Tuesday, March 05, 2013

SimCity V

Let me just say this: I love SimCity.

SimCity was a seminal experiences in my gaming history. I'm sure I put 200+ hours into SimCity 2000, in particular, and it was a game we all played. If you were playing games in 1994, you played SimCity 2000.

Releasing a new version of this game was guaranteed to be an absolute slam dunk. There was no way to mess this up. Even though I have very little time to play games right now, this game was going to be the exception. I was #1 in line.

There was no way for EA to mess this up.

Then EA announced that even for single-player, an online connection was always required. Like everyone else, they had an elaborate rationale for why this was necessary, of course never mentioning that it was primarily to reduce piracy.

Would the online requirement make this a better game? No. And that's the problem.

Still, I was in, and I DESPISE always-on DRM. Don't want anything to do with having to install Origin. Still,  I was in, although I was almost touching the fence.

I built massive cities in previous versions of the game. I built a city the size of Tokyo. Then I saw the map sizes for SimCity V. Basically capped out at 300k for a single city, and that's if you're incredibly efficient.

I'm paying $60, at least, to build the 63rd largest city in the United States? I'm paying that much money to build Stockton, California, or St. Paul?

That put me on the fence. Seriously, an always-online requirement and map sizes one-tenth as large, and that just moved me to the fence? What is wrong with me?

That's the emotional connection I have with the game.

I almost stayed up last night because the game was apparently unlocking at midnight or something. Didn't quite make it, but I figured I'd get it this afternoon. Then I saw the article over at RPS: Gamers Line Up To Play SimCity, along with a screenshot from the game and this absolutely unforgettable bit of text:

Let me translate the rest of the original text into a more accurate version:
Your DRM server is experiencing very high volume. You are now in a DRM queue. The play button will become active once DRM is available. To possibly reduce the authentication delay, select another DRM server.

I am off the fence.

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