My name is Antony Gallagher and I am a freelance journalist. I write for RMP Magazine as well as my own page Bit Trauma. I have written for quite a few sites dealing with music and video game media. I am working on making my name known in the industry.
I recently purchased Simcity. By recently, I mean I pre-ordered the game and nerded out on launch day. I mean, what kind of Simcity fan would I be if I skipped the first installment of the series in 10 years? When I got off of work I threw the disk in and went into installing mode. You know, that mode you enter when installing a game you are overly excited for? the moment when the install starts, you run and take a leak .. get a drink .. make some food. Lets face it .. no one has time for all that when the game is installed. We are all here to do one thing ... to make amazing cities.
I launched the game. At first I was met with a slew of updates. Generally, I like to see that on launch, it means the developers are fast at work on fixing major issues. Unfortunately ... this gaming session was like no other ... every time I tried to connect ... take a seat .. you are never going to believe this ... connection to server lost. When I did get into game the server would randomly disconnect.
How did this make me feel? You would actually be surprised. I was perfectly content. See, when a major title like this launches, I expect the worse. I fully expect servers to be wonky, laggy, or downright just bad. I expect slews of updates and apologetic messages from developers. We all know accidents happen. I don't mind waiting a few days for them to fix problems that are going to ultimately cause issues with gameplay for me in the long run.
The game itself is overly addictive. The gameplay is fulfilling. The replay value is through the roof. My only issue with Simcity is the fact that the maps are about as big as a medium sized map on Simcity 4. I feel this is something that needs to be changed. They could easily add a new mapset or something with a much larger grid layout.
What does any of this have to do with the title of my post? Nothing.
This is where the fun stops and the BS starts. I decided to write my honest opinion and review of the game. I went to my normal outlets that sale the game via the interwebs. My first stop was Gamestop.com. I rated the game and wrote my full review of it. I noticed the game had many negative reviews. I thought to my self ... are they crazy? My next stop almost broke my heart. I signed into Amazon and searched for Simcity. Before writing my review I decided to read through some of the many other reviews left about the game. Amazon literally pulled Simcity from sales due to low ratings. The users gave it 1 star out of 5. Baffled I continued to read countless ''reviews''. These weren't reviews at all ... they were strictly smear campaigns against the game and its developers due to only one reason, the server issues on launch. Over 1000 reviews summed up by a 1 star rating and a rant about the server issues on day one. Not a single review actually said anything about the game. Each ''gamer'' wrote their ''reviews'' as if the game was never going to get fixed. Keep in mind this is no more than 24 hours after launch. By this point, Maxis has already made many announcements and apologies in regards to the server issues. Even the 5 star ratings were filled with trolling satire and an overall lack of intelligence.
I knew I had to do something. I had to write a review that was intelligent for anybody who actually wanted the truth in regards to the game. I wrote that review no more than 10 minutes after finishing my drawn out reading process of smear reviews. I wrote it as honest as I could. I've been playing Simcity since I was a wee little lad. We've had our moments in terms of the good and the bad. I figured I was well qualified to give a good review comparing what is new and what is old news.
About an hour after my review was approved and posted, I received a number of emails telling me there were comments on my review. Sweet! People are going to be interacting and agreeing that Simcity is actually a great game. Nope! I was accused of working for EA. I was accused of being hired by them to talk the product up. After trying to bring logic into the conversation ... I realized something about the current state of gamers and the internet.
The unfortunate truth about gamers is, most of us have no respect for the hard work that goes into developing these games. We use the internet to smear games without even playing them. We completely take these companies for granted. They spend years working on a product that is aimed to keep us mesmerized for years to come .. only to be ruined by smear campaigns of obnoxious spoiled gamers trying to be the next popular online troll. Granted, not all of us are like that. A large majority of people just don't care enough to take a step back and try to understand how hard developers are working to fix issues. When you write a review trashing a game on launch, it can potentially ruin the market for it. A majority of the reviews I read were about as detailed as an 8-bit game. Most of the people had no clue what they were talking about. They were only interested in joining the flock for acknowledgment.
That is the unfortunate truth. For the select few who hang around to actually play the game and write good solid reviews, I salute you.