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Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 4405 Ratings

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  1. Mar 5, 2013
    Although the game itself is amazing it really doesn't mean anything when you can't play it. Between the massive problems EA had getting the game to even release to the issues where you wait 20 min in a queue just to have it reset or allow you to join for an endless loading screen. Although you expect issues with a day 1 release those bugs usually still let you play the game, such as endless audio loops or menus disappearing which I have had happen in Simcity. People would be willing to deal with always online DRM if it actually let us play the game we paid $60. I hope that EA offers some sort of credit or in game items for all of the mess. If not I'll just go buy the physical copy if I buy it at all. Expand
  2. Mar 5, 2013
    PROS: Fresh look for a good classic, resources or speciality services, shared goals within game, on line play.

    CONS: DRM tech (for such a "unpopular" game, based on EA's preparedness level), SC Veterans will miss a single player mode, EA's support structure was not scaled appropriately for this games data/connection requirements and/or the demand thereof.

    Im not sure what type of
    this latest title the Critics got a taste of, but I assure you, it wasn't the one that consumers beta tested or paid for. Finally, with all that can go wrong(and has) with games that have gone this route, I'm not even sure if you can call this a game at this stage.....maybe software or program as a game is fundamentally redundant if it cannot be played and just merely stared at, in awestruck disappointment. Expand
  3. Mar 6, 2013
    It's incredible how the greed for money can ruin user experience. And those EA guys trying to convince us that DRM implemented in the game is totally alright. Seriously EA i stop buying your games you don't deserve it. YOu deserve to die as a company that kills nice IPs and gamedev companies. That DRM that doesn't allow you to play SP is just a last drop.
  4. 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
  5. Mar 6, 2013
    DRM, small map size, forced "social" gaming. I want to like this game so very badly, but those 3 things alone are almost enough for me to not want to pick up where I left off on my city.....ohhhh WAIT, no, I cant pick up because the servers wont let me right now. Thats right...
  6. Mar 6, 2013
    Small city sizes makes the game not true to the simcity series. In addition, the always on connection required with servers that cannot handle the loads just further drops the ball. Maxis had a great idea, great game plan, great foundation, but failed to deliver with the execution of the final simcity game. I call it the final, because they will lose a lot of long time fans of the series with this one. Expand
  7. Mar 6, 2013
    This game is awesome! When I'm able to play it... Unfortunately, the always-online DRM that comes with this game makes it very difficult to do so. Yes, it is only the first few days of launch, but it sure would be nice if I didn't have to worry about server loads, disconnects, rollbacks, downtime, maintenance, losing hours on my cities, ect. I understand it's no longer a single player game, but I'd much rather have the option to play online with friends rather than be forced to play by their server scheduled when all I want to do is play in my own region.

    I defended Diablo 3s always-online model, mostly because I was blinded by fan-girl-ism and I thought a game shouldn't be rated based on a games servers. Not anymore. This game deserves the metascore that the critics give it, but I just can't feel the same as long as this DRM is in place. It's such a terrible model to prevent piracy and companies like EA and Blizzard need to learn this. Fast. It only hurts the consumers that paid actual money.
  8. Mar 12, 2013
    I originally reviewed this game on day two after the North American release. I rated it 7 out of 10. I am changing my review to a 2 out of 10.

    When I first reviewed the game, there were serious server issues. While they are still lingering, and servers are constantly coming down and back up daily, the game is now at least playable for an extended amount of time. In my original
    review, I praised the graphics, interface, deep simulation, and the way they mesh together. I stand by my assessment of the graphics and interface. However, upon playing the game uninterrupted for several hours, as well as doing number crunching, and reading other accounts of people doing the same kinds of observations I have been, I've come to the conclusion that the simulation is not nearly as deep as it appears. One of the great features touted by the developers in this game was the 'GlassBox' engine, which supposedly has literally thousands of 'sims' (citizens of your city) being simulated on the EA servers, which allows a realistic and complex city to emerge on your screen without users needing to own a supercomputer. This conveniently provided their rationale for requiring a constant connection to their servers at all times even while playing single player. This is manifestly false. You can physically disconnect your internet from your computer while playing and the supposedly server-side simulation continues to hum along without a hitch. My complaint here is not about the requirement of the internet connection (though there are many reasons to dislike it), but by the completely invented reasoning behind its inclusion.

    In addition to this complaint, there are an entire host of client-side issues which are either bugs, or simply non-features to begin with. The supposedly intelligent traffic system in which "everyone has a home and a workplace unless unemployed", is also false. The "simulation" does not simulate actions of the sims, it simply spawns cars and moves them around in a fashion which would *appear* to show a collection of individual behaviors. Essentially, it "simulates" the simulation. The same can be said for the industrial system, in which supposedly residents work and produce goods, which are then shipped off to businesses to be sold to citizens that made money working & producing other goods. This is also false. Despite showing lots of big numbers when you look at your population statistics regarding "shipped freight", "goods sold" etc, these are essentially arbitrary numbers based on the population of your city (which also over time becomes greatly inflated compared to the number of actual "sims" visible moving about your city) and the makeup of your zones which you have placed. The businesses do not recieve shipments from industry, they restock automatically at the beginning of each game day, regardless of the availability of goods either in your city or your region. It is entirely possible and workable to have a city with zero industry and only residents and shops, with no imports, exports, or production, but the city will "thrive" on. In short, the much touted "depth" of simulation is a complete sham. The real achievement by Maxis is the ability of the game to pull the wool over your eyes and show you what purports to be a much more realistic and complex simulation than previous SimCity titles when in fact, the game is far simpler, less realistic, more limited, and worst of all, dysfunctional to the core.
  9. Mar 6, 2013
    Awful game. This is not SimCity. This is SimVillage. You cannot build a city: for starters, a 2 by 2 kilometre map is far from a city. I get real cities are many hundreds of square kilometres, and this would be impossible to simulate, but 8 by 8 km would provide satisfactory room. Honestly, it takes just a few hours to fill up a city. Secondly, the cities are separated by retarded open land, and cities are "in a bubble", contradictory to Lucy Bradshaw and others. If city tiles were contiguous, small maps wouldn't be such a problem. but then roads and rail would still be fixed in place another thing that really annoys me. The graphics are fantastic and the gameplay is great, but this doesn't mean much when I play for a few an hour and have fully developed my city. Then, there's Origin. I couldn't play SimCity because of EA's pathetic platform for almost ten hours, unable to download it. Once I did download it, I took me half and hour to eventually connect to a server. Simcity's online-only aspect has bit EA on the backside, proving that, for now, it is not a reliable way to deliver a game. I've played SimCity 3000 and 4, and it looks like I will continue to do so after this train-wreck.

    Please, avoid this game, you will be disappointed (unless you're just a casual "gamer")
  10. Mar 6, 2013
    There isn't anything more offensive than cloud computing errors causing game to me nonexistent. Moreover, spending nearly $60-$80 on a title so HIGHLY exclaimed as the GOY, and yet comes off as a huge failure. When the game is playing, it's fun, social, and is a refreshing update to the simcity franchise. What ruins the game for me is as follows: No single player, No save option outside of forced incontinent cloud storage), server errors (you think they would have gotten this ready for the launch), inaccurate protesting (crime levels down to zero, yet protests for high crime change power source for town when paused and after relaunching game town protests lost of power), force closing (it's the only game in the last 3 years I've played with massive force closures on a regular basis) EA support (no upgrades after launch day errors, and seemingly weak support), ORIGIN ran. Expand
  11. Mar 6, 2013
    Yesterday, I was able to play this single player game for maybe an hour before becoming disconnected from the server; waited in queues for 30 minutes at a time only have my queue restarted at the end of each 30 minutes. Middle of day 2, my region won't load. It goes without saying that the release of this game is a fiasco, but what is rightfully upsetting is that EA has broken very logical convention for a game of this type, and really gone out of its way to put its customers at risk of dealing with this inconvenience. If EA were a TV manufacturer, an airline, a pharmaceutical company....they would be issuing refunds right now. In the least case, they owe a very public apology to their customers who preordered or purchased before they had their servers working. As far as the DRM is concerned, I cannot imagine a poorer way to treat paying customers.
    As for the actual gameplay that I was able to experience: If I had to sum it up in one word, unfortunately that word would be "lame". Aside from the day one bugs, such as not being able to sell power to my partially-grown neighboring city, I was seriously let down by the abnormally anemic size of the cities and by the shallowed complexity as compared to SC4. I miss the graphs...they were the best way to show you how well you have done over time, and what elements changed in your SC4 city. The demand system is not doing well: I had half of the acreage of my city covered in middle-wealth families, a quarter in middle-wealth commercial, and a quarter in middle wealth manufacturing. What are the sims telling me? The residents say there are no jobs and not enough shopping. The shops say there are not enough potential employees or shoppers. The factories say there are not enough potential employees or "places to ship their goods", i.e, shops. So yeah, that is perhaps the most essential system in the game and it's currently half-baked. It is visually decent, but the animations are still buggy (i.e. sims jittering around as if possessed).
    I believe it is completely fair to compare this game to SC4, particularly as the developers have spent plenty of time alluding to the connection between the two. At this moment in time, SC4 is hands-down a more challenging, more complex, and, without a doubt, more rewarding game. The multiplayer aspect was a bold diversion from the logical direction, and has thus far not only failed to add anything meaningfully positive but has made the game literally unplayable for the core market who preordered or purchased in the first days. Obviously, fixing this issue is priority one. Expanding the city size is priority two. These two glaring issues need to be fixed before we can pretend that this game is worth more than $20 (issue one needs to be fixed before this game is worth a penny!). I'm not sure we're ever going to see this game being worth the $60 that so many of us have paid.

    I'm rating a zero, obviously, for the fact that on day two I still cannot play the game. If I were to pretend that I could play the game, I would give it a 3.5. Overall rating rounded up to 2.

    To remake a lyric from Team America: "I miss you more than Electronic Arts missed the mark, when they made SimCity..."
  12. Mar 6, 2013
    I have been very excited for this game, in fact this is the first EA game for me in a very long time. Coming from many MMO's I expect server outages, patching, etc. However I do feel that EA/Maxis brought this on themselves with lack luster beta testing. The fact is they only allowed for beta for a total of two days separated by 2 weeks each time and only allowed you the play the game for 1 hour and not all the features worked. So what to do you...servers not properly tested. The whole "you need internet to play this game because real cities need outsides" is BS. This game should of had an option to play online or offline. How is it that I create a city (mark it as private) and don't allow anyone to join but me any different then playing offline? Its not. The fact is the game is 100% online because EA/Maxis wants to make it hard to steal the game.

    Over the past 48 hours I have clocked in a total of 3 hours of actual play time due to server issues and login problems.
  13. Mar 6, 2013
    I am so disappointed that i want to cry. HUGE fan of sim city 4 (certainly more than 1 000 hours in 10 years) This game isn't a sim city anymore, it is a f***ing Facebook social sim village-city. Ridiculously easy, stupidly small and uselessly social. IT is a shame Maxis and EA, shame on you And shame on sold video games websites that gave this game a good rate, which is certainly not deserved. I hope Desperately that some TRUE sim-city fan will develop a kickstarted project. Expand
  14. Mar 6, 2013
    Wow! I'm so disappointed with how the game going so far. I lost 2 newly start-up cities already because of disconnection. I've high expectations for this game since it cost $60.
  15. Mar 6, 2013
    The Good: Beautiful game, good soundtrack, they added a lot of cool new features since Sim City 4 and went away from the train wreck that was 'Societies'.

    The Bad: Tiny, little maps. I want to build a massive, pollution-belching metropolis like in SC4, but you can't. You are limited to the same sized Cities as in 'Societies'. With all the great features implemented in this title there
    is no room to use them. The game also requires that be online to play, unfortunately EA didn't plan for the launch. I've spent more time trying to play than actually playing. In trying to load one of my 4 Cities it reports that I cannot due to the servers being down. Maxis is a good developer, at least they were until they got gobbled-up by EA. I will certainly think twice before buying any additional EA titles in the future. It's clear that they care less about your gaming experience then they do about your dollar. Expand
  16. Mar 6, 2013
    EA's servers are the biggest issue. Selecting a server, syncing with it and actually playing a game is seemingly impossible. If you are lucky enough to even get that far, look forward to playing for 15-30 minutes before the server is disrupted, in which case you will likely be disconnected. After being disconnected you may or may not lose your progress, and may or may not be able to log back in for hours at a time. Do not waste your time or money. Expand
  17. Mar 6, 2013
    I've played SIM City 4 for years, total addict. I eagerly picked up the pre-release for this version from Amazon. I let the update run overnight (and it was still running this morning), and now I can't even find an open server. In all fairness, I was able to actually get into the game for almost 10 minutes before the game closed without warning. I have no idea whether my stuff was saved because, 3 hours later, I still can't get back in. I just want to build cities. I guess I'll go back to my old version for a while until this gets Expand
  18. Mar 6, 2013
    Extremely buggy and servers keep going offline, causing me to loose entire cities. In game AI is absolutely terrible, certain building upgrades are very hard to build for no apparent reason, and there are other design issues as well such as some buildings being useless such as the nuclear power plant because it simply floods your city with radiation no matter what you do. Nuclear power doesn't work anything like that in real life. Also city sizes are annoyingly tiny. Expand
  19. Mar 6, 2013
    Here is a game that might actually be fin if I could log in to play it. Terrible implementation of DRM. Always online really goes against what Simcity always was to me a game you play on a long trip. In the middle of the night when you should be studying or sleeping. Why force people to play online, if you want to have DRM then have it save login occasionally not all the time at least, I want to keep playing when your servers don't work or when you decide to get rid of them. Expand
  20. Mar 6, 2013
    EA strikes again with its dumb buisness strategies. Forced Online DRM, Day one DLC, and preorder items (That cost 20 dollars more) making a large change in the game? Yeah, they did it all. I don't blame maxis for this, I'm sure EA took the wipe and threatened them, so instead of raging at the creators, I'll rage at the publishers. Warning, If you are here looking for a review of the game, don't look beyond this point, it'll mostly be the glaring flaws of the game.

    Online DRM One word: Stupid. Who thought this was a good idea? It literally does nothing good for the game, considering pirates have always found a way around DRM. Preorder Items: I'm fine with changed in apperance (Hats for example) and things similiar but for 20 extra dollars, you get a few items that change the game COMPLETELY. Day one DLC: I don't even need to say anything, if its done the first day, it should be in the game. Its that simple.
    Now, I've never pirated anything in my life, but the actions EA takes make me want to pirate every single game they publish so once again, good job EA.
  21. Mar 6, 2013
    I want to play the game. That is the problem, with major server issues this game is unplayable. When I did get a chance to play I had a blast. I cannot in good faith give this game a good review based just on the game play, it must be given as much of a review on the whole product that has been delivered and that includes the persistent online features.
  22. Mar 6, 2013
    I haven't played SimCity in a long time, so I was looking very forward to getting back into the franchise. So far, I've experienced far more disappointment than satisfaction. #1, because of the always online DRM, your ability to play the game at any given time rests squarely in the hands of EA. You're essentially leasing the game from them, you're not buying it, it's not yours. #2, it's has a SINGLE PLAYER GAME component that still has always online DRM. It's conceptually ridiculous when a single player game relies on a 3rd party in order to even work. #3, when I finally got in, I initially enjoyed playing the game. The aspects of city-building are pretty deep. The downside quickly became apparent; there's no room to build sprawling cities like with past titles.

    ..... #4, make no mistake, this is designed to be a multiplayer game where a collective ground of people each contributes to an overall goal for a region. I prefer to play the single player component, but in its current state, that isn't very good.
  23. Mar 6, 2013
    Probably nothing more to add than anyone else did. Could be a great game, but the ineptitude of EA and Maxis could be a brand killer. I don't mind the smaller city sizes as much, but to require that the player have to be connected to servers and then not to have them ready to go is just ridiculous.
  24. Mar 6, 2013
    I went to the trouble of creating an account just so I could warn folks not to buy this game. A persistent online, single-player game where the servers do not work is a setup for failure.

    Now, granted, when you do get in (for me about 15/100 times), the game is very good. Visually a delight. But from server issues at launch to ongoing issues on the first and second days post-launch, I
    just cannot recommend this game. And this comes from someone who has played every SimCity since the first in 1989 when I was still in high school.

    I play games to relax and unwind. And this game has been an utter frustration instead. I'm going to return this game for a refund and hopefully re-purchase in a month or two when either the servers get better or EA realizes the DRM and persistent online scheme appropriate for a MMORPG is not appropriate for a single-player city simulator.
  25. Mar 6, 2013
    It's sad to see that the potential and future success of this game was ruined by the always online DRM, the constant server crashes, the inability to actually play Single Player, which I was hoping to have been able to do. The ways these ideas were implemented was a slap to the face for the gaming community and me. If anything, Sim City does not deserve the 83 Metascore it currently holds until they can listen to their consumers and correct the online DRM they have on play. If they honestly think that having these strict DRMs actually prevent piracy...they are wrong. Expand
  26. Mar 6, 2013
    It was a completely terrible decision for EA to add such restrictive DRM to a single player game. I may have been more forgiving if the game was actually playable for me. But even still the online features are ridiculous, especially online only saves and the inability to play this game at launch.
  27. Mar 6, 2013
    Fun when you can play... unfortunately you cant. This game will be plagued by always-online bull for the entire time its relevant. Its sad but true. Simcity is a single player game at heart. Stop pushing for online BS because tis has obviously failed you.

  28. Mar 6, 2013
    The game is OK when it's playable, but beyond not being available most of the time, it still has issues. Single player isn't really possible unless you create multiple cities in a region. I couldn't bring any of my plans to fruition with just a single city, so I had to make a fake city to supply some services to the main one. I'm also almost out of space at maybe 30k people. Of course, I haven't been able to play it much because it hasn't been available much. Many, many, many issues with server availability and bugginess. Expand
  29. Mar 6, 2013
    It's a waste of time and money, and the fact that they're BLATANTLY LYING about having fixed servers and are not doing ANYTHING to compensate for this massive failure of a launch is an enormous slap in the face. The game was actually really fun for the few hours i got to play, after waiting 4 hours to install a game FROM A DISC because i needed to connect to the servers to install it for some stupid reason, and before the server crashed and I lost MY ENTIRE CITY. The fact that it forces you be be always online was a horrible mistake on EAs part. This isn't an MMO its a single player city simulation. Their customer service is non-existent and the announcements being given by the company saying that servers are patched and running have all been false. Absolutely ridiculous. Expand
  30. Mar 7, 2013
    I bought the game because, even though I got screwed by Diablo 3, I figured I'd give EA one chance.

    So far, they have blown it--the game is unplayable. It gets two stars because the time I have been able to play it, it has been very fun. I will adjust my score if I can get one week without problems, but in the meantime, the low score will serve as a message to EA that they NEED to get
    their act together. This is unacceptable and bordering on fraud. Expand
  31. Mar 7, 2013
    All the critic reviews were written by people who got to play the game when there were no server issues. EAs current shortcoming in terms of servers and customer support mean that you should definitely not buy it in its current state. If you are considering buying it right now just know that You WILL have log in issues, crashes and re-rolls and NO, you will not get your money back because EA refuses to refund anyone. The game is good but the DRM just ruins it for everyone. Be patient and wait for EA to fix this. On the other hand you could boycott them for horrible business practices that have brought them this far in terms of relations with fans of the Sim City games. Up to you. Expand
  32. Mar 7, 2013
    If your looking to play a sim town game that you can rarely play because of server issues, cannot save, and crashes regularly then you are in luck. Otherwise, stay away. How does EA stay in business producing this stuff? We all must just be sheep to them.
  33. Mar 7, 2013
    DRM kills this game, as the previous 1000+ people said. Can't log into servers, always checking for updates. Terrible launch. And now EA will not take a refund on the game. Don't waste your hard earned cash on this company, and their bad products!
  34. Mar 7, 2013
    When you purchase a game, you should be able to play it when it is released. If a game cannot be made available to the customers, the game should not be released. Ive tried for hours to get in, to no avail. Always online DRM needs to go the way of the dodo. Such a shame
  35. Mar 7, 2013
    I really do feel slighted having purchased this game.

    I have now spent more time attempting to play this game than actually playing it. When I can play it, I'm unsure of the status of my game, will it be saved and playable later? The answer is that I don't know because I've lost more cities than I've kept and there's no feedback to the player.

    I also fear for the long term future
    of this game, not replay-ability mind you... but playability. EA is renowned for closing down online features of games after their popularity dwindles, will this happen to my beloved SimCity as well in 5 years... 10 years?

    If I could go back I would, and because I can't I will change my habits: No longer will I support any media that uses online only DRM.
  36. Mar 7, 2013
    I realize that most negative reviews posted here have been regarding the DRM and always online requirement. While I'll agree that has been a major nuisance and limitation to the game, there's more absent from this game than just the simple inability to play when one chooses (a major flaw in its own right).

    First, the game has a very limiting feel to it. I've played SimCity since version
    1.0 in the early nineties and not since that version have I felt so boxed in. The city size, the method for which zones are laid down, the size and scale of certain city facilities. There seems to be no organic aspect to this game, and it brings back memories of the Societies debacle from a few years ago. From SC4, I could build a network of major roads and then spray a large residential zone within a major road loop and all of the smaller streets would auto create (sometimes with a bit of frustration, but nonetheless). In the new SC, I spend most of my time redesigning road layouts to maximize the usage of my zones.

    Build your city your way is simply not the case. And while I don't want this to be a rant on the city size, it cannot be ignored. We've gone from small cities in SC1 to medium cities SC2000 to all-out metropolises in SC4. Part of the excitement and what has kept me occasionally going back to a 10 year old game in SC4 is the almost hobby nature associated with building and cultivating a large, mega city with all of the intricacies, challenges, and endless opportunities for uniqueness. The new Simcity completely fails in this regard as the new city size feels almost claustrophobic. It would be one thing if the region seemed more connected, but instead it feels like you're building a vacuum that has some distant connection to a far away land. You have almost zero control on designing the connection between one neighboring city to another, that's already been done for you.

    The online integration of this game has created unending frustration. No ability to locally save is the big negative for me. I recognize the desire for a server connection for DRM or other reasons, but not allowing me to save my game locally just opens up EA to constant complaints about lost game saves, etc. This is extremely frustrating (as I've already lost 3 cities to the apparent server outage of 3/6).

    I've often explained Simcity to non Simcity players as the modern version of collecting model trains. It is not really a computer game, but more of digital hobby machine. A place where creativity and design can be tested in real-world with mathematics and simulation. This new Simcity completely misses that mark. While its pretty, it fails as the open creative world so well mastered in its last true previous iteration. Furthermore, the simulation engine appears to fail at creating an accurate sim environment.
  37. Mar 7, 2013
    Too much forced structure to be SimCity as we knew it. Cities are very small and meant to rely on each other for services and buildings. Once city cannot do more than one or two things. Even "sandbox" mode doesn't change this. No way to save a city, try something out, and then go back to the earlier version if you don' t like it. I am very disappointed as at the start of a new city it feels like a great update of the old games. Social should have been an optional extra not forced to be the entire game. They broke the game for single player because they needed the restrictions to get multiplayer to work. If you don't want multiplayer this SimCity (5) is not for you.
    I do not like that it requires a constant connection to the servers, if it loses connection it doesn't save and it will eventually kick you out of your city (and not save it). Someone took a great game and broke it trying to figure out how to make more money out of it.
  38. Mar 7, 2013
    Always on, internet connection required SINGLE PLAYER GAME! Pass on this one guys, You'll get maybe 10 hours of gameplay out of it before you're bored. It's still SimCity, but not the way you want to remember it.
  39. Mar 7, 2013
    Unfortunately, the game remains unplayable. An unplayable game (3 days after launch), gets a 0. Even if all were fine, the manual indicates a dumbed down city building experience.

    Given Spore, and The Sims Medieval, it really looks like Maxis is slumping. Also, given the revenue EA has made off The Sims DLC, I suspect they intended to make Sim City a cash cow with similar add-ons (and
    attempting to "protect" it through ridiculous DRM). Who knows, maybe they can turn it around. I know other games that required always on Internet, and they changed it. But, I doubt EA will, even if their game tanks. Expand
  40. Mar 7, 2013
    Loaded the game the night before, took an HOUR at least to load. Then it updated another hour, THEN the servers were busy.
    Finally got on in the morning. Slow and clunky. Servers busy AGAIN, then the game drops the connection to the server??? did I lose my information???
    Simcity 4 was great, I eventually had to cut the disk in half because I was spending TOO much time on it. With this
    UNPLAYABLE game my time is my own. A $60 game should not have you waiting in a que. With all the power of computers and memory and gig's one should be able to play stand alone and then go to the server to update WHEN I WANT TO. where can I get my money back???
    and supposedly my graphics card is not powerful enough also???

    Real Amateur hour Maxis...
  41. Mar 7, 2013
    The premise has been lost with this game, with a name like Sim City you want to create just that. A vibrant metropolis of large scale. Unfortunately this has been lost forever now it seems. Maps are smaller then ever and while it has many great features these are virtually the same as the four games before it. The innovation that was promised really isn't there. The game forces you more so then ever to link your city to neighbors which I felt was the fundamental flaw in Sim City 4. Everything under one roof so to speak now doesn't work. The choice isn't even there and has been simply removed. The are bugs and I had to hard restart the game on two occasions due to crashes. These didn't seem linked either so two hard restart bugs on launch isn't good at all. The biggest issue so far is the constant connecting to server issues associated with the needlessly over the top DRM. This function shouldn't make a game non-playable but it does. It kind of shocking that EA are so over-protective now that they will willingly hamper a players experience. I hope this is quickly patched. If so my rating will be higher, but in its current state the game is verging on unplayable. Expand
  42. Mar 7, 2013
    First, let me begin by clarifying that a product should be reviewed in all its functions. If I enter a restaurant and the food is excellent but the service is terrible, I can factor the poor service in to the review because it is certainly part of the experience. In the same way that if a game has a bug, it can rightly factor in to your review.
    The game play is good, but not
    earth-shattering. The mechanics are polished but 'softened' enough that veteran players may feel unattended to. Not getting to play a game that I purchased because of issues I have no culpability for, is NOT okay. As consumers, we continue to capitulate more and more and accept this as standard practice. We shouldn't. This is ESPECIALLY true when they make no attempt to compensate you for lapses: "Couldn't play for a week? Here's a free dlc item." Ultimately we continue to send a message that we will digest anything regardless of the flaws.
    I'm sorry but an amusing game in no way makes up for a product that is too broken to properly work. All moral context aside, my score is a reflection of SERVICE LEVELS and GAMEPLAY combined. I'm rating the 'experience of investing my time in to simcity', and so far, it sucks.
  43. Mar 7, 2013
    FIX YOUR SERVER ISSUES EA You should have been prepared you had thousands of pre-orders and two beta tests to indicate the level of demand and plan for it accordingly. Loyal fans of the SimCity brand have waited 10 years to play this game and you have proven yourselves to be completely and utterly ill-prepared and downright incompetent in dealing with the demand. I cannot give more than 2/10 as I have only managed to get 2 hours of gameplay since launch day pathetic!! Expand
  44. Mar 7, 2013
    Content-wise it is a really nice game very engaging and motivating, despite the criticism regarding map size or similar issues. If however I pay 80€ for a digital download of a game which is not an MMO and I am absolutely unable to play the game, lose progress on cities because connections are extremely unstable even 24h after launch something is very wrong with the deal... The two beta were meant to evaluate server load prior to the release did they act on that? It seems that no: In the server list there is a total of 4 servers dedicated for european users next to US and pacific servers. Since EA is apparently that cheap, they´ll get an appropriate score from me... Don´t buy the game (now). At least wait. Expand
  45. Mar 7, 2013
    If you can't guess why, please look above or below me. Its the SAME. DAMN. ISSUE. Its one thing to have a bad game, its another to gave an unplayable game.
  46. Mar 7, 2013
    Fun game when you can actually play it. Unfortunately, this is rare because of the badly implemented attempt at online-only DRM masked as multiplayer. When you finally manage to connect to the overloaded servers, there is a good chance that your city will not load, any work done to your city will not be saved, or you will be randomly disconnected and forced to wait in the queue again.
  47. Mar 7, 2013
    Do not buy this game for now. The servers are unstable and always crash, the always online will mean you will have to either wait in que for long periods of time or not be able to log in at all but if you do and try to claim a city it might become corrupt later on, losing you those precious hours spent upon building your master piece. EA has done a horrible job with the games stability. It is sad because the gameplay is very smooth, bright and addicting just like the previous Simcity games except with more complexity and better graphics. Maxis is also at fault here and should take as much responsibility as EA. They have agreed to the always online DRM and EA hosting their servers and have yet paralyzingly allowed people to pre-order and deny people their games. Unless you want to do a card dispute of your purchase then I suggest either waiting for an offline patch, either official or not or just sticking to the good old Simcity 4. Expand
  48. Mar 7, 2013
    This is one of the worst game launches I have seen. I would not recommend playing the game at this time. Problems logging into the server, not being able to find a city that you've spent 3 hours building. In my opinion the DRM is not the problem but the launch has been terribly executed. To save time and frustration it would probably be in most peoples' interest not to try playing for a month until the server issues are resolved. Too bad that you can't get your money back for this. Expand
  49. Mar 7, 2013
    I am done with EA. Simcity is worse then Aliens and Duke Nukem. The always online DRM is awful and my internet isn't very good so it crashes a lot. The city is smallllllllllllll and the AI is terrible. Origin is awful. you EA I am giving my next 60 dollars to Valve
  50. Mar 8, 2013
    YAY! managed to play 45min on EE 3, now cant get back in. THANKS EA!
    if i cant play this game now? how about 5 years from now? this is horrible launch, also even if this was a perfect launch, the city size is about the same size as a stamp. they better fix city size soon, and for free. this might be my last EA game, even ubisoft seems better these days, and ubisoft is terrible.
    ranting ranting Expand
  51. Mar 8, 2013
    Fun game when it works, but servers are congested and rarely function. Basically unplayable. EA's stated they're going to remove functions from the game to decrease load, but that's also reducing the fun factor. Do not buy. Complete waste of money.
  52. Mar 8, 2013
    In case you have not yet noticed, SimCity has what is called constantly online DRM. This means if the game is running, you MUST be online and logged into Origin, EA's sales platform, and response to Steam. Now this sounds excellent, in theory. Everyone gets updates automatically, you can play with anyone all over the world, etc. However, the viability of this
    method ends at THEORY. In reality, this is the smoking gun for this game. I have only had the opportunity to play this game once, for 1 hour and 30 minutes, before I was kicked from the server due to high volume. This is completely unreasonable, and I feel EA was completely unprepared to handle so many users on the server. That is major, obvious oversight on their part, and it ruined the game.
    Further, totally offline mode is completely eliminated. When I play a game such as SimCity, I expect to be able to play the classic mode where I can quietly play, ALONE. This is no longer an option, as all the cities in a region must co-mingle and supply each other with services, or the city itself is penalized! As an experiment, I attempted to play on a server with other players and remain independent, and rejected the assistance offered to me by other players. After a while, my economy collapsed because all my workers were automatically leaving my city to work at a neighbor's city. They are programmed to do this for absolutely no reason, other than penalizing players who wish to remain independent from others.

    In short, the Online Requirement murdered this game, and I regret wasting my hard earned money on it. I encourage all prospective customers to NOT purchase this game, as it will only lead to your disappointment.
  53. Mar 8, 2013
    My number one complaint is that you have to be online to play this game, even if you're playing by yourself. Number two complaint is the city size. They're downright tiny. I would like to be able to build much bigger cities. Lastly, it's a very frustrating process to even try to play, mainly because servers are always busy. It's taken me up to 30 minutes to be able to connect. I know this is a launch issue which will get solved eventually, but people who payed $60 to be the first to play this highly-anticipated game probably are feeling cheated. Expand
  54. Mar 11, 2013
    Have revised my score upwards slightly, as EA has now actually allowed me to play the game rather than the loading screen for the first time. It was a lot of fun. A lot. This would be a fantastic single-player game. But then I lost connection, and couldn't log back on. That was not fun. Then EA allowed me to play again several hours later, and I found I had lost hours of progress. That was even less fun. Why is there no "Save" option? Never before have I played a game with that gave me such enjoyment before letting me down so badly. If it was an MMO it wouldn't feel so bad. But it's a single player game, and it doesn't NEED to be server-dependent. It really feels like EA is playing some cruel game here with one of my favorite game series of all times. They set it up this way deliberately, knowing that this would happen. Expand
  55. Mar 8, 2013
    Had high hopes, but was disappointed by several things. Obviously the connection issues and launch problems, but those are temporary issues for the most part. Overall I was was most annoyed by limited city size, and what seems like watered down tools. Multi-player isn't my thing so I'm forced to manage several small "cities" to get every thing going, which only makes the annoying load times when switching that much more annoying. I live in a rural area and the occasional drop in connection is expected, losing work to server issues is frustrating. Thankfully I purchased through Amazon and got my refund. The graphics are good and when it works it was ok. Launch issues, limited size, and the likelihood of paying to increase that size through DLC, limited life of the game, and terrible communication by EA are the reason for my rating. I won't complain about the DRM masked as multi-player/server side processing, but that isn't a plus. BTW roughly half the PRO Reviews where done on EA's private server before launch, and polygon lowered it's score. Expand
  56. Mar 8, 2013
    After building a gaming PC for this game and a couple of other recent releases I have to say I'm pretty disappointed. I can't even play the tutorial level at the moment as I keep getting a 'servers are full' message. Not quite the gaming experience I hoped for when paying nearly £50 for a digital release!
  57. Mar 22, 2013
    The game is broken is almost every important aspect. Sure, I can imagine IF one day everything works, it could be a 8/10 candidate. But as it is, on two fronts the game is entirely broken. In the Agent System, and in the server/online feature.

    There have been plenty of reports how and why the agent system and the other ingame systems don't work. There is little I could add to what has
    been said a 1000 times by now. Simply too many subsystems of the game do not work at all.

    But I could live with traffic issues, simlulation disparities, trash gathering... all of it, if the game would actually, physically work. Just it doesn't. I invested 2 days in a region, and suddenly the game went to the main screen, out of the blue, "Server crashed" and the entire savegame of the region was broken and I could never load it again. Then I started a new region, two specialized cities, I put DAYS of long, hard work into the cities and was proud to finally got them them running. Them BAM, the game forced me to the main menu, the city was RESET, and the hard work of DAYS was lost to me.

    I contacted EA support, but they could do nothing to reset my savegames, which were lost entirely due to their fault. So they have no backups, and they have no system to save the savegames on MY OWN computer for safety backup. I can really live with a lot of issues, but when days of work into a game are ruined, it is beyond any excuse. And for weeks this is so, and EA simply refuses to communicate with it's customers.

    I give 2 honorary points for the idea behind the game, but the game is at the moment ENTIRELY broken, unplayable and as it looks, the issues run so deep it will take months to enable a halfway working status.
  58. Mar 8, 2013
    We should open class action lawsuits against those companies. I few like asking for refund is not enough. I bought a product that didn't work and the manual nor the manufacturer can solve. It´s like buying a ticket for a show and the band didn't show off, so they send some lame local cover band. Maybe is time to gamers start to demand quality over achievements.
  59. Fuu
    Mar 8, 2013
    Sim City has really flopped, even if you remove the server issues from the equation. I feel really bad for the guys at Maxis who had to make the game like this, I have a feeling that it wasn't their decision. Over the last two days I've managed to play for about 10 hours on the Europe West 2 server despite the horrible server problems, and I'm already getting bored with the game. Having spent thousands of hours to all of the previous versions of Sim City, that is a surprise I didn't expect when paying 60€ for the game. At 6€/h that is a pretty steep price for two frustrating days of queuing to the servers and constantly being afraid to loose your progress.

    Severe points reduction from the city sizes that are probably the most crippling aspect of this game. The current map is full to the edges after only few hours of play and you get a claustrophobic feeling in the game with no space to expand. Moving to second region just postpones it a few hours and frustration returns even stronger when it also runs out of space. Your city looks like a downtown of a real city that's cut out from a larger entity with real suburbs and all that nice surrounding built area. Developers say that the choice was made so that even low end PCs could play the game. I don't understand why they couldn't use the same approach that has been taken in Sim City 4: variable size maps. You just pick the map that your PC can handle when it's maxed out and that's it. If the choice was too large one, try again with a smaller one. Problem solved. It's annoying how the developers are trying to explain away design decisions with "pretend logic" and hoping that players don't notice. I'm guessing most likely the orders came from above to limit the city sizes for some future DLC release. Or some other crap like that. I just want to refuse to believe a serious game designer wouldn't notice how much the city size limit affects the game experience.

    Lots of minus from roads, somehow all the fun is missing from building the roads because of the minuscule city sizes and lack of choice on how to connect to neighboring cities. That's a shame because building roads and designing road networks has always been one of the key aspects of Sim City. It's also annoying how you have to upgrade all your roads to high density because otherwise your city just won't grow in population, and then you have a city with only high buildings. Having the curvy roads is great, but doesn't compensate for all the other lacks.

    To add insult to injury, there is the always on DRM that doesn't let me choose when to save regions, or allow me to reload regions at previous states. I don't have possession of my own save games from private region where I'm the only player. The pollution that crosses city boundaries into neighboring cities and abandoned city slots pretty much guarantees that I have no intention to play on public regions where I can't control actions of the other cities.

    The game is pretty and smooth, credits for that. The simulation engine seems to work nicely. But I'm not going to spend hundreds of hours to this game just because it looks pretty and I can follow each Sim around in the city. It must be fun to play, the City Building must be the primary activity and the current version just isn't any of that. Many of official reviews said the game is a lot of fun. I disagree.

    Looking at how EA did their calculations about the required amount of servers to support their player base, it seems that they need at least 4-8 times more server capacity to do the job than estimated. After the doubling of the initial capacity that I've seen today, the servers are still completely bogged even with the cheetah speed and game features disabled. So here's an interesting thought to ponder: How much is EA willing to spend on running these servers for an extended period? How many hours of server time at amazon did my 60€ buy? At what point is EA going to decide that it's time to pull the plug or they will start loosing money for every hour I spend on this game? Their initial estimates on the server costs were 4-8 times under the mark, and you can bet your house on it that EA is not going to allow Sim City to add to the red side of their balance sheet if the investors have any say on it. Be prepared to make a door stop from your Sim City DVD much sooner than you thought, this one is not going to be kicking for 10 years like it's predecessor. Please, don't repeat my mistake and support this horrible business model of always on-line single player games that pretend to be serious multi-player games to get your moneys. I would ask for my money back, but apparently EA doesn't refund games bought from Origin. Thanks EA for ruining Sim City.
  60. Mar 8, 2013
    Had high hopes for the game, but it's now nearly day 4 after release and the game remains, for the most part, unplayable. Even in the few hours I was able to get on, I was discouraged by the prohibitively small city size. From the lack of refunds, to the full servers, to the 2+ hour waits for customer service via phone/chat, I am sorely disappointed with this release.
  61. Mar 8, 2013
    I really like the idea and concept that no city lives in a vacuum, and the game attempts to reflect that by including multiplayer elements of cooperation with municipal services and competition in global trade of commodities, but in terms of the simulation it feels like it's "SimCity Lite". There were many features that were central to the SimCity franchise that got cut out in the name of "streamlining" i.e. plan your own highway off-ramp locations, tiny plot size, terraforming, etc. Sure, the much-vaunted Glassbox simulation engine that tracks the activity of every individual sim promises a more "accurate simulation", but it's moot when so many aspects of the game's AI behave like retards. Traffic goes into a standstill even if you spend 75% of your budget on public transport if you commit the crime of having more than 5 intersections in your main arteries. Someone even proved how pants-on-head retarded the traffic AI is by making a city out of one single winding snake road spread out across the lot, and managed to have a successful city because of it because 0 intersections 0 gridlock. vOv

    I really want to like the game and the synergy it promotes, but unfortunately there are many things that need to be done for the game to be a success. The Always-Online system is not necessarily a DRM, but also something in-built to the game that had poorly thought-out execution. It failed to account for the contingency that someone's game would disconnect, and does not have an offline save that could be uploaded to the cloud the next time the player reconnects to the server (Diablo III and StarCraft II had that, at least). EA/Maxis also failed to properly stress test in their popular beta stages, and additionally they were piss poor in their communication to their players when they were attempting to sort out their server woes.

    On top of the always-online stuff, the game itself is in need of a significant overhaul. Traffic AI needs to be fixed. The RCI indicator is a lie after 2 days of playing and finding out that zoning according to the RCI indicator did nothing for my economy, I clicked on my population window and found everything I needed to know in the detail tab. I then decided to ignore everything the game was telling me through RCI and the ingame prompts, and did much better in my subsequent cities. There are just way too many aspects of the game that were either because of poor design decisions and poor execution that kind of border on amateurish. Somehow, I think that this SimCity 2013 has become a deeply wounding blow to Maxis's reputation. Lots of fanbois will protest and say that Maxis is perfect, and EA is at fault. But I've been observing this game for a long time, and Maxis is just as complicit as EA in this, from the Online Lead being a Maxis staffer to Maxis designers themselves who wanted the always-online concept to begin with. Lots of people who have been playing Maxis games since the 90s have since lost their trust in Maxis, and it can only go downhill from here.
  62. Mar 9, 2013
    DRM aside (which I don't support but can live with) this game is not what you'd expect from the the creators of simcity 4. I first actually got to play 2 days after purchase due to server issues but what I found is a game that is better suited for Facebook, I have little creativity in city creation and I have to start where they pre determine my highway connection is. The city I create very very quickly fills its boarders and the topography is non adjustable which wouldn't be so bad of the game wasn't 2km by 2km, I mean come on I want an in depth opportunity to be the creative city building nerd I always dreamed of but I find myself much more satisfied with building in tropico than this game and they don't even have a sewer system to build or subways.... Oh wait neither does simcity 5 Expand
  63. Mar 9, 2013
    Server overload can be a bummer when you try to play the new SimCity, along with the myriad of different bugs that will probably break most complex cities on their attempt to succeed.
  64. Mar 9, 2013
    The game is fine, I mean, it works for the most part. The layout is bad, control over the cities is limited. City size is too small. It has crashed 2 times. Certainly not worth $80. Maybe worth $25. This is the last time I will ever pre-order a game. I think I will go back to sim city 4.
  65. Mar 10, 2013
    Has a significant amount of potential. Visually the game is awesome. They did incorporate some great ideas such as interacting with other cities for trade, sharing resources, commuters, etc. However, the specialization provides limited options. Major Problem #1: Cities are too small!! I know their excuse for it but really? It's ridiculous and almost ruins the game on its own. Major Problem #2: It's just too easy, there isn't a whole lot to it and it can be mastered quickly Major Problem #3 There are no ordinances, policies etc to run the city--it has simply been turned into a city building game with sometimes silly animated visuals Major Problem #4: Big changes have minimal impact-- for the city to really go downhill you really, really have to do it almost on purpose, you can get away with a lot, this isn't realistic.

    Overall I am VERY disappointed with SimCity (5). Not because it wasn't made well (it was, it's def. quality) but because they put in all of this thought and missed the main reasons why people love the SimCity franchise--you can run all facets of a city including policies, more detailed finances (what about budgeting by department??) and other strategically driven options and inputs. I still recommend the game but only for those interested in a pretty straight forward city building game- the management people should leave it.
  66. Mar 11, 2013
    The DRM in an effort to make money by stopping piracy killed the game and lost them millions. I will never buy a game with DRM again. The gameplay seems meh but I only could play for a small amount of time since the DRM stops me from playing all together. Don't buy this until they remove the DRM!!!
  67. Mar 12, 2013
    Aside from the server and always online issues. There are some major bugs in the game that need to get fixed as well. With more gamebreaking bugs being found every day it seems. Traffic is the number one issue, only a few people have managed to truly trick the simulator and keep a good traffic flow going. A normal city layout and traffic pattern will not work and you need to fool the sims into going the way you want them too. Not normal, but tricks are needed. Essential services are broken, Fire trucks will all respond to the same fire, leaving others burning. They will all then go to the next fire and so on. Pathfinding on these is also horrendous, watching wrong turns and u-turns abound. Busses will do the same thing, they will all take the same paths and stop at the same stops over and over again. Anything far away in a densely packed city may never see a bus, or all of them at the same time. Very odd. Anything over 100k city will only see around 10% actually doing anything. While your city is demanding more workers and more shoppers. There are many more, Aside from the server issues, this promised to be a good game. Digging into it, it is hopelessly broken. Simulation fails on just about every level one could imagine. Maybe they did it to make it harder to desing a functioning city, or that region play was to fill in the gaps, if only region play actually worked. Expand
  68. Mar 12, 2013
    Connection Issues
    No problems getting into the game at all although it does lose connection to the servers fairly regularly. While this doesn't prevent gameplay you are forced to keep the game running because if you quit the game before it reconnects the you will lose your progress since the last save.

    Having said that it did take two days before the 'buy' button on
    the website worked without giving a 'server error' Saved Games ----------- I'm not aware of any indication of when it actualy saves the game. But it does often fail to do so meaning you have to redo your work again when you next login. Map Size -------- I agree map sizes are way to small. To the extent it limits creativity and in my experience pushes you to playing each map in the same way. I do wonder if the beta was limited to 1 hour to avoid people realising this. Game speed ------------- Currently the game is limited to a max speed of 24 minutes per game day. This is quite important as it happens. If you play the game like I prefer to, start slow and build my city then you will spend many many hours just waiting for your cash to increase enough for your next purchase. On the other hand you can take the other approach (the one I feel you are forced to take) spam the entire map with residential and commercial with just enough industry and ignore all but the vital services (ie water and power). Then sit back and wait until you have lots of cash, demolish your city and build it how you wanted it in the first place. Either way there is a lot of waiting around doing nothing. Power and Water system ---------------------- I actually like this aspect of the game, I didn't enjoy having to lay all the pipes and powerlines, too much micromanagement for me. The new system of using the roads for everything works very well for me. Apart that is from what I assume are bugs. For example I had my city running along nicely I left the city and when I came back to it suddenly the game decided that I no longer had a massive excess of power but instead a massive deficit I had to plop 20 more windmills just to break even??? Bugs ---- The game still contains a number of bugs, mostly minor but some are not, for example you may get locked out of a map due to 'processing' never to be able to play that map again. This of course could in turn screw up your entire region causing many many hours of gameplay to be simply wasted. Multiplayer ----------- Sure you can let someone play a map in you region but don't be fooled this is a single player game. The global market? This boils down to the price you pay when you buy resources. Is it really influenced by other players? I don't know but it really makes no difference. If you need to buy resources then you pay the price the game tells you. That's it. Disasters --------- I've never been a fan of these. I don't see anyway of turning them off in a normal game. Why such a big deal? At 24 minutes per game day it took me about 1.5 hours to save for my school that's 1.5 hours of me doing nothing but let the game run. As soon as I plopped it down and earthquake hit and destroyed it. So I started the wait all over again. Guess what, another earth quake and destroyed again. I had a further three disasters in that session. I estimate about 7 hours gameplay of which about 6.5 hours was just letting the game run to save up money. Which is why you should just use the spam method to build up lots of cash at the start which makes a mockery of the economy in the first place. Replayability ------------ If I'm honest I was getting bored by the end of my first session but I stuck with it. Overall there is lot of frustration from losing work and even entire maps but the number one problem by far is the tiny map size which limits creativity and gameplay possibilities. I'm going to give the game a little more time but I do feel I've got pretty much all I'm going get from it a far cry from past sim city games which I would play for months if not years. Always Online -------------- I didn't buy Diablo because of this but took a chance here. From what I understand things like map size and game speed and limited to reduce the load on their servers. The irony is that I bought myself an expensive laptop so I could play all the latest games but for this game I could have stuck with with my old crappy one. My experience with this game has convinced me that I won't be buying any more games that require this, at least, not for a single player game. Overall ------- If you are on the fence then wait until the price comes down before you consider trying it it is WAY overpriced at the moment and certainly not as stable as it should be. While it certainly a pretty game it is failing to hold my attention. Expand
  69. Mar 12, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Good: Simcity has very good graphics. The data overlays are beautiful. Construction looks realistic. Nonrenewable resources add a new and interesting flavor to the game. Multiplayer regions with multiple cities online add a new and very fun flavor. There are new disasters which look and play realistically, have unexpected effects on your city. You can now build curving roads and road/road overpasses. Roads now govern your buildings density. There is a good selection of different buildings. The Bad: -Serverside
    Always-Online DRM means that you have to have a stable internet connection; the slightest hiccup in your internet will result in the game crashing and you losing hours of game play. The servers are horrible; most of them are either "busy" or "full", meaning that you can't play at all. They also crash often. Server capacity is abysmal. There is no "offline" option for single player games. All saves must be synced with EA's cloud servers; you cannot have any local saves on your hard drive. -Clientside
    Buildings often look half finished and devoid of color or decoration; it is clear that this was an unfinished product that was rushed out. City sizes are limited to approx. 2km x 2km; slightly smaller then the smallest map size on Simcity 4. Buildings cannot be placed anywhere where they are not adjacent to a road; you can no longer fill in the interior of city blocks with parks/etc. Some graphics appear half finished, i.e. grass showing through a road, dirt overlapping on a road, or jagged/flickering graphics. The game is slow to respond to neighbor deals, such as sending power or sewage to a neighbor. Parks look like they're made with astroturf. Waves/beaches look unrealistic. Zones are aligned on a road and cannot be expanded to show the entire zone; this makes planning for city blocks very difficult. There is no subway, elevated rail, monorail, or highways available to be built. Agriculture/farms have been completely removed from the game. It was not designed to be compatible with player-designed mods. Overall:
    This game had the potential to be something great, to be a truly awesome game. But with the forced DRM limitations EA has imposed on us, as well as the horrifying state of their servers, this game has become yet another destined for the bookshelf. Maxis outdid itself with bringing new ideas, concepts, and operations into the game, but with the client-side limitations such as city sizes and lack of transportation options, not to mention the server-side DRM, the game is effectively crippled. Bluntly, I can not recommend this game to anyone. One can only hope that EA will listed to the community and fix what is wrong.

    Pentium Core i7 4.2 ghz OC
    32gb DDR-3 Kingston HyperX RAM
    3 x EVGA GTX 680 2gb SLI'd
    OCZ Octane 1tb SSD
  70. Mar 12, 2013
    Haha, oh wow, my god, it hurts me so much to see this actually happening.
    Well, that was the last straw. I already made the mistake of buying HP2010 and BF3, I won't repeat it.
  71. Mar 13, 2013
    A fun city builder with lofty ideas of having several cities working together. Fun to play as one city but you quickly need to expand and specialise and here the game just falls apart. Servers frequently refuse to sync your cities meaning although one has surplus power and the other has surplus water they won't buy from each other. The AI is hilariously bad, pathfinding is more reminiscent of an 80's game than a modern sim. Will review my score in a month! Expand
  72. Mar 13, 2013
    This game is not bad! Sure, the always online DRM is awful and very annoying considering my internet clunks out every once in a while, and it doesn't save on to your computer, but other than that it is not bad. It is a very addicting game.
  73. Mar 13, 2013
    This game is fundamentally broken on almost all levels. AI is oversimplified and a hindrance to game advancement. Online only functionality is not worth the restrictions. Players end up with a tiny generic city that becomes more and more frustrating to grow. This game is a massive disappointment, even beyond the restrictive DRM and launch issues. This will be the last EA game I will purchase, no matter what the name of the studio they assimilate. Because, that studio is only a name. None of the original Maxis seems to exist in this product. I hope this serves as a lesson to the game industry and its consumers. Expand
  74. Mar 14, 2013
    Aside from the always on servers, and the emphasis on social activities over city management, Sim City has failed to provide an intelligent and long lasting simulation. There are obvious flaws that can be visibly noticed in the algorithms used, and many in-game features are unreliable and random.
  75. Mar 14, 2013
    This game was terrible. It was a bad write-off of the old (and good) SimCity. I am very disappointed, and the fact that it has DRM makes it even worse.
  76. Mar 15, 2013
    Although this game could have been something amazing. EA and maxis decided they wanted more money... so they added DRM.... the maps are too small for building space and on top of that Maxis developers lied to us by saying the game needed an online connection. Don't buy this game, I do not recommend it
  77. Mar 16, 2013
    As a long time fan of the series (Played every one including the original). I fell into the trap of thinking that the complaints weren't justified. Well they are. The game is so close to being a real great title, but has too many gamebreaking flaws. Always on DRM. I feel dirty for paying for this since I have balked at other titles for this very reason. At first I thought the small city sizes was just a style preference, but I then realized it was a cover for the horrible pathfinding, which unfortunatly hinders not just traffic, but power,water,etc. I think this game still has a chance at redemption, but unless they clean this mess up, pass on it and save your money. Expand
  78. Mar 16, 2013
    I specifically created this account to express my distaste for this game. Let alone the incredibly horrible and incompetent launch, the always online DRM and the small maps, the game itself is broken and should never have been released in its current state. Let me emphasize that if you do buy the game; know that you’ll feel like you’re participating in a beta test and not a finished product. First, the traffic system does not work and it creates traffic hell. And hey you can’t alleviate it with a subway system, but what you can do is create a snake like road system with no interactions so the AI does not screw itself over. Also, the sewage system is broken (it seems like it follows the same pathing as traffic, that is ALWAYS taking the shortest route even though there are other routes available), the power grid system is broken and the water system is broken too with similar issues as traffic. Even though you have plenty of capacity for these things, the engine does allow distribution between routes A, B and C, but only chooses one route, leading to congestion and full stop. And this did not show up in internal testing? Furthermore, if there is a disaster such as a fire, all your fire trucks are sent at the same time, often driving in weird circles or not arriving at the fire at all. Moving on, the regional trading system is also broken. If you send money to another city, know that the money arrives (if it arrives) several hours or maybe a day or two later. I have not tried sending any other resources in fear of losing them permanently. And then there’s the main problem, the RCI zoning issue. You can build a city completely made up of residential. No need for commercial zones and industrial because parks take care of the jobs! The developers have purposely created a game where residential zoning is independent of commercial zones; they only need industrial for jobs, and in the extreme case you only need parks. The fundamental core of the whole series is in shambles. And good luck with getting a refund if you bought this over origin, it’s impossible. Expand
  79. Mar 17, 2013
    Size city limits are absurd. Having to be online all the time to play even alone is ridiculous. Lack of terraforming and custom regions is disappointing. The game play has been dumbed down to the point where there is no challenge. There are no difficulty levels, every game is the same. If you don't already have friends on Origin then it's impossible to find a game to play in. There is no way to search for open games or reorder the game list to show available cities. Compared to Sim City 4 this game is garbage, I wish I hadn't even bought it. The only good thing about the game is that the graphics are pretty. Expand
  80. Mar 19, 2013
    Always on connection and server problems are bad but they'll be fixed. The worst thing about the game, and something that not many people have even acknowledged is the map size: it's stupidly small!! I had pretty much accomplished everything I wanted to within a few hours and filled every square inch of land. And no, it's called 'Simcity', not 'Simcities' so I don't want to have to make a whole lot of small crappy cities and have them 'interconnected'. They just had to make a slightly updated and better version of Simcity 4 and they would of made millions of people happy, and millions of dollars. Why reboot what's not broken?? Expand
  81. Mar 19, 2013
    The gameplay is disappointing, it seems that the residents (sims) populate your city whatever you do correctly or incorrectly. The mayor of the city can put a landfill in the middle of the city but residents continue to arrive in the city! I think it is just simulation and realistic, I am very disappointed.
  82. Mar 21, 2013
    EA have done it again.. made a great promotion of the new simcity. make it all fine and shiny.. But what the hell is wrong with these people! This game is not anything near done. The game is pretty much broken. It have so huge great potential. but the the greed from EA just goes to new levels once again. They don't even understand the backfire they make on them self.
    For many years i
    haven't bought anything that have EA on the cover. i know how much crappy beta games they pop out. Just can't support it.. But i ended up falling for this simcity trap. Its so sad how great the fundamental of this game is. But just get completely broken by EA profit run..
  83. Mar 24, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It ridiculous that EA dont want to hear us as their customer. The original habits of Simcity are offline, easy to safe the games, user can act as god who able to create their own land contour and the city should large or huge. But this Simcity 2013 is far from those features.
    1. I always have to connect to internet (and the server sometimes are full)
    2. The server cannot synch our files to other alternative servers they offer (It so shame)
    3. The synch between the games and server only when we out from the games (imagine if it crash after we play for 4 hours, which is always happened)
    4. The city is so small, dont event thinking to have Hi way surround the city... the area more like a village rather than a city.
    5. Crash while gameplay, and after that... even though have a feature Roll Back but still the city cannot be open. I have report this to EA and no solution until now.
    6. The AI of traffic, dump truck route and bus are even worse

    Plus point of this games is only graphics.
  84. Mar 26, 2013
    Many bugs, crashed savegames 'cause of server issues, a non-balanced gameplay. Less functions, options building space and buildings than you have sim city 4.
  85. Apr 3, 2013
    "DO NOT BUY THIS GAME." That's what I told everyone who would listen a couple of weeks ago. I have now cooled down, and will now say this: This game is worth 10£. Not more. One user here said it was a 80£ Facebook game, which is pretty much the most accurate description of the latest Sim City I have seen.

    I am not an EA hater (please disregard my nickname). I don't even mind Origin, or
    the insanely annoying always-on DRM system. Hell, I can even accept overpriced digital downloads if they're for a decent game such as Mass Effect or Star Wars: The Old Republic. I'm a grown man, I can afford a fiver here and a fiver there. The number one problem with this game is that is completely, utterly dull. Replayability: Zero. I had been looking forward to this game since it was announced, but started to worry when I was bored in the beta even before the mind numbingly stupid one-hour time limit was up.

    When the game was released, my worst fears came true. Nevermind the fact that I couldn't play for two days because EA didn't want to spend money on server capacity. Maxis, hopefully bullied around by the suits in EA, had utterly ruined one of my favorite franchise. The list of reasons why this game completely fails to live up to its predecessor is long. Very long. Here are a few game-breakers.

    - City size. You -will- use all the available land within an hour or three. After that, it's all about understanding how the game's traffic system works. Or doesn't, depending on how you see it.

    - Traffic. As mentioned, it is horrible. The agent system in Sandbox (Sim City's engine) simply does not work for traffic. Emergency vehicles get stuck in traffic, city services (garbage trucks, school buses etc.). Google "Sim City traffic" and you will see just how realistic looking cities that "work" in this game are.

    - AI is non existent. The PR people at EA bragged much about how each sim would have his or her own job, personality, home etc. That was a lie. Every morning, every sim goes out looking for a job, stopping at the first available job for his or her education level. It is impossible to feel attached to your citizens, because the only thing their zombielike behaviour does is messing up traffic even more.

    - Multiplayer is worthless, there is very little (if any) cooperation and interaction between cities in a region.

    - No terraforming. Your territory acts like a plot from one of the Sims games. Just more static.

    - It is impossible to build a realistic city. All the reasons above contribute to that fact, and if you ever hoped you could simulate your home town like you did in Sim City 4 or one of the earlier games, forget it. This game won't do it.

    - City specialization is far from deep enough, and stops being interesting after a few hours.

    I'm going to be generous and give this game a score of 2. I might have given it 3 points if it didn't break such an amazing franchise. The dumbed down graphics look nice, in a model landscape sort of way, which was supposedly what the devs were going for, and the game will keep you entertained for a few hours. Oh, and there's a color blind mode.

    If you see this game on a 10£ sale I have no doubt that we will see very soon) go for it, but don't believe for a second that the critic reviews aren't biased. This is a terrible, terrible game.

    Buy any of the Tropico games, Cities XL, Cities in Motion or any of the other city sims out there. They are much better. Sim City 4 is still the king.
  86. Apr 4, 2013
    Maybe i will rerate when its finished in a year or so. but at present, a month after release its still an unfinished mess with small city zones, crippling traffic issues and limited playability. Online only is a pita
  87. Apr 5, 2013
    I played all SimCity versions from the first one and SimCity 5 is nothing else than a piece of garbage. I don't care about the DRM; that is something that don't bothered me. But, the game himself is a big deception in many ways. First, the size of the map is ridiculous. Imagine... you have to think two times before adding a single football field because it take too space on the map!! Other disaster is the very strict link between road and building, park, etc. Nothing can be build freely in the map because everything have to connect to a road... and you cannot turn objects to fit in a particular orientation. This result in most space lost (so precious space) is you want curve roads in your city.

    There is no beach stuff, no marina-harbor or ship industry, no tree, very limited choice of building.
    I already write enough about this game. Please, do not give your money to EA; keep it for another more serious developper.
  88. Apr 9, 2013
    Although I'm sure many people have already made their mind up about this game, I thought I'd send my review none the less. Sim dead, or at least the franchise that many of us are used to is anyway. Gone are the expansive maps and the hours of offline play we used to have. Gone is the steep learning curve and satisfying feeling from The always online requirement, although called a "development decision by Maxis" certainly stinks of anti-piracy DRM. Maxis ensure there is no way to disable this but the problem being of course that sources within Maxis have denied that this is a requirement but a simple trigger within the code. I have seen people play this game with no water, no electricity, no jobs and high pollution and yet their plot of land has developed into a huge city of skyscrapers, this to me suggests it's less of a simulation than you may think which takes away from the reason people play the game. Sim City isn't without it's pro's, graphically it's aesthetically pleasing with the hustle and bustle of a city being animated fairly well, albeit traffic forming where it shouldn't. The city overlays are also a nice addition, showing the water, electricity and sewage in real time you can also look at the bars of happiness and likeliness to expand for each house. Aside from these pro's, the game seem's extremely poor, closer to Farmville than Sim City 4. If you're new to gaming, don't want a challenge and have an extremely stable internet connection then perhaps Sim City is for you, however if any of the above don't fit your criteria I'd suggest staying way clear. Expand
  89. Apr 9, 2013
    I unfortunately got suckered in and bought this game, the community is as good as dead. Still no leader boards or stats, a lot of promised game features still haven't been properly implemented, and server stability is a joke. I have had 3 cities i spent hours on just disappear for no reason. The 3 regions i play in, all my neighbors show ''Last online 3+ weeks ago'' Yeah.... That kind of speaks for itself.. THE GAME IS DEAD I tried to get a refund from Origin support with no luck. Buyer beware... You will punch yourself in the head repeatedly if you buy this Expand
  90. Apr 10, 2013
    I've been a Sim Cities fan ever since I picked up Sim City 3000 when I was a kid. I bought this game a week after it was officially released and so far I've been disappointed. The first serious problem you come across once you launch the game is trying to find a map that has open slots. Not only is there no way to filter the maps with ones that have spots open, but they're listed from the oldest to newest! I had to click through through pages and pages of servers and I spent almost 20 minutes trying to find a map with open slots!

    Now, once you get to building your city things start to get interesting. The graphics are very good, but the tutorial is very limited on teaching you the major dynamics of the game such as zone densities, freight, etc. It plays out just like every other Sim City game, but it's remarkably much easier than Sim City 3000 & 4000 to stay in a positive budget. Building your city is very fun and challenging if you have to build around terrain or natural resources, but you very quickly come to realize just how small the maps are.

    The maps are about half the size of what I remember from any Sim City game and it literally doesn't take that much time before you're trying to squeeze out every inch of space in your city. Eventually you do hit the point where you have no more space. Also, the game's density system is overly complex and you will eventually hit a bottleneck where your city can't get any bigger.

    Literally I would say 5-6 hours into my city I would run out of space, couldn't increase my population any further, and I was making so much money that my city had millions in the bank. Also, the game's AI is very bad with it comes to trash collection, buses, and just about everything else.

    TLDR; too easy, gets boring fast, crappy map browser, great graphics, crappy AI, and SMALL MAPS!!!
  91. Apr 18, 2013
    This game is garbage. I don't even want to talk about how the game requires an internet connection to start. Today it's the third time i start a city just to see it disappear after some errors" or disconnections.
    Waste of money and time.
  92. Apr 19, 2013
    I'm going to keep this short and simple. This game fails to work properly, if my city isn't being rolled back for the hundredth time then my highways either stop working or work contrary to how you would expect them to. Also add to the fact that the always online DRM, eventually the servers will be shutdown and this game will never be able to played again. Only benefit was I scored Dead Space 3 as a consolation prize. Expand
  93. Apr 24, 2013
    Patch 2.0 has come out, a patch so huge that they gave it a .0 release number. It resolves many issues with the game but unfortunately BREAKS many others. Unbelievably, they have resolved traffic issues from fire trucks and police cars piling up, but have broken taxis and school busses which now pile up. They broke pollution and now tiny cities with zero industry will see MASSIVE pollution rolling across their glass box reducing land value and making your 500 person city unhappy this even on regions with zero other cities. Maxis cannot seem to get it right. After their complete failure with Spore failing to deliver the game that they had presented at all the expos, I really expected them to nail this one, but alas this is a cataclysmic failure that will likely spell the demise of Will Wright's brainchild. Expand
  94. Apr 24, 2013
    Graphics nice. Rest, bad. This is a facebook-style game. EA made it un-piratable (always DRM). The question to EA is: Does it justifies the low scores and bad reviews, hatred from people who bought the game?
  95. Apr 25, 2013
    Words can not describe my utter disappointment at this game. Being the still proud owner of Sim City 4 that I am, I really looked forward to Sim City with the utmost enthusiasm. Was I ever disappointed.
    I will start with the thing that most have complained about. The Anti-Piracy measures that EA Games decided to attach to this game (Digital Rights Management). I understand that you need
    to put a stop to piracy but at the cost of your paying customer base? This was a bad move on behalf of EA and could have been handled so much better.
    Next is the size of the city which you can build. 2Km x 2Km. Most small towns I know of are bigger than this. It makes you feel extremely limited while also feeling that you could be doing so much more. I got the feeling that EA will be releasing paid for content which will increase the map size though.
    I gave this a 2 based on the quality of graphics, 0 was my first option. I found the graphics to be fairly pleasant to look at when you eventually prove that you didn't steal the game and are able to log in. The engine needs some work as it can be a little choppy but overall the visuals are good.
    To sum this up: I hope that EA have learned that there is a limit to what you can use as an anti-piracy measure before it becomes too much for the legitimate customer base to put up with. Presuming that people who downloaded the pirated version of previous games would have paid for a genuine copy is incorrect. Most of them probably wouldn't have so you can't call it a "loss" and then to implement measures which kill your developers game and reputation is just selfish and naive, especially of a large company like EA. Digital Rights Management (DRM) as an anti-piracy measure doesn't work. To top all this, a pirated version was released anyway.
  96. Dec 4, 2013
    I wish I'd checked these reviews before I went out and bought this game, thinking SimCity would be great as it always has been. First off with DRM, this doesn't affect me so much as I really always have connection but if the EA servers fail I have paid £40 to do nothing. It's not a city builder, it's a small town builder. The sizes of the plots are ridiculously small. How can you build a city in a 2km by 2km grid?

    What I was expecting was something along the lines of SimCity 4 but with new features/better graphics. There's a few new features but i'd say there's less features overall. Ea have taken out highways and subways and to build an airport you're going to have to destroy half of your "city"

    Honestly so disappointed with this version of SimCity. Going to play SimCity 4 to try and recover from burning £40.

    Don't buy...

    Added review:

    After 8 or so months i decided to come back to this game, still disappointed. If you look at their Facebook almost every comment is from people who want bigger maps. Surely the next update has to be bigger maps? no. I don't understand why a game company would so blatantly ignore their fanbase. Surely they would actually make money from this?

    To add to it when i patched i couldn't play because the server was unavailable... I think i'll take a point off my previous score.
  97. May 6, 2013
    SimCity is supposed to be THE city simulation game. Unfortunately, it has been corrupted by the scourge of EA.

    The only redeeming features are a beautiful environment created by the GlassBox engine and breaking the grid, and for those I give 2 points above 0. This is after the most grievous bugs of the tacked-on 'MMO features' which were preventing the game from actually running have
    been resolved.

    It is a huge step back from the features and gameplay of SimCity 4. The simulation is super-shallow and there is zero challenge and the game becomes boring pretty fast, and largely forgettable.

    Stuff which should have been there from day 1 is missing, and we can see already the DLC on the pipeline just to give us what should be there in the first place. The number one on this list are BIGGER CITIES; seriously, each land patch is the size of a neighbourhood.

    The writing is on the wall, it is just a matter of time until it becomes a The Sims-like monstrosity with 10+ DLC that would cost upwards of $500 to have the complete game, plus optionally buying in-game currency.
  98. May 29, 2013
    SimCity 5 is the degraded Version of SimCity 4 Never Expected this from Maxis. NO facility for bridges /flyover. Monorail and elevated rail are gone. Area provided for Building the city is too small. No teraforming This game really Sucks.. l repent purchasing-this game. Maxis give me back my money!: CITIES XL is still the best city building game ever built.
  99. Jun 18, 2013
    I agree with the mean of the user score, even if I'm a professional reviewer and I've to give it a vote near 6 (55). I TRIED to play it at day one with the problems you witnessed. Then tried to play it after update 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0. No way, SimCity is fundamentally broken. A piece of s**t, in other words. Will Wright, please make ti properly (better than SC4!) via Kickstarter, we'll finance it.
  100. Jun 21, 2013
    The game is kinda fun without all the issues with the connection and servers, etc. However, the space you have now is very limited and it is the biggest flaw in the gameplay as you can build a whole metropolis in less than a day. The mechanics are fun, but I cannot compare them to another simcity unfortunately. Also, stupid DLCs and crappy graphics (unless you have a REALLY powerful PC) make it a complete letdown. It definitely is not worth ANY money, even for the hardcore fans as it will frustrate you more than it will amuse you. Expand

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]