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49 comments

  • shawksta - January 13, 2014 6:52 p.m.

    Meh, EA still fucked up
  • ainokea - January 13, 2014 5:47 p.m.

    "Forcing a game to always be online seems like a bad idea" Does it now? Obviously some people have never heard or would ever comprehend the concept of an MMO.
  • TokenGamesRadarFurry - January 13, 2014 5:41 p.m.

    Is it too much to ask for cool, online connectivity-centric features that are also optional?
  • leonardo-j-ceballos - January 13, 2014 5:13 p.m.

    " SimCity's online tethers will be removed completely. All the connectivity stuff will still be functional, but you'll also be able to take your city with you whether you're within Wi-Fi range or not, just like you could in SimCity 2000. Sadly, exactly like you could in SimCity 2000. It's like 1994 all over again--but only now with curvy roads." Seldom have I read two sentences so immediately and completely contradictory of each other written or spoken by anyone (beside Gollum/Smeagol) in my entire life. Either all the connectivity stuff is still there OR its like SimCity 2000. When people complain about "always online" its NOT the ONLINE part they are complaining about, its the ALWAYS. In other words, if you like the online features so much so that you think the game is only attractive when played that way... don't play it offline! "All the connectivity stuff will still be functional", remember? I'm sure there will be plenty of people playing it that way... at least when they can. Your experience will not be affected one whit. I guess what boggles my mind is the notion that "always online" is always the best choice for every game and genre out there, and that online play is somehow lessened by the exitance of the mere possibility of offline play, which is simply not true. You know, there have been multiplayer card games for millennia, but people still play solitaire once in a while! Quit trying to tell people how to play their games.
  • theguyinthecloset - January 13, 2014 6:33 p.m.

    The point he is trying to make is that without the online stuff the game is not worth it, incomplete. So making you able to play without it is making able to play an imcomplete game. This something specefic to SimCity this not about the the concept of always online anything else. The real game is online, playing offline is like playing Counter-strike with boths, it's not what the game should be.
  • leonardo-j-ceballos - January 13, 2014 8:35 p.m.

    So bots are a bad thing, now? Games would be better with no bots? Unreal Tournament is "a regression of the genre" because it included bots? Its a shame that those games are playable offline? We need to write an article about how its a shame bots exist? Of course not. That would be dumb. I happen to like having bots in my games. Its a good way to practice, learn the maps and weapons, and is much lower stress than a competitive match. In my opinion, Counter-Strike bots are a great example about how wrong this article is, so thank you!
  • theguyinthecloset - January 14, 2014 12:01 a.m.

    Your completely missing my point. there is nothing bad with bots. Again I mentioned CS specificaly. The ability to play CS alone is useless.
  • brickman409 - January 13, 2014 9:32 p.m.

    I don't see what is contradictory here. The requirement to be online will be removed, but the option will still be there. To sum it up, If you play SimCity 2013 offline, then it's the same experience as SimCity 2000, but with some new features. It's a bit exaggerating, (SimCity 2013 has more to offer than just curvy roads and online play) but it's not really contradicting. I do agree with you that some games are best played offline, and some games are not. I don't agree with the article on how always online is supposedly the future. Optional online should be the future, not always online. When the article says that playing SimCity 2013 offline is the same as SimCity 2000, the author is just criticizing people who play offline. Like you said, they need to quit telling people how to play their games.
  • chris-gibbons - January 13, 2014 5:08 p.m.

    Nobody wants or will ever want online content shoved down their throat. The vast majority of games could lose all online content without any loss in playability.
  • Trg564 - January 13, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    Forcing games to be always online seems like a bad idea, especially if there's a high speed requirement. Not that many people have fast internet, either because it's not available in their area or because it's crazy expensive, so always online won't take off until they deal with that hurdle.
  • LordZarlon - January 13, 2014 4:46 p.m.

    When I read your article defending the game last year I appreciated the point you were making, Hollander. With all do respect though, I think you're missing the point. The product a company should make is a product that their fans want. Clearly from the outcry over this game the fans have showed that they wanted a single player game. If this game had been released as Simcity Online then I would have had no problem with it but it was touted as the next entry in the main Simcity series. Why does the gaming press keep insisting that the future of all gaming is online and multiplayer only? I love Starcraft 2. I love both the single and multiplayer modes. An online connection does not make the campaign mode of that game any better. Online only multiplayer games don't have to be the only games made from now on. The world of gaming will survive just fine if we have both online multiplayer and offline single player games.
  • GR HollanderCooper - January 13, 2014 5:01 p.m.

    I don't think fans would have had a problem if the servers weren't busted as crap. They were, though, so that's the world we live in.
  • cbrinkmann1981 - January 13, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    It boggles my mind that the author is bemoaning the offline mode as a bad thing. The always online DRM is the worst thing that could ever happen to a game. Nobody wanted, asked for or needed the always online requirement, and what did it give the players? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No benefits. No added features. It was just all pain and no pleasure. "Oh, well if a neighboring city has a resource you want you can buy it from them!" some will reply. It should be rather obvious why this is hardly some great benefit, especially for those of us who don't like multiplayer games or elements of multiplayer in what should and has always been a single player experience. Thank you EA for finally doing the right thing. Pretty sure it wasn't because you wanted to, but it's nice to know that you are doing it nonetheless. Was bad enough you forced Maxis to put always on DRM in their game and then further coerced them into taking the blame for it. No need to make it worse by keeping it on.
  • PlainLikeVanilla - January 13, 2014 4:27 p.m.

    This reads like very well written satire but I have to question whether that was the intent.
  • FoxdenRacing - January 13, 2014 4:25 p.m.

    You know I respect you, Coop, but I can't agree with the whole 'victimized futurist' angle. Just because something is newer, doesn't make it better...the old adage of "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should" comes to mind...not just for SimCity, but for large swaths of gaming. If this was a new franchise, or advertised as 'SimCity Social: The MMO' from the start, it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. If Maxis didn't come out and make false statements about why it was that way [insisting that the servers do countless computations the local machine isn't powerful enough to do], when it was quickly proven that wasn't the case, it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. If the game's square mileage wasn't a huge step backwards from previous entries [to force the usage of the social aspects], it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. If it wasn't a shameless vector for product placement, it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. If the AI was any good...countless photos abound of firemen going to the wrong building, of every Sim in the city going to the first house they find instead of their own, etc...it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. If the underlying simulation was any good...95%+ residential cities functioning fine, underwater cities functioning fine, mood being influenced simply by the existence of parks, etc...it wouldn't have been as big of a deal. But the single biggest problem it ran into? Every franchise, especially long-running ones, come with certain expectations. If you invoke a franchise, you have to stay true to the franchise. When those conventions are openly ignored, you get angry fans. Making a city management game and calling it Simcity comes with the expectation of massive cities, an intricate underlying simulation, an equally intricate single-player experience, and the like...not of looking and feeling like it belongs on Facebook, with all the awful connotations that implies. Had they simply made a state of the art SimCity game, and enabled the 'Regions' abilities from its predecessors to go online in ways it never has, there might have been a dust-up about the servers sucking initially but I wouldn't be writing this comment right now.
  • cbrinkmann1981 - January 13, 2014 4:34 p.m.

    Actually, it's EA who was making those statements. Sure, they might have used Maxis as their puppet, but ultimately EA's the one who was holding the gun to Maxis' head and telling them to spew their corporate lies.
  • GR HollanderCooper - January 13, 2014 5 p.m.

    The game totally had problems, I don't disagree at all (I mentioned most of the things you mention in my review http://www.gamesradar.com/simcity-review/) but online didn't HAVE to be a bad thing. It could have been great! Also, adding SPECIAL ONLINE EDITION WOO! isn't really necessary. World of Warcraft wasn't called WARCRAFT: EXCEPT ALWAYS ONLINE! or anything. Do a minuscule amount of research before spending $50.
  • FoxdenRacing - January 14, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    Must be a bad day, that kind of venom's unlike you...I can't say that I was being warm with my intended tone, but I wasn't trying to be caustic, either. But, this is the trouble with text; inflection and body language are lost. No, WoW didn't have 'Online' in the title, but they did take the time to denote it as different from the mainline series through the title itself. I have no doubts there would have been just as much outrage had they called it Warcraft 4. Or, given the recent industry trend of dropping the sequel numbers and/or subtitles, if they had called it just Warcraft. That's what I was getting at with the naming. If you're going to do something wildly different...like changing genres [PvZ to Garden Warfare], changing tones [NFS to Underground], or changing paradigms from offline-single with optional private online to anonymous-online with no other options [Simcity 5]...you have to denote it in the title somehow. A subtitle [PvZ: Garden Warfare], a slightly different title [WoW], something. Dropping the iteration number isn't good enough there. And I agree, as I did in the original comment: the online could have been wonderful! They had the potential to take Regions to the next level, but completely blew it, between woefully insufficient infrastructure and the forced paradigm changes leaving bitter tastes in countless mouths. Had the online, as it exists, been optional...play solo or have a local region [all made by the same user] or have a private region [invite-only] or take a random spot in the world, there wouldn't have been a dust-up over anything but the awful servers.
  • BladedFalcon - January 13, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    Alternate title for this article: "I refuse to admit I was wrong from the begging when I defended SimCity for being a Multiplayer only game more than a year ago, and instead I'm going to blame it on everything else but me or the fact that it was a stupid idea to make a known single player only series into a MP only game" Sure, it's a long as title, but far more honest and true of what this article is about.

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