games / Previews

E3 2012: Multiplayer Makes SimCity More Fun

June 10, 2012 | Posted by Adam Larck

While the demo of SimCity was only done by developers, the title is definitely showing the next step in the right direction for the series.

The demo shown focused mainly on the multiplayer aspect that is being added into the game, but a few other tidbits of information were shown as well. One of the pieces of info was that curved roads can finally be made before selecting the types of areas (residential, industrial, etc.) to be around the zone.

Also shown outside of multiplayer was the new views given through GlassBox. Players will be able to switch to the view to see how power is distributed to the city, where crime is the thickest, how traffic is and more. This makes it a lot easier to manage the city and fix any problems you may be facing.

Buildings can also be added onto, a first for the game according to Maxis. By clicking on a building, you can added garages or storage buildings or more to give it the few upgrades you may need instead of building a whole new building.

Now, to finally talk about the part that intrigues me the most: the multiplayer. Multiple friends (or random people) can band together to form entire communities of cities. Each city will technically be located in their own areas, but can be linked to via roadways, trains, etc.

Cities can also share resources with each other, such as power. By checking and seeing if a friend has an extra power supply, you can link up with them and use it to their own gain.

Another fun addition and extra layer to the game is the ability to do regional projects together. The project they showed was the regional airport. These regional projects require a lot of resources and manpower to complete, but can give good bonuses and accomplishments to communities that do.

Honestly, what intrigues me the most about the title is the ability to set up your city to complement your friend’s cities. You no longer have to have cities that are residential, industrial and entertaining all wrapped in one. Maxis showed off a scenario where one city was purely residential, with residents all traveling to a neighboring city to work. If they wanted entertainment, the third city with its professional stadium could easily provide it.

While this scenario definitely doesn’t have to be used, it’s a great option for players to try to have a specialization without being a jack of all trades. However, even without wanting to do everything, there are still some vital things that all cities need, such as a fire department or police department. Otherwise, the random nature of the GlassBox engine could have arsonists, robbers, murderers or graffiti start popping up over the city and spilling over into neighboring cities.

With all the changes coming to the game, fans of the series can expect to get their hands on the game to play with friends in February 2013.

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Adam Larck

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