Monday, March 18, 2013

My SimCity game review

Oh man, was I ever looking forward to this game. They announced it almost a year ago and as soon as it was available for pre-purchase, I went for it. The teaser videos were awesome. They were true to the game play, but little did I know, EA/Maxis was going to implement a form of DRM (digital rights management) that would make the game almost unplayable.

If you've heard the news on SimCity, you've probably heard that there are a lot of very angry players out there. I am one of them. In an act of complete ignorance of the times, EA/Maxis decided to implement a form of DRM that forces you to connect to a server to play SimCity, even if you're just playing solo. FAIL. This type of move is bad enough, because it means no internet - no playing the game, which is stupid beyond the extreme. FAIL. But worse, their servers cannot handle the sheer volume of players they have trying to play at one time. FAIL. People are asking for their money back and all they're getting is a credit for discontinued games. Every time you open the game, it has to download updates, which you cannot abort or skip. Once the updates are done, you can probably connect to a server and play. But (as I learned the hard way), if you connect to a different server, your saved cities might be gone. Forever. FAIL! While you're playing the game, if they decide to take a server down for maintenance, your game will end, with very little warning. FAIL!!

EA/Maxis have insisted that a server connection is necessary for the game to function properly because of processing that is done by the servers. Smart hackers have already proven this to be bull as they have found a way to mod the game that enters a debug mode like the developers used and the game plays just fine with no connection. With slightly more honesty, the upper echelon at EA/Maxis admitted that they could have allowed offline play, but their 'vision' was always to bias toward multi-player in-game purchases. To hell with people who just want to build a city solo like in versions past. If they wanted to be most honest, they should just level with everyone that this incredibly inefficient form of DRM is the best way to make sure that you can't sell your game to someone else, because you can only download and play it through an Origin account with an Origin client running in the background on your PC.

Needless to say, EA/Maxis has earned my unwavering wrath and I will take it out on them the only way I can. With my wallet. EA/Maxis will never see a red cent from me ever again. And if a pirated version of SimCity comes out that allows you to play solo without being connected to a server, colour me pirating that. After all, I have already paid good money to play the game. I mean seriously. Have they completely lost their sense of who's the boss here? It's the customer. And I'm sorry EA, but your customer is now giving you two big middle fingers. Sucks to be you.

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