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Easton Bell
Easton Bell

SimCity: Cities Of Tomorrow

What will tomorrow look like? Build it today! SimCity Cities of Tomorrow offers the more than two million players worldwide the opportunity to futurise every aspect of their cities with the help of plausible future technologies, giving players an entirely new way to dream about their city of the future. New MegaTowers, new city specialisations, new future technology and new transportation methods will transform the way that cities take shape and evolve.

SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow

Players can create a settlement that can grow into a city by zoning land for residential, commercial, or industrial development, as well as building and maintaining public services, transport and utilities. SimCity uses a new engine called GlassBox that allows for more detailed simulation than previous games. Throughout its development, SimCity received critical acclaim for its new engine and reimagined gameplay; however, publications cautioned the game's mandatory use of a persistent internet connection, which enables cloud saves and multiplayer functionality, allowing cities to trade and share resources.

Cities in a region are connected to each other via predefined regional networks such as highways, railways, and waterways. Elements such as traffic and air pollution are visible flowing between cities.[13] Cities can trade resources or share public services with their neighbors like garbage collection or health care. Cities can also pool their collective wealth and resources to build a "great work" to provide benefits for the entire region like a massive solar power plant or an international airport. The larger the region, the higher is the number of cities and great works that can be built.

Players will be able to specialize cities on certain industries, such as manufacturing, tourism, education, or others. Each have distinct appearances, simulation behavior, and economic strategies.[25][26] Players have the option to heavily specialize on one or build multiple specializations in any given city for diversity.[13] The game will feature a simulated global economy. Prices of key resources like oil or food will fluctuate depending on the game world's supply and demand.[27] In particular, if players all over the world are predominantly selling drilled oil from within their game onto the global market, this will drive the price for this resource down. Conversely, a resource that has experienced very little exposure on the world market will be a scarce resource, driving the price up.[28]

This version of SimCity is the first to feature full online play since SimCity 2000 Network Edition (1996),[8] allowing for regions to house multiple cities from different players. Regions can alternatively be set to private/invite-only.[25] SimCity requires players to be logged into Electronic Arts (EA)'s Origin gaming service to play the game, even when playing in single-player mode. At release, an active internet connection was required every time the game was launched, and had to be maintained throughout gameplay, until an offline single-player mode was added later via a patch.[29] The connection is asynchronous,[29] so any brief network disturbance will not interrupt the gameplay[16] though outages of longer than 19 minutes, as an editor posted on Kotaku,[30] will cause loss of gamestate when playing online.[31]

EA responded to server issues by adding additional servers and developing a server patch that disables "non-critical gameplay features [including] leaderboards, achievements and region filters."[47][57] On the evening of March 7, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw issued a statement in response to the launch problems, stating that more servers would be added over the weekend, thousands of players were playing and "more than 700,000 cities have been built by our players in just 24 hours". She went on to acknowledge that "many are experiencing server instability" and that "players across Europe and Asia are experiencing the same frustration". She confirmed that the number of servers would be increased stating "We added servers today, and there will be several more added over the weekend."[58]

This prompted a blog response from Bradshaw, in which she defended the always-online component with the comment that "real cities do not exist in a bubble; they share a region and affect one another." She goes on to say that increased connectivity to neighboring cities allows for a better experience, allowing for better trade and wider scale effects such as crime and pollution to keep synchronized across the region.[80] Bradshaw also noted the performance benefit due to the engine using EA's server hardware to assist in gameplay calculations.[80]

SimCity was also criticized for the size of the area the player is given to build a city; critics have noted it to be significantly smaller than what was available in previous games. Maxis responded to this criticism by stating that this was a deliberate compromise to ensure that the game would run smoothly on the majority of users' computers. Maxis has acknowledged that city size is a major complaint, but has stated that they are not currently working on an increase in size.[113] However, they have stated that larger areas may appear in an upcoming release or expansion of the game.[114] In October 2013, Maxis stated that due to player feedback, they attempted to implement larger cities through "months of testing," but ultimately decided to abandon the concept as "the system performance challenges [Maxis] encountered would mean that the vast majority of [SimCity's] players wouldn't be able to load, much less play with bigger cities."[115]

Standing proud in the cities of the future are the MegaTowers, buildings not so dissimilar to the out-of-town arcologies. These shining spires are constructed level by level, each of which can be residential, commercial or a utility of some sort, before being capped with a park, with solar panels or with a giant, gaudy, glowing advert.

These self-contained cities in the sky call SimCity's launch to mind, because it's not always entirely clear what's going on inside them. Residents on one level seem unable to find the shops on the next. Everyone who lives in one particular section of one of these gorgeous giants complains about a sewage problem that nobody else suffers from and which, because I can't find it, I can't do anything to solve.

SimCity was always a handsome game, but Cities of Tomorrow gives it touches of glory with some fantastic architecture and an almost psychedelic interpretation of the next century. It sounds wonderful, too, singing a jubilant call to tomorrow with arrays of howling synths and yearning, optimistic melodies.

Nothing is all that big by itself, but Cities of Tomorrow just gives you more without any more space to put it in. Specialising several different cities in a region is no longer a tactic, it's now essential, and building the best new cities is a challenge that requires serious forward planning. If you'd rather start with one of your old cities, you'll likely be tearing its heart, lungs and liver out should you want to drop in anything new.

Built upon the foundation of the ultimate city building simulation that has more than 2 million players worldwide, SimCity Cities of Tomorrow gives players the ability to transform their cities as they take them on a journey 50 years into the future. Using new technologies and experimental urban planning techniques, mayors will shape the destinies of their cities, thriving in a utopia of clean technologies, or a dystopia of hyper-commercialism.

SimCity Cities of Tomorrow gives players an entirely new way to dream about their city of the future. New regions, new future technology, new city specializations and new transportation methods will transform the way that cities take shape and evolve. Will they create a utopian society underpinned by clean technology under the auspices of the Academy, or encourage giant corporation OmegaCo to strip-mine natural resources and pollute in the name of feeding consumerism? For the first time in the history of the franchise, cities can be built vertically with enormous multi-zone MegaTowers that extend high into the sky and dwarf the rest of the city. Education and research will help players discover new technologies that make their cities less polluted, less reliant on natural resources, managed day-to-day by service drones and fueled by green energy. As the population increases, Sims will live, work, and play closer together. When players have finished deciding whether they want their Sims to live together in harmony, or as members of an exploited workforce, they can rain chaos upon them by unleashing an all-new disaster exclusive to this expansion pack.

The SimCity base game is available now on Mac and PC and developed by Maxis. SimCity is cross-platform compatible, so all players play together across the same servers. Players can play both versions with the same Origin account, allowing them to seamlessly continue their cities, achievements and leaderboard progress across the Mac and PC. Since its launch in March, SimCity has had seven major game updates that have made upgrades to the core simulation and provided game content and features at no additional charge.

The megatowers are by far the biggest and most innovative part of the expansion pack as they are multi-layered structures, allowing users to build cities into the sky. These allow for stacking upwards of eight different forms of communal services such as apartments and malls with varying levels of efficiencies. If you are somehow able to rack up enough cash to upgrade it fully, a crown can be put at the top that will help attract tourists, clean the air, and various other functions. I almost wish these towers were not as thick as they are as they take up an overwhelming amount of space. I will give the expansion pack credit, though, for including futuristic roads and forms of transformation, but they are now no more than just small balls of light that run across the screen. 041b061a72


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