Next-Gen Sim City it isnt.

User Rating: 7 | Cities XL PC
Well I purchased this recently after half following the Previews etc. I can honestly say it was more of an impulse buy rather than me waiting till release day and counting down the hours.

However I most definately did not purchase this blindly, and had some form of expectations from it, and like most people who will indeed end up buying this was hoping for a next gen "Sim-City."

So lets begin:

Graphics: 7/10

Whilst good, they are definately more of a selling point than groundbreaking. My system is top end (I mean top end!), and has no issues running on full settings (so I cannot comment on lag etc, sorry). Viewed from afar they really do look great, get down to ground level and they look ok, but they do remind me of a budget FPS from 4 years ago, or think GTA3 with some added textures for some sheen. The people look very cartoonish, its not a criticism, just I know it has bugged some players. Overall I feel they still missed the trick here, as it all feels rather unpolished, or at the very least bearing the hallmarks of "budget."

Sound: 5/10

Its a city building sim/game. SO wasnt expecting to be blown away here, and it at least met my expectations. Just run of the mill sounds. But it doesnt add anything or take anything away from the playing experience.

Interface: 6/10

Easy yes (well most of the time), It feels a bit buggy at the moment. And I am sure some patches will sort this. Still dont understand why the default interface size is so small, explains why it can be adjusted in options, someone must have noticed it in game testing and they quickly added in an option to change it, because I couldnt see what I was buying at one point. Overall not bad, they definately want us to "think" this is Sim-City simply from the design, as it reminds me of The Sims 3, but just not there really.

Gameplay: 6/10

Well this is THE most important element (obviously!). I have had some fun this weekend, but after a while it all gets a bit...well...samey! Buy and place, buy and place, buy and place. The game simply lacks depth in my view, there arent enough stats to tell you why you are losing money, or making it etc, there just isnt enough information to make this a simulation. Whilst this may not be what it sets out to be, most people will be buying it for that reason, and if you are then you will be very dissapointed in the long term, once you figure out how to make money (quite a simple formula once you get it!) it all becomes a bit like painting a picture of a city rather than actually running and managing one. So for me it becomes a case of why would I wish to create another city other than to have it look different from my last? I really hope that they release patches that add more content, but I am pretty sure patches arent going to add any more depth to the gameplay here. (Oh and why sooo much effort into the creating my avatar section? When it really bears no importance whatsoever, a complete waste of money on paying that persons wages to make that!!). I am NOT saying this is a terrible game, but can someone for once just make a game with some depth, and add at least some form of micro-management, has those two words really become the black sheep of gaming now?? We are intelligent people so please make a game that enables us to use our brain cells, we will STILL buy it!! Its a city builder, not Wii Sports so we expect to have to manage many things, and if you feel it will detract people from buying (its all about the benjamins) then give an option for the AI to handle it, but at least attempt to give us the choice.

Overall: 7/10

So overall not a terrible game. But if like me you was expecting a great city builder in 3D, that took Sim-City 4 further, then you will be dissapointed pretty quickly. Add that with the online subscription rubbish (what genius thought that would end up being a long term money maker??) then its not groundbreaking. The more I play it the more it frustrates me for what it could have been, and I think most players will feel the same. I would have not purchased it now (ahh hindsight!), and would have simply waited for it to be more like £15.99, and hope some good patches and extra content already existed, say in 6-8 months. I strongly suggest you do the same.