Simcity 5 Preview van Shacknews
The world has changed a great deal since SimCity 4 debuted in 2003. The American Century is over, and the United States is a nation mired in political infighting, recession, and high energy prices. China is one of the world’s economic powers. And the way we even think of and construct cities has changed, with a greater emphasis on public transit, open spaces, and green building. And even buildings have changed, with a new generation of mega-skyscrapers towering over cities such as Dubai and Shanghai.
And just as the world finds itself in a different time and place, so does SimCity. The latest take on one of the oldest franchises in gaming (due out in 2013) is entering new territory, introducing multiplayer for the first time in the series’ history, bringing online leader boards (and, more controversially, requiring you to be connected to the Internet every time you play), and something many players have wanted for years–curvy roads.
SimCity 4 had interconnected cities. In the new SimCity, you’ve got interconnected cities over a region (aka the map) filled with your friends or whomever you invite into your region. Multiplayer isn’t random, so you shouldn’t have to worry about your friends making penis-shaped cities. Unless your friends are also dicks. Or you can be the dick, allowing your town to become a crime-ridden Gotham or a Superfund site, spreading crime or pollution to your neighbors. Artistic Director/Creative Director Ocean Quigley (sporting a stylish mustache and a full beard) says you can set up a private game if you would rather play SimCity old-school single-player (though your progress will still appear on online leader boards for things such as crime, resource production, and wealth). The benefits of playing with friends, however, likely outweigh the privacy of a single-player game.