A BIG STEP BACKWARDS By Ruby

First of all, I bought a disc, so I thought I was getting a standalone game, like other SimCity games that came before. I didn’t read the fine print in the description, shame on me. So now I wonder, what was the point of sending me a disc and charging $5 in shipping when i had to download the game! The disc is basically an access key, that’s all.

This game requires an Origin account and persistent Internet connection, which means data about me and my game usage is being harvested every moment I play, and the game is completely useless if I just want to hang out somewhere where I don’t happen to have an internet connection.

We lost a lot on creative control in this version. We can’t create worlds from scratch by adding water, grading land, adding volcanoes, trees, and all that cool stuff. We can’t start with a blank pallets and have fun creating crazy freeway interchanges and connections to neighbors. We can’t pick tree and building types, add foliage, or plop parks down in the middle of a neighborhood – parks have to be next to a road. We can’t beautify our cities by adding foliage, paths, parks, etc. in empty spaces or down the middle of our roads. The graphics are a huge step backwards from previous games – astounding, given the awesome game graphics these days where characters almost look real. In this SimCity, the people look like Lego characters, the buildings are boxed and nondescript, the trees and bushes are incredibly lame.

One thing my son loved about SimCity 4 was the ability to drive fire trucks and police cars and simulations in general. We haven’t found anything like that here, at least not in the sandbox mode we enjoy. The game manual is really lacking details.

Overall, this was a huge waste of $70 (including tax and shipping) and I am thoroughly disgusted about this purchase. I FEEL TOTALLY CHEATED. And I am mourning the fact that I lost the access codes for my SimCity 3 game (my favorite, for land and road building) and SimCity 4 (my son’s favorite for simulations).

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