The connection problems of SimCity’s botched launch may almost be behind us, but now that more players are actually playing, the critical bombardment has adjusted its aim to target the simulation itself. Players are reporting bugs, quirks, and mysterious behaviors, and discontent has swelled into accusations. Our review criticizes many of these problems, but is there a bigger story? Were we misled?
Posing that question without answering it would just be rhetoric, so I’ve run my own experiments to directly test the biggest claims. In addition to judging their accuracy, I’ve provided context to inform judgment on whether we were misinformed by our own assumptions or by Maxis itself, as well as my opinions on the individual controversies.
[update] Just after this article was written, SimCity Lead Designer Stone Librande published a post which explains more about some of these issues and the design decisions behind them. He also promises a patch to car pathfinding to help alleviate traffic jams. “SimCity can be played offline” True — cities can be simulated locally
If you cut off your internet connection while playing SimCity, it doesn’t dump you back to the launcher. It warns you, but continues to simulate your city normally until it decides you’ve been mucking around offline for too long and boots you. But now