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-   -   PA Report: Why You Shouldn't Trust Our SimCity Review (http://www.evilavatar.com/forums/showthread.php?t=187651)

Emabulator 03-04-2013 04:54 PM

PA Report: Why You Shouldn't Trust Our SimCity Review

Ben Kuchera from The Penny Arcade Report explains why he feels you should not trust the early reviews of SimCity.


The problem is that we’re not playing on final, retail servers. EA knew exactly how many reviewers would be playing the game, so our experiences with the always-on requirement is in no way representative of the final product. It could be the same, or the servers may buckle under the pressure and no one will be able to play the game they paid for.

It wouldn’t be the first time such a thing has happened, and since reviewers didn’t play under the same circumstances as normal consumers, our good or bad experiences writing the review shouldn’t be used as evidence that the sytem is ready to go, or that it will break. It could go either way.

We also weren’t able to try out many of the game’s social features, and those are expected to play a large role in how the game acts and feels in its latest incarnation. As Sophie pointed out in her thoughts on the game, it’s much like playing The Old Republic as a solo character. Sure, you can do it, but that doesn’t give the player a good idea of how things will be once friends and family are online and playing, and the mechanics of connected cities have in no way been tested by critics or players in a serious way. That sort of thing will take place in the ongoing coverage that takes place after launch.

LostToys 03-04-2013 05:06 PM

This is pretty much my sentiment about any multi-player game where the longevity of the product relies on the community. I've already bought my copy and just awaiting for the delivery and the massive hassles that will ensue once the servers go live, but such is life.

Syl 03-04-2013 05:44 PM

ArsTechnica has an "impressions" because they can't call it a review.

Syl 03-04-2013 05:46 PM

They aren't positive.

Suicidal ShiZuru 03-04-2013 06:09 PM

Saw a livestream by Giantbomb earlier and the game looks atrocious. It should be called Sim Neighborhood Middle School Gameplay Edition. Welcome to 2013 where EA games are dictated by a constant internet connection and the game is designed to not function without it. You asked for this.png

vallor 03-04-2013 06:16 PM

And they say piracy is a victimless crime. Everyone that buys Simcity is a victim in part because EA feels like they have to use always on DRM to protect the product.

Emabulator 03-04-2013 06:53 PM

SimCity Won (and Broke) My Heart in Just Three Days


Building those other cities I was merely flirting with the new SimCity. Fahey's Folly is where we fell in love. We'd spend hours painting roads and watching the powerful GlassBox engine calculate and populate the city's buildings on-the-fly. We'd bulldoze buildings just to watch new ones crop up. We'd pan and zoom through the streets, watching the tiny people going about their business, unaware of their omnipresent god. We'd often pause to flip through the game's various map views, easy-to-interpret x-rays of the city's vital systems.

Fahey's Folly was built in eight hours. My plans for it extended far beyond that. Sadly, those plans have been dashed.

I've been unable to load my greatest creation since yesterday evening. I've restarted the game. I've restarted my computer. I've created new cities in other regions, in hopes of somehow knocking Fahey's Folly loose from the limbo it's in.

randir14 03-04-2013 06:58 PM

Why are all the "cities" so small? They should've called this SimTown 2.

Antdude 03-04-2013 07:04 PM

Just Say No to EA.

ElfShotTheFood 03-04-2013 07:47 PM

Consolitis ruins another game.

Oh, wait...

Tolgar 03-04-2013 09:49 PM

They are so small, because besides the always on DRM, it is also asking the servers for math constantly in the glassbox engine. You're half playing on your computer, half on the "cloud" as well as it were. And no these aren't the size of a SC4 "medium" city. They are the size of a SC2000 city.

It is still an amazing simulation with lots of fun things to look at, but the scope shifted from large city to region play, region play with other people. Still not sure how that is gonna work out.

Syl 03-04-2013 10:03 PM

I've been told that SC2000 cities are multiple, multiple times bigger than these. These are about the size of a RollerCoaster Tycoon map.

bean19 03-04-2013 10:23 PM

Well, this makes this an easy pass.

Suicidal ShiZuru 03-04-2013 10:59 PM



Not so subtle subtle DRM.

Creating a connected experience has always been a goal for SimCity, and this design decision has driven our development process for the game. This is easily the most ambitious game in the franchise and we’ve taken great care to make sure that every line of code embodies the spirit of the series. To do this, we knew we had to make sure we put our heart and souls into the simulation and the team created the most powerful simulation engine in its history, the GlassBox Engine. GlassBox is the engine that drives the entire game -- the buildings, the economics, trading, and also the overall simulation that can track data for up to 100,000 individual Sims inside each city. There is a massive amount of computing that goes into all of this, and GlassBox works by attributing portions of the computing to EA servers (the cloud) and some on the player's local computer.
I wonder if people with slow connections have issues with actual game play let alone the always online requirement.


Syl 03-04-2013 11:11 PM

Meanwhile, on Cities XL
Shame that Cities XL is an outrageously buggy and permanently broken game.

It does look nice, but to get a city that size, the framerate is going to get into the single digits after about 5 minutes of play.

Syl 03-04-2013 11:15 PM


Shame I heard the newest release doesn't fix anything. Bleh.

Tolgar 03-05-2013 12:24 AM

With CitiesXL, the actual devs are long gone from the project, the people releasing new "versions" are just adding buildings and what not every year or so. So fixing memory leaks and the single core problem aren't going to happen unless some modder manages to reverse engineer the game, and then fix it :P

shadow763 03-05-2013 06:43 AM

I love when game journalists get serious.

dirtbag 03-05-2013 06:47 AM

Is there a countdown to a crack for the always-on DRM? It's funny when people who legitimately purchase the game have to find ways around the so-called copy protection.

Give me single player, or give me death!

AspectVoid 03-05-2013 07:33 AM


Originally Posted by dirtbag (Post 2191979)
Is there a countdown to a crack for the always-on DRM? It's funny when people who legitimately purchase the game have to find ways around the so-called copy protection.

Give me single player, or give me death!

Rumor is that right now there is no way to crack it, as vital parts of the game are kept on EA's servers and streamed to your PC as you play. Until someone gets their hands on those parts and creates a way to integrate it into a local install, you'll have to be connected to play.

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