For Quigley, SimCity isn’t about giving you a static world to play in; it’s about giving you the tools so you can build the world you want to play in – and so it is with LEGO bricks, which were always way cooler than Lincoln Logs. But that’s the thing about the new SimCity. Quigley stresses that the game was built from the ground up as a simulation first. “It’s like LEGO blocks in the sense that they are compartmentalized, but the blocks have behavior embedded inside them,” explains Quigley.
In that sense, the look of SimCity may be the first and most impressive thing you notice about the game. But below the visual surface is the real heart of the matter, where the GlassBox engine is working, determining the behavior and keeping track of data on everything from water quality and distribution to whether a Sim will get out of bed and look for a job. Then again, what’s most impressive about the GlassBox engine and the new SimCity is how all those complicated bits of information and behaviors hidden away are easy to take in and interpret because you can see them in action. You see the power grid pulsing to find out which areas have electricity and you see traffic jams when roads aren’t efficiently placed. You can pull up all the charts and numbers if you want, but you won’t need them to tell you there’s a pollution problem when you can see your city covered by a blanket of smog.
The new SimCity isn’t expected to release until 2013. In the meantime, expect more impressions, details on multiplayer, and more about people on fire on GamesRadar.
Image from Lego City