SimCity 5 Initial Review

I signed up for the 2nd SimCity Beta and was able to play the 1-hour long beta a few times on Feb 16th. There were some problems claiming cities and even connecting to EA’s servers, but I was hopeful they would fix it by the time the game was released, and could continue making patches after that. So I pre-ordered and started playing SimCity 2013 when it was released March 5. I know there have been some problems, but I’m hopeful they’ll get them fixed eventually. Here are some notes and some initial screenshots I’ve taken. I’ll make new posts as I find new things about the game.

Server Connectivity Issues

Lots of people have complained about server connectivity issues and being unable to claim new cities. Luckily I haven’t noticed too much of a problem but I have only started a few cities. I have noticed strange things like clicking the Claim button and then finding out it was already claimed? I also haven’t tried starting my own region yet.

I think it was Wednesday the 6th EA shut down their servers for an update, and we weren’t able to log on at all. That was annoying, but I’m not sure how long it lasted. Maybe half an hour to an hour? Why couldn’t they update a single server at a time?

Emergency Response and Public Service Algorithms

Fire Engines

So I was very hopeful that the emergency response system would be great with this new game engine. Maybe it’s something weird about the road system. But I see firetrucks go down a bunch of roads somewhat close to a burning building, but never the right road. They keep turning around and going down a different but still wrong road, taking a long time to go to the actual house burning down! I’m pretty sure they weren’t meant to do that, they keep going down the same wrong street over and over. Also, ALL of your fire trucks may be at the same burning house, while you have other houses burning down. At least some of them should leave if another fire is worse!

FireTrucks on scene

Burning House (Small)


I haven’t followed ambulances around to see how well they drive to injured or sick sims, but I have noticed them take a long time at the clinic or hospital. They should quickly unload the sick or injured sim and immediately go out to get more! I always have a sick person complaining about the sniffles but they don’t go to the clinic?

MaxisMan can be sent out to heal injured, but I tried following him the first time he was sent on patrol, and he didn’t immediately go to someone injured. It’s more like a patrol I guess. How is he supposed to find anyone?

Germs, Air Pollution, Ground Pollution

The health system is one area I somewhat struggle with in my cities. I check the Germ data map and see air pollution, ground pollution, and other factors. I know we can add the Wellness Center and Disease Research center on the Hospital to start combating sickness in the city. But how do you reduce the air pollution and water pollution? In SimCity 4 I think all you could do was plant more parks and trees. There was also a third-party plugin that was a huge air filter. I loved that!

Spark_2013-03-10_15-05-27 (Small)

What do you love and hate about this new SimCity?

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