Due out in February next year, SimCity from EA and Maxis looks like an amazingly fleshed out city-building strategy game. The first gameplay walkthrough trailer has emerged and it looks astounding. The only downside is that this game comes at the cost of always-on DRM.
Back in March there was a big fallout over the mention of always-on for SimCity, it was downplayed when EA mentioned to Gamespy that the internet connection was only required to start playing the game and that it would not be an always-on venture like Diablo III.
However, at E3 it was later revealed that always-on was a necessity because multiplayer would be asynchronous and interwoven throughout the structure of the game's design. In simple terms, SimCity would be like Diablo III and ironically enough Maxis revealed to Gamespy that always-on DRM was a necessity, backtracking on EA's claim that you only need to sign-in once to play.
Now, if you don't mind someone like EA leasing you gaming experiences at top-end prices, that's fine and dandy. You'll just enjoy the following trailer that much more. If you're boiling over the DRM, well, take note that the following trailer just might burnout some of the boiling steam fuming from your ears.
That looks marvelous. I have to be honest, it looks like a ton of fun. Maxis and EA knows they have a real hook-line-and-sinker with this game because it genuinely looks marvelous.
The art-style is impeccably clean and almost toy-like, which reminds me of those old hand-made city-sets that used to be on display ages ago in malls and clothing stores.
The design scheme also looks a lot easier to handle and manage than the last few SimCity outings, which should be a real selling point for casuals or the less-than-hardcore strategy enthusiasts. The inter-connectivity of bringing in people from other towns is also a unique venture, but again...this is a feature tied that always-on aspect.
Even though EA and Maxis say that there are measures in place to ensure that the always-on isn't intrusive, it's hard to get past the fiasco that was Diablo III, and how many gamers in various regions weren't able to play the game due to the always-on nature of the game.
Regardless, SimCity looks good and gamers will definitely find themselves stuck between a hard choice and a fun game once February rolls around.