Average User Score: 2.1Mar 12, 2013This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I pre-ordered and deliberately waited a week before reviewing to give EA a chance to bounce back from their self-inflicted launch debaucle. After that, my rating is still "meh". Though I give credit to their server team for standing up so many servers so quickly and a furrow of my brow to whatever management bean-counter prevented them from doing so prior to the launch. As of writing, Origin says I have 121 hours played, but some of that is just watching my my city burn and playing until 5 am (as that's when you can actually get on the servers)
Some of the positives: When they said they'd be tracking every sim, I feared this would turn out more like the Sims, which was only fun when you mercilessly took away the only pool ladders. However, being able to click on any car travelling on the map and see where it's going, whether it has spending money, and follow it is actually pretty neat.
Region play. It was in Sim City 4 to some extent, but it's cool to have all the cities work together to build great works. And with it, Multiplayer is a great idea. Sometimes I like a little teamwork, or to flood my neighbouring city with murderers and arsonists.
Finite resources. Go ahead put all your eggs into the oil mining business and plop some high tax entitlements like education and fire safety for a better society. What's the worst that could happen? Tip: Diversify and plan for renewable income before the well runs dry
Some of the negatives:
DRM always on requirement. When I'm not sabotaging my neighbors, sometimes I like to play with myself and I want to build my Dystopian region without the condescending glares of my neighbors. But even as I write this a week after launch, I cannot log into Sim City to do so. One tip, if you get logged in, stay logged in. While you're playing you'll see "server disconnected" messages happen all the time, but then they'll reconnect and presumably everything will be peachy. If you disconnect, however, it's much harder to get connected and a region loaded.
Difficulty. It's not. Pretty much any city (except one I'm playing now which it about 50% water) can be turned into a cash cow pretty easily. If your planning right, the only thing that throws you a curve is the occasional disaster. I like the idea of the global market, but as near as I can tell, there are hard lines at the minimum prices for buying and selling that pretty much guarantee you can make a ton of profit buying (then refining, smelting, producing) and reselling. I guess it'd be nice if there were bad investments. The only way to screw that up is misjudging your input or output rate, or bottlenecking your supply line.
City Size. You run out of room fast. Because it's so easy to make money, you end up bulging at the borders in no time and your city become.
Region play. The idea of region play is great. The implementation of region play is still a little off. Nothing is more frustrating than overloading a city with sweet nuke plants and the other cities in the region not recognizing that there is power available to buy. Or when collaborating on a great work, some cities will recognize that all of a specific resource (metal, allow, oil) has been provided, while others do not or only see that half has been provided.
Multiple servers. Spreading out the load was a great idea to increase server availability. The downside is that the regions aren't shared between servers. So, if you've spent countless hours building a perfect replica of Trenton, New Jersey and that server is unavailable, EA supports answer is try a different server (where your region does not exist and you get to start all over). The result of this is a bunch of cities in the public regions that don't look like people are playing them. So it ends up as a Multiplayer environment where you're the only one on.
Summary: After 10 years, they fell on their face at the starting line, but were able to get an Ok game out. They've hinted at some changes (bigger cities is the last one I heard), but I suspect a lot of these enhancements will cost you real-world Simoleans.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.5May 23, 2011Just for some background, I'm about 14 hours in and 60% complete. I've played some of Rockstar's later releases (GTA3, GTA4, Red Dead Redemption), and while this game does have the same feel from a character control perspective, you shouldn't go into the game expecting the same type of sandbox. This is a detective game, not a free-for-all game with missions. That means you'll spend most of your time wandering around crime scenes looking for clues, interacting with witnesses and suspects and checking your notes. There's some shooting in the 40 or so street crimes, but those are usually quick and best serve as a reminder of the controls to use your weapon, so that you'll be ready in the main story. In fact, in plain old walking around, you can't even pull your gun. Despite not being much of a sandbox, the map is huge; More than you'll probably ever have a need to see. I did spend about an hour just driving around, crashing cars, falling through buggy buildings into the blue abyss below the map, trying to hit pedestrians, etc. I pre-ordered, so I would get some free DLC, but because the Playstation Store is Fubar right now, that content is inaccessible. I don't blame the game for that, but instead only give a slight knock against Rockstar for it because going into the DLC screen from the game locks up the console every time and requires a console reboot.
The characters are great. The face acting is pretty good. The stories and cases are compelling. The interaction with suspects can be frustrating and if you're a perfectionist or completionist, you might get a little frustrated at wrong answers which even in retrospect seem to be right. The only replay value might be replaying individual cases to get a better score. You're almost discouraged from exploring during a case because hitting cars, causing damage, etc, can negatively affect your case score. I've found that I mostly let my partner drive to avoid it. It's a solid detective game, and I'll probably buy a few DLC cases just to keep the experience alive. Outside of the case load, there's not much there, but the case load may be enough if you like detective games.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Apr 21, 2011Great puzzle game and great characters. It took me about 8 hours to beat the single player story and I didn't really get stuck anywhere. The puzzles are generally pretty easy if you're familiar with the mindset of how a portal works from the first game. They did introduce some new mechanics with "gels" which stick to surfaces and have modify the surfaces to have special properties. If you're wary of the $49.99 price tag (Steam) because you've never played portal before, I'd suggest picking up the Portal 1 first. If you have played the first portal, I suspect you'll have a similar opinion as you did for the first one because it plays almost the same. I haven't played the co-op mode yet (and probably won't), but the single-player story might get one more playthrough. Also Stephen Merchant is hilarious.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.3Apr 20, 2011I've played and liked quite a few Bioware games. I thought DA:O had a good story and the gameplay was engaging. DA:A was essentially the same gameplay and a slightly less compelling story, but hey, it can't always be The Blight. I even bought a few DLC missions, which usually seemed worth extending my stay in the game world for a few bucks. Dragon Age:II is absolutely horrible. I feel like a complete sucker for buying it. I even pre-ordered the Signature Edition based on my experience with their previous titles. The story drags along slowly and seems irrelevant. The gameplay and combat system just hack-n-slashing until so that maybe you can use a special ability during a fight. And the fights are no longer strategic. It's just hacking and slashing waves of baddies until the next waves jumps in from all sides like ninjas. The skill tree revamp was interesting and I kinda liked that, but not being able to customize your companions' gear seemed to dumb it down. I will probably still buy Mass Effect 3 on release day (or pre-order) because I think they've prioritized that as their marquis product and won't stray too far from the Mass Effect formula. But as for other Bioware games, especially future Dragon Age games, it will take much more than underhandedly gaming metacritic in order for me to buy it.… Expand