Saturday, 3 March 2012

New Details on the Next SimCity

Earlier this week we reported that German magazine GameStar revealed SimCity. While there hasn't been an official world-wide announcement, IGN has translated the GameStar pages and gleaned the following details. 

Simply called SimCity, a host of changes are coming to the series. For starters roads can now be curved, making for more organic city layouts than the grid framework the series was known for. The fixed viewpoint is also gone, allowing players to zoom in on specific buildings or move the camera around. Zooming in close to the ground also changes the audio, with close ups providing the cacophony of the city, and zoomed out views providing a much quieter atmosphere. 

Visually, there's an increased level of detail (note: the currently leaked screenshots are concept only, not representative of the actual game). Buildings will have tiny pieces of signage, individual citizens will roam around and go about their daily lives, sometimes doing benign things like going to dinner, other times becoming proactive and protesting if jobs get low. The attention to detail actually has gameplay importance too, as you can see if a factory is working effeciently based on how it looks, how it animates. 

Buildings also change over time in SimCity. Buildings progress overtime, unlocking new abilities, such as the power to put out fires faster for an upgraded firestation. 

And you don't have to worry about trying to decipher the progress of your city via a number of graphs and charts, as these are being replaced with modernized infographics. 

Multiplayer has been expanded for SimCity. You and your regional friends can trade resources via land, sea and air, hopefully resulting in collaboration between partners to build more effeciently. Online play also means there leaderboards, where you can see how you rank in fields like finance or production. 

What's currently unclear is how the price of raw materials are determined. The article in GameStar alludes that prices in single-player are affected by what goes on in the online world. However, they don't get too specific about whether it's affected by a player-based economy or by actual, real-world events. 

We should be seeing SimCity ourselves in the near future.



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