Quantcast
gamescom: I'm bragging because I played SimCity today - Destructoid

DestructoidJapanatorTomopopFlixist



SimCity  



gamescom: I'm bragging because I played SimCity today


5:24 PM on 08.16.2012
gamescom: I'm bragging because I played SimCity today photo



HHHHNNNNNGGGGGG!

Brag post? Definitely. But this is also a excited grunt of relief as I decided that I was done with EA and Maxis teasing this title without gameplay at press events and trade shows. In fact, when I heard that EA would be showing SimCity at gamescom recently, I rolled my eyes and sighed, as I was certain that it wouldn't be playable. 

It was playable. 

I played it today.

It was wonderful. 

The first bit of this hands-on session took me through a tutorial where I jumped right into the many pressing issues that a mayor of starter city would have to deal with. Right off, citizens were picketing outside town hall. They were upset about the condition of the town and felt that a city connection to the highway would fix many of their problems. 

This was my first taste of SimCity's creation tools, all of which are fun and really easy to use. Clicking on a little road icon at the bottom of the screen opened up a road palette, and by clicking on a specific road type (I chose an avenue), I could simply click a spot on the highway, drag it toward my town, and watch them connect instantly with road. A winding road tool did the same thing, but let me squiggle with the mouse a bit to make something that looked a bit more natural than a straight road. 

Early on I found myself distracted with the game's navigation features. It's pretty intuitive -- right click and drag to move camera, left click to move and angle, mouse wheel to zoom -- but what I was really doing was admiring the scenery. Being pre-alpha code, the visuals weren't quite up to those of the trailers and promotional images we've seen, but they still looked great. Seeing the cool photographic tilt-shift effect change the visuals in realtime during navigation was particularly impressive. I can't wait to see the final product in action. 

Small missions pop up all over the city while playing. I responded to an early one that said that my Uncle Dieter wanted to move into my city, but there wasn't enough housing available for that move to be possible. Using the zones palette, I chose the residential tool and painted out some scenic lots along a curved road. In just a few seconds, crews came out, houses sprang up, and people began moving in. To make room for even more houses I used the demolish tool, which has old buildings crumbling with realistic physics, as if they were taken down with explosives. 

I think I most enjoyed poking around in this model town to see how changes to the infrastructure affected things. One early challenge had me switching on a closed down power plant. During the night (SimCity has realistic day/night transitions and lovely lighting to match) I watched workers come into the factory to work. After a bit, the lights went on, and red colored lines that run throughout the city to display the power grid slowly started to turn yellow. From there, lights in houses began to turn on all over the town. It's really neat to see how the game's simulation engine shows the effect of power slowly fanning out from the plant to its outskirts. 

The simulation behind the water system worked in a similar way. After placing a water tower near a road in the very outskirts of town, lines that represented the flow of water eventually showed proper distribution. And while less pretty, the sewage system showed similar lines. Unfortunately I had a drainage problem that I was never able to resolve before my demo was over. Not my problem anymore! 

When a fire broke out I realized that I did not have a fire station local to the area. I quickly built one and saw that colored lines similar to those previously mentioned were traceable from the fire station; areas with a green line were safe, but the line transitioned to red farther out, indicating that properties here are more vulnerable. 

After learning the ropes I played alongside a half dozen others in this preview session in a connected competition to see who could build the highest population for their town. While I was a bit overwhelmed from navigating a town I did not build, I was soon building like crazy, adding commercial zones and industrial areas to create jobs. I had to build homes for the workers to live in, and the support systems, like waste management had to follow.

Bubbles with issues popped up all over town quickly as my population rose, which had me scrambling to address them all. One complained to me, saying that her kid was wasting their life as there was no local school. As soon as I started building that, a factory manager started complaining. By this time I was already so invested in my town that I began to tense up. 

Suddenly, a news flash appeared on screen, and meteors began falling out of the sky onto my city! My tenseness started to turn to panic until I looked around to see that all of the other players were going through the same thing. I giggled, relieved, as the citizens of my city screamed and burned to death. 

Look, if I can have this much fun from a pre-alpha tutorial demo, I'm certain I'll be lost forever in the full game. I need to start making preparations for SimCity's February 2013 launch now.








Comments not appearing? Anti-virus apps like Avast or some browser extensions can cause this.
Easy fix: Add   [*].disqus.com   to your software's white list. Tada! Happy comments time again.

Did you know? You can now get daily or weekly email notifications when humans reply to your comments.






timeline following:
SimCity



1:15 PM on 03.18.2014
SimCity can finally be played offline

Update 10 is available today for SimCity, meaning you can finally play the game offline. Without an Internet connection. By yourself. Like every single past Sim City game ever. EA has an FAQ on what you can expect, such as ho...more



2:45 PM on 03.14.2014
SimCity's offline mode is in final testing now

Update 10 for SimCity is the one that'll finally, finally add the option to play the game offline and according to Maxis, it's in "final testing. Almost there Mayors." This functionality was previously deemed impossible given...more



1:45 PM on 01.14.2014
It took Maxis six months to rework SimCity for offline

In a blog post, SimCity single-player mode lead engineer Simon Fox has written about the lengthy process required to properly move away from multiplayer. "By the time we're finished we will have spent over six and a half mont...more



12:45 PM on 01.13.2014
SimCity will finally be playable offline

What a difference 48 hours makes. On Saturday we talked about how Maxis was introducing modding to SimCity but were leaving some fairly restrictive rules in place to preserve the integrity of the multiplayer side. Today howev...more



3:00 PM on 01.11.2014
You can now mod SimCity but only so far

We've said it plenty of times before but mods for PC games are great. Mod support is something I look for in games but it was no surprise that SimCity didn't allow mods. With the game being online all the time I assumed that ...more



9:00 PM on 10.15.2013
Hey look, SimCity is getting future cities

Are you still playing SimCity?! Anyone? Uhhh, well hey if you somehow still are there's going to be new content launching on November 12 in the form of Cities of Tomorrow. As you can guess by that name, you're going to get buildings that are going to look all future like. Sigh. This game had such potential. Maybe I'll give it another shot when this update is released. Maybe.more



12:30 PM on 10.04.2013
SimCity team looking into offline mode

An offline mode for SimCity isn't outside the realm of possibility. Especially not in a world where Blizzard plans to take out its auction houses in Diablo III. (I'm still shocked that's going through.) "Right now we have a t...more



2:30 PM on 10.02.2013
Maxis talking to fans about mod support for SimCity

Maxis has started a discussion on its forums about possibly allowing user-generated content in SimCity. This is something everyone was screaming for when the game came out, since previous titles were mod friendly. No official...more



6:00 PM on 09.19.2013
Cities of Tomorrow is your first big Sim City expansion

SimCity had one of the worst launches of any game in the last few years but EA and Maxis are carrying on with plans to grow the core game with a big new expansion entitled Cities of Tomorrow which will arrive in November thi...more



6:00 PM on 08.29.2013
SimCity arrives on Mac this week

So, SimCity is finally coming to Macs this week for those of you who wanted it. No, not that SimCity -- this SimCity. You know, the one that caused all the ruckus because they tried to claim that the game ...more





Win your choice of console from Destructoid! in Destructoid's Hangs on LockerDome

Electronic Arts

4:30 PM on 07.29.2014
Dragon Age: Inquisition combat makes me want to play Final Fantasy XII

Let's be fair, a lot of seemingly arbitrary things make me want to replay Final Fantasy XII. A lack of time coupled with a naive hope for an HD re-release always keep me from doing so, leaving me in a perpetual state of want...more



1:30 PM on 07.29.2014
Play Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare in bed with Remote Play

I played a ton of Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare on Xbox 360, and now I'm getting into it again on PC. Still super fun and arguably one of the best shooters of the past few years. On August 19, the game comes to PlayStat...more



12:35 PM on 07.29.2014
EA announces Xbox One subscription service and it's actually not bad

PlayStation Plus, Games with Gold, and now EA Access. Electronic Arts has announced a new Xbox One-exclusive subscription-based service ($4.99 per month, or $29.99 annually) that gives its members access to The Vault, "a coll...more



View all Electronic Arts






Back to Top




All content is yours to recycle through our Creative Commons License permitting non-commercial sharing requiring attribution. Our communities are obsessed with videoGames, movies, anime, and toys.

Living the dream since March 16, 2006

Advertising on destructoid is available: Please contact them to learn more