EA and Maxis confirmed last month that they would be bringing SimCity 5 to eager gamers sometime in 2013, bringing with it revamped graphics and new social networking features. The Game Jar had a hands-on preview with the game, and described in detail the mechanics of the refreshed franchise as well as typical gameplay.
Most notably, Game Jar highlights the insane attention to detail that the developers have brought to the game. The city that you’re commanding truly feels alive, with citizens strolling the streets, entering and leaving stores, as well as driving vehicles. You can also follow individual members of the public, watching them leave their home for work and keeping an eye on them all the way to their final destination.
Building up your city has been simplified. If you want to place a road, for example, you simply drag it from your toolbar and lay it across the cityscape as necessary. You can even manipulate the curvature of the road. Once you’ve made your decision, builders will arrive on the scene to begin work. In the case of houses, they’ll known down the surrounding area, and put up a nice “For Sale” sign when work is completed.
Cooperation with other players also seem to be a key element in the new SimCity. If you’re playing online and a player is close to your city, what you do could have a knock-on effect. You can also play together, helping to construct large projects, like a power generator, that would benefit both your citys. You can’t directly destroy or create anything in another city, but you can influence what happens. If you construct a casino and let crime run rampant along the border, the other city would have to invest more in law enforcement.
The takeaway from the preview seems to be the necessary concentration and due diligence that needs to be applied to your city, possibly much more than any previous SimCity game. Every move that you make has consequences, so you have to pay attention to exactly what you’re doing.