SimCity: The next generation

SimCity Societies will hit PCs in November this year and revolutionize the city-building series in the process. With its totally overhauled gameplay, Societies will enable you to create your own unique, dynamic and interactive SimCity society from a dystopian nightmare to a utopian dream.

Buildings can now be rearranged and combined with other structures, avoiding the cloned look of previous SimCity creations. There's a staggering 350 types of building, with huge variety, and your choice of structure can directly affect your city's society.

"Sometimes I build an aggressive police state where stragglers are dragged off to reconditioning centers and emerge ready for work," Rod Humble, studio head of EA's Sims Division, relishes in telling us. "Other times, I build a green community in the tropics, where the citizens grow their own food."

Above: There are even more images of SimCity Societies in our gallery (opens in new tab)

As you combine buildings, you produce or consume a resource called "social energies." Experiment with these energies -including industry, wealth, obedience or creativity - and you can guide or coerce the path of your city's society.

Your choices will be visually obvious as you progress - slap down ferris wheels, gingerbread houses, or chocolate factories to create fun-filled worlds. Build your own haunted village, complete with spooky houses, or pursue future technologies and forge huge metropolises.

The behavior of your citizens can be influenced, too - for instance, play around with the consequences of rebellion, or investigate what you can achieve with a compliant, unquestioning workforce.SimCity Societies is ambitious, but the resultswill be limited only by your imagination.

June 13, 2007

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.