EA has released a video for its upcoming city-builder simulation that showcases the detailed interactions between multiple cities in a specific region.
After the failure that was Simcity Societies – the first game in the franchise not developed by Maxis, EA is rebooting the franchise, and taking it back to its roots, while simultaneously expanding the technological edge significantly.
To this end, they’ve handed the reins back over to the development studio who handled some of the greatest simulation games of the genre, Maxis.
Some clear differences to note between the previous Simcity games (Societies doesn’t count) and this one include the more organic nature of the city layout. This has been happening slowly since the first Simcity which was on a strict grid, and each iteration since has been a bit more granular in the way roads and rail can be laid out. In Simcity 4, there were still some strong restrictions to how roads and such fit into place. I distinctly remember the frustrations of trying to place hi-way ramps in that game, and here it practically fits them for you.
Also, a lot of the manual labor of the game has been removed. If you played any of the previous games, you eventually learned that the only water strategy that makes sense is to simply run water pipes under all of the roads as a way to get water to all properties. Occasionally there might be a need to run water somewhere without a road, but rarely, and really, it just created additional work. In the new game, water and power all go along automatically with any roads, eliminating the need to micro-manage the distribution of those resources.
Of course there are a lot more building types, road types, transportation methods, and pretty much everything else. The world is also more granular. There is actual environment simulation, and the residents and businesses are individually simulated, rather than running the world on algorithms.
All of this comes together in a system of regions. Like in SimCity 4, each city will exist within a region of other cities, which will interact dynamically. Well-bearded lead creative director Ocean Quigley explains how that interaction works – alongside a lot of other in-game options – in this new developer’s diary:
Players will be able to interact with one another’s city’s through the SimCity World feature, an online multi-player component of the game.
This trailer is from this year’s E3 back in June, but it shows a few more of the features in detail:
SimCity is slated to hit the shelves in March 2013. The game can be preordered over on the official website. Unfortunately, it’s looking like EA’s Origin distribution platform will be required to play.