The new SimCity game, due for launch in early 2013, was on show during EA’s E3 conference, with two new trailers, and a little bit of explanation from Lucy Bradshaw, the Senior Vp of Maxis. Multiplayer, Data Visualisation and the most satisfying THWUNK noise I think I’ve ever heard were all on display. But there’s more.
Part of the appeal of the new SimCity is the ridiculously charming visuals, detailing this microcosm of a society where every single person is their own agent, doing their own things, and the little snippets of Data Visualisation on display highlighted this. This is a dev feature that Maxis was previously unsure of including in the game, but it’s great that they’re deciding to include it, as their Glass Box engine looks truly impressive. That feeling of being a small town turning into a big city is embellished by a liberal use of tilt shift, and the amusing toy-like physics applied to buildings before you THWONK them into place, fixing them in your city.
But that’s just what Maxis look like they’re trying to do; make you feel like a smaller part of something huge. The multiplayer component, when first shown, just looks like the standard social network fare, with achievements and walls, but they then went on to detail how your city is not alone, being fed both commerce and tourism from neighbouring cities, meaning Citizen Smith from your mate’s small town can come visit your big city. It goes some way to justifying their online only requirement, but something like that should still always be a choice.
Oh, and there was also a quick cut to a pair of giant, scaly, red legs stomping through a street. So Godzilla is back in. Build up your wonderful city and then destroy it with natural and supernatural means, mankind’s most brilliant and descrutive tendancies, together again.