic point of view.

    3. Lastly, there is no possibility to save a game, try out a strategy, and load in case everything crashed and burned. Your city becomes very costly. Imagine it like playing World of Warcraft where you lose your gear if you die.It might give some different gameplay aspects, but it hinders free creative play. The cheat-mode "sandbox" mode might change that, since you can unlock everything and try out to your hearts content, but there is still no save/load function, meaning that the city I spent 3 hours to build up could be 3 hours wasted if I want to try out how disasters inflict the local fire fighters.

    All in all; this game has so much potential, but it is lost in the sea of terrible design ideas that changes the feel from the epic of simcity 4, towards the short story of farmville.

    I could manage the EA-enforced always online DRM, and I understand that multiplayer gaming is the buzz-word that makes investors wet their pants but removing the essential parts of what made simcity great is stupid. The ability to build cities that in size and stature looks like New York, Shanghai or Tokyo, the ability to try out different strategies with the same city, and see which pans out and the ability to still play this game in 20 years. All of this could be included in a proper sandbox mode, I hope it will be.
  25. Mar 5, 2013
    Unable to play due to server at capacity. In a single-player game. This is ridiculous. Simplified gameplay that does not provide as deep an experience as any of the previous SimCity games. While I'm sure that the server errors will be ironed out over time, the simplified gameplay will not
  26. Mar 5, 2013
    Ignoring the DRM the game is at this point still not worth buying. While for the most part this is a good upgrade of the sim city series the one thing that really hampers it is the map size.
    While in theory the addition of curved roads that allow you more freedom in how you design your city should be awesome the reality is that because the maps are so tiny any creativity will be severely
    punished since it's not as dense as a grid type city. The game is also kind of bad at fitting in buildings to the area available which also punishes being creative as you will get tons of unused space either because you got too much space between roads or too little.
    After playing the game for even an hour you will start feeling very cramped and you will basically be left with the option to build inwards, that is tearing down and reconstructing existing plots. For me a bare minimum before I would concider actually giving money for this game would be four times the size but I would really prefer nine or more.
    Of course seeing as this is EA they will milk their customers for everything they got. Expect to see building themes, larger map sizes and everything else that this game should have had at release for sale soon.
  27. Mar 5, 2013
    I'll give it a 1 for pretty graphics. This game features no local save mechanism, forced connectivity to unstable servers, lack of basic infrastructure options (no subways), no custom region generations, and finally embarrassingly small map sizes. EA has ruined yet another great franchise, and much like Command Conquer before it, Sim City has been dumbed down and had all the intriguing parts ripped out of it. Expand
  28. Mar 5, 2013
    So I bought this after playing and loving Simcity 3000 and Simcity 4, enjoying Simcity 4 even today, 10 years after its original release. I was hesitant about buying this, but the Glassbox engine and a few gameplay mechanic improvements were enough to make me plop down the $60 entry fee.
    Whoops, Origin is required, and you are always required to be online while playing the game. After
    waiting a good 40 minutes for EA's servers to let me into a single player game, I started playing a bit. Except my internet dropped out for a few minutes without my knowing until the game kicked me out for being offline. To EA's credit, it didn't make me lose my save, much. I still lost about 10 minutes of progress.

    Okay, so second try. I spent another hour logging in because the servers were getting pounded again. I decide to jump into the deep end by making the biggest city size they had available. I had to check two times to make sure that it was the biggest city size, because it was absolutely tiny. SC3KU's medium size was a bit bigger than this. So that's an actual city with suburbs gone out the window, and I resigned myself to making towns and nothing more.

    So when playing, I noticed another thing. Power and water mechanics are vastly simplified. Not streamlined, simplified. Of the vein "make a few buildings at the town edge and forget about it" sense, easily funded by pitiful money management. You can't even make water pipes or power lines anymore, removing any of the challenge in getting that infrastructure up. Sewage would be a neat addition too, but it's still largely useless.

    Then comes the zoning, where you zone different densities by... making different road sizes. You absolutely cannot have high-density buildings touching streets, so you have to build avenues all over the place to get high density buildings, largely unutilized since the "individually simulated" citizens love to funnel into a single avenue regardless of just how gridded your city is. In addition, industry and commercial buildings all have childish, enormous, uncreative names plastered on billboards seen from space. It was a bit charming at first, but seeing your entire industrial core covered in "DIRTY INDUSTRY" billboards gets old fast.

    The difficulty itself is awful. I could easily get a full-sized city up and running within an hour or two, never once going into the red. Monetary concerns are gone out the window unless an infrequent and easily-managed disaster strikes, and the only difficulty in this game has to do with somehow utilizing all of your meager amounts of land.

    Which leads me to another thing. Yes, roads can be curved now, but lots still follow rectangular grids. There is tons of technology these days that allows for curved and unequal lots, including in competitors like Synekism, Introversion's city generator, or even Shamus Young's city generator. However, since EA is still somehow stuck in the past, any curved roads end up wasting massive amounts of space due to lots always being rectangular. Areas inscribed by curved roads end up wasting up to around two thirds of their area. Even when you're not using curved roads, it seems the snap-to-right-angles option always wastes space due to a lack of visible grid, but the in-game adherence to a grid system. It wastes a bunch of space in the areas next to lots. This is horrible when your city size is already at a minimum.

    Finally, we come to the entire region view and multiplayer aspect of the game. The region system as set up is extremely visually jarring. There is a lot of wasted space and it results in two massive high-density cities being next door to each other but having absolutely no connections to each other aside from a meager, meandering highway. Then you have the myriad of idiots who just build cities in the shape of phalluses, ruining your experience anyways. Then, you're forced to play in a multiplayer region if you want the full experience of the singleplayer game, namely having all those imports and exports. However, all the cities next to you also move pollution to and fro. So there's always that guy who picks an upwind position and builds nothing but coal factories and industry, filling everyone else's cities with stifling pollution and preventing any meaningful progression. "So just play with friends in your own region" you say, well I'm sorry to say that I'm the only idiot dumb enough to buy this awful game.

    This is not a SimCity game in any sense except name only. This is just SimTown with awful design decisions and a clear plan to have loads of microtransactions.
    Save your money and don't buy this game until it hits the $5 bargain bin. Hope that EA doesn't shut down the servers by that time.
  29. Mar 5, 2013
    This is not Sim City. With the tiny land size it should have been called 'Sim-Town'. You are set in a region, where you either have to personally manage several 'towns' and specialize them towards a regional goal. If you choose to play with other people, you better hope they are on board with the common goal or they can basically contribute nothing. On top of the obvious goal of monetizing the game with micro transactions over it's lifetime, the 'always on' internet requirement... this feels more like an iPad game than a PC game. Shame on the review sites for lowering there expectations of PC games to that of mobile gaming standards. Expand
  30. ohz
    Mar 5, 2013
    The critic reviews are undeniable proof of "gaming journalism" being rotten to the core. This is the exact same game as SimCity Social, except you have to pay $80 before you're allowed to start paying for extras.

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]