Performance hiccups, but excellent SimCity

User Rating: 9 | SimCity PC
Minus the launch issues with the servers, this game has surprisingly met my expectations for the SimCity franchise.

The gameplay has a large amount of variety to it, managing utilities is a bit more complex than simply adding more power plants, water pumps, etc. Now you can add new components to major buildings like extra wind turbines for increased power output, etc. That aspect is done really well. There are plenty of buildings and landmarks to play around with in different scenarios, you might have access to coal reserves in your city, so you could build a mine and use that coal to power your coal power plant, extra coal could be sold for profit or stored for later use. That's just one example, but it gives the general idea of how the structure of the buildings/resources work.

I like that density is tied to street size, as it streamlines that process a bit. People develop more heavily as their increasingly wealth-oriented needs are met. The main problem I've been having is severe traffic build-ups. Even with high-density avenues, buses, and streetcars my emergency vehicles can never make it to the fires/crimes/health problems in time. Surely there's a remedy to this, I'll have to find it out.

As for the constant connection dilemma everyone seems to dwell on, I don't mind it too much to be honest. I don't like it, but as long as it works then whatever. For people on the move (laptops) I can see the major problem there, and that really does suck for them. But I think people just like to b*tch and whine whenever they can, even if it's not a big deal.

My computer strains a bit running it, which surprised me, granted my system is no longer high-end: (i7 930 @ 4.0GHz, x2 GTX 470 SLI, 12GB, SSD). Hopefully Nvidia will come out with a patch that boosts SLI capability with this game, as the 2nd GPU is not consistently sharing the load. With Ultra settings, AA, standard tilt-shift, and v-sync I get 40-50 fps (GPU load: 99% and ~30%). I capped the framerate at 30 (a handy built-graphics option in the game) and it actually works pretty smoothly for 30fps. That and the GPU isn't straining all the time.

Anyway, if you're looking for a great city-builder SimCity nailed pretty well I think. You won't be disappointed in the game, it'll get even better as more servers alleviate the current connection issues. Props to the developers for making a game up to par.