Sim City 4
Date: Sunday, May 31 @ 00:03:51 EDT
Topic: RTS Reviews
I'm drunk, I'm in Germany (possibly redundant), and I'm bored, so I'll do a review.
Sim City 4 was the last sim game released by Maxis, the semen stain of a game Spore notwithstanding, which was fun and didn't spawn a gazillion add-ons (essentially giving them a means to print money).
Graphics: The graphics are half decent. You have the standard four way 'rotate' on the camera, and it can zoom in several levels. But for some reason, it was programmed with linked lists, instead of arrays or hashing functions, so zooming in or out seemingly takes a lifetime. You literally sit there starring at the screen waiting for a majority of the textures to load. But there's definitely a lot of eye candy like cars moving about, sims walking around, and riots and what not.
Sound: The music is solid and the sound is great too, catering to the masichist as riots break out, and to the pedophiles as schoolyards have authentic prepubescent child sounds. They also have this incredibly cheesy soundtrack, but it accents the game rather nicely.
Gameplay: In case you've been living under a rock for the past 15 years, the Sim City games let you zone three different square blocks, and watch them develop. Residential zones allow sims to move into your city. Industrial zones allow them to get low income, high polluting jobs, and commercial zones turn the city into a sprawling metropolis. You raise money through taxes, and you spend it on things like education, health, sanitation, water, electricity...The assumption being that we live in a socialist country. And you try to provide a good lifestyle by reducing crime, unemployment, traffic...So that's all standard fare, and every city simulation game has been following that recipe. Maxis jumped on board the one-up-manship wagon and decided to make the game even more complicated, so they created this new concept of 'commute time'. To distinguish between traffic and commute time, allow me to demonstrate via an example. If your job is 1 km away, and it takes you 5 minutes to get there, then there is probably a high amount of traffic. But if your job is 20 km away, and it takes you 10 minutes to get there, then it's considered a high amount of commute time. And the real pisser is that commute time literally halts your city's growth. So because your fucking sim decides to get a job on the other end of town, your commute time shoots up, and the city stops growing. This turns out to be an even bigger pain in the ass when you build massive highways or lay down a gazillion subway tracks, and the little fucker still complains about the commute time. Read a fucking book on your trip and get over it. In fact, this one little flaw ends up ruining the entire game. Maxis set up a mini conference to address this issue, and they released the algorithms that were used in deciding how to get to work, but for fucks sake I just want to play the game, I don't want to analyze it.
Story: There's no story, you just start playing it, and try to reach a population of 1 million so you can brag about it to your [gay] friends.
The graphics are OK, the sound is OK, and the gameplay is pretty solid, but then once your city hits 300,000 you get proper fucked by the commute glitch. 6/10