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Sim City review round up

3 min read


It’s been over a decade since we last built cities (to later destroy them) in a bona-fide Sim City – and we here at Lazygamer are rather excited to throw away hours of our lives to build the perfect digital urban environment. EA’s perpetually connected city builder is now out in the US (with a local release to happen later this week). Let’s see what the critics think of the game so far.

Scores are pretty high, with the game currently sitting pretty with a 90 on Metacritic. There is a caveat though; the majority of reviews were performed in rather controlled conditions, away from the public servers. The ever-transparent Polygon though has detailed their review process. Others, like Ars Technica have outlined what they believe to be genuine issues with the game, so it’s worth taking these scores with the teeniest grain of salt until we know how the public servers perform.

Here’s what critic had to say :

Eurogamer Sweden – 100

A fantastic city simulation that meets all expectations. So perfectly balanced it makes it easy to pick up and enjoy, but proves to be very difficult to master. Funny, addictive and with great options for both co-operative and competitive online play – Sim City is a clear candidate for Game of the Year.

Polygon – 95

A near-perfect fusion of the classic simulation game with modern social and online play elements. It is in every way the fully realized evolution of the franchise and a much welcome iteration, perfectly engineered to dispense the maximum amount of fun in the most efficient way possible.

Gamereactor Sweden – 90

EA has listened to the community, improved, brought back what was good, improved again and made the most marvelous city creator you could ever imagine.

GamesBeat – 90

It’s a joy to see SimCity return in a better form than it has ever been. It is wonderfully complex, but very easy to play. The title is a massive undertaking and it has come together beautifully overall.

XGN – 88

The world’s biggest simulation franchise is back with a vengeance. We’ve all grown up playing SimCity, and it’s finally time to get back to living the life of a virtual city planner. Whether you play the game alone or with friends, SimCity proves to be a great deal of fun.

Gamereactor Denmark – 80

Sim City engulfs you right from the outset, and everything is so intuitively designed that you’re never in doubt of what needs doing, and what possibilities are available to you. It’s a very ambitious game – although we’d wish that Maxis had set their sights just a little bit higher and made the playing field a little bit bigger, as there’s a small tinge of unfulfilled potential. The rest is excellent, though, and Sim City stands as an incredibly well-designed and beautifully presented joy.

Gamer.no – 80

SimCity is a game you can lose yourself in for hours at a time. It’s a game where you can keep digging deeper and deeper in underlying systems and play a plethora of different ways. Mostly though, SimCity is a game where you can allow your creativity and organizational skills to work in tandem, just the way you wish.

Are you ready to build your city, on rock & roll or otherwise?

Last Updated: March 5, 2013


  1. Mathias

    March 5, 2013 at 11:22

    And some servers aren’t even working on the US. Always on DRM. If there is ONE game from EA that you shouldn’t buy, it’s the always online to play singleplayer one.

    Beta was fun, but I’ll wait till it’s way cheaper.


  2. TriangularRoom

    March 5, 2013 at 11:23

    Daunting review scores!


  3. matthurstrsa

    March 5, 2013 at 11:26

    Yeah, I’ll get this on special. Server issues seem to be crazy (as always) and cities are apparently tiny?


  4. GTO

    March 5, 2013 at 11:41

    I want the game but I am going to pass. To much stuff unrelated to the actual game which I don’t like. I might get it later on the cheap assuming it is bundled with DLC.


  5. Admiral Chief Erwin

    March 5, 2013 at 11:46

    *unplugs net cable and jams offline*


    • Daniel Keevy

      March 5, 2013 at 22:30

      You can do that? :-O


      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        March 6, 2013 at 08:15

        You can even use wire cutter to cut that cable!


  6. PitytheFlu

    March 5, 2013 at 11:54

    Bought last night on Amazon. Used US VPN to trick Origin. Installed SimCity, press play, wait for another massive update…. hmmmmmm…. waiting… a portent of things to come?


  7. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    March 5, 2013 at 11:57

    But why always on!? I don’t get it. It’s probably the main reason why I will not be getting this game


  8. umar bastra

    March 5, 2013 at 12:07

    my sentiments towards EA … I don’t get being always online


  9. Skeptic

    March 5, 2013 at 12:08

    Always On Nazi DRM = No Purchase
    Plenty other games out there…


  10. Hondsepop

    March 5, 2013 at 12:19

    Ordered it for my birthday (from the other half) – that way I don’t have to pay for it. I’m sure some clever dude/dudette somewhere will be able to script some always offline crack.


  11. Darth_Clericus_The_Ultimate

    March 5, 2013 at 12:26

    I want this game so badly….


  12. Weanerdog

    March 5, 2013 at 13:38

    DRM causes piracy, now there is a chart that should be presented to these idiots.


    • Daniel Keevy

      March 6, 2013 at 12:31

      They’d probably just blame gamers for it. Remember everything that has ever gone wrong is your fault!


  13. Joe Bold

    March 5, 2013 at 13:39

    Oh Maxis where should I begin to explain what you made wrong?

    Overall this game, contrary to the statement from Maxis themselfs, the games does not look like a successor to SimCity4 than more as one of SimCity: Societies … you could basically call it The Sims: Towns.

    To get more detailed, of why I will not buy and therefore not play this game:

    – The Size of the cities: All this live simulation aside (what basically in it self is a good aspect of the game), the predecessor SC4 had massive scale, but with this new installment the sizes of the cities shrank to a laughable size.

    – The Borders of the cities: Rectangles? Seriously!?

    – Predefined access to the cities: As far as I saw, each city is only connected through one highway exit to the region and that can’t be extended in the later stages of the game other than train travel – this still leaves you with a traffic bottleneck at the Highway and it also limits ones creativity.

    – No real merging of the Towns to a true metropolises: Since the Borders of the cities/towns/villages are fixed it will always look awkward in the region view. There are towns, that are limited to a let’s say 2km² area and somehow managed to grow skyscrapers in this limited space. In reality, cities are growing and eventually merging with one another to a even bigger city – but this fact is ignored in SC5 (and I don’t care that Maxis says the game is supposed run smooth on all kinds of older Hardware: JUST DON’T LIMIT the ones with more potent hardware!)

    True, cities in SC4 where also limited to a square area but in the region view you could make them merging together!

    – No “organic” architectures: It is cool to now have curved roads, but the buildings are still static pre-modeled. So licensing City Engine would seem logically to me in order to get a more natural feeling architecture throughout the city by procedurally creating buildings from sample models and also supporting the fact of having curved roads. As it is now, having curved roads does not makes much sense and one could already see this failure of implementation during the two Beta weekends in all these Let’s plays on Yout Tube.

    – Random public transportation: WTF? You randomly place bus stops for either School buses or Mass Transit and you do not even assign the buses routes to follow! Oh Boy, what a mess!

    And on a side note: I personally do not want the game to be always connected to the Internet for various reasons. The main reason is it breaks your immersion if for example I get constantly reminded that the fracking Servers are not reachable either because they are down or my connection sucks. And that is just one reason.


    • Hondsepop

      March 5, 2013 at 14:23



      • Joe Bold

        March 6, 2013 at 18:22

        Har Har … wondered what you mean until I saw it. 😀



  14. xxCoreGamerxx

    March 5, 2013 at 14:06

    Reviewers can go kak. Remember Diablo 3? It was hailed as the second coming, but the gamers realised it was kak.

    ONLINE DRM means wallet says “NO”


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