Note: I am currently going through rage that the servers are down on Day 2, so I'm writing this first impressions based on earlier observations
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. No, I'm not talking about the infuriating server issues, which I've had little issues with until day two of the game. I'm talking about building cities to have them, somewhat literally, burn, collapse and sink into the swamp. Sim City has a steep learning curve, but that's part of what's lured me in hook, line and sinker.
After putting in 4-5 hours of game play, which may be a liberal under-exaggeration, I'm convinced that the next city and region will be better! Though it may be sad that my last city was less successful than my first one, I have the perseverance to try and carry on. Watching vids helps out too.
The concept is simple in theory: try and build a city and try not to eff it up. After building that first road and setting up your Town Hall, though, things become quite a bit more complicated. It has that in common with the original Sim City, which was the last one I played.
When it works, this game oozes charm. The visuals are a good mix of cartoonish and realistic animations. Light instrumental music is nice to listen to and keeps me calm when times are tense, juggling the different aspects of making people happy and building a healthy economy and community. The emphasis on roads, smaller cities, and an overall region are interesting changes and add some more strategic elements to the formula many people love. Also all of the residents (and you) spend simoleans and speak in sim speak, I mean, if that's not just adorable I don't know what is.
I had a blast playing it for hours, trying to keep my city duct taped together as it economically collapsed. The simulation is impressive as well, with the buildings being constructed and there being heavier traffic at rush hour. It adds a nice touch to an already impressive game.
Sure, the DRM issue will be worked out, but the multi player aspects sound impressive, if not a bit too much like actual work. So far, my experience in multi player is making a public region then people come in and claim the other two so I can't claim them. Awesome, right?
So, for now, I continue the struggle of building a city that doesn't burn and fall into the swamp. I played it for one good night, but that was enough for it to stick in my mind and make me want more. Try, try, again.