The new SimCity and its ridiculously amazing Glassbox engine may have rekindled my interest in city building games; probably for the first time since SimCity 2000 – and it seems many, many of you share that enthusiasm.
Allow me, if I may, to put a slight damper on that unbridled conviction.
EA’s confirmed to Joystiq that though you’ll be able to purchase the SimCity from your digital distribution channel of choice, you’ll be forced to have Origin running alongside the game. On top of that, you’ll need to be connected to the internet all the time to play. It’s not for purposes of DRM though – it’s because the game of the game’s focus on regional impact and its persistent global economy – not entirely dissimilar from the sort of thing we saw with the ill-fated Command and Conquer 4.
Announced just last month, EA says that SimCity is "a true rebirth of the franchise that brings the depth of simulation that has been the series hallmark for more than two decades and marries it with next generation accessibility and a robust multiplayer mode, giving players the power to change a world together."
"For the first time in SimCity franchise history,” the official marketing blur continues, “players’ decisions will have long-lasting repercussions that will extend beyond their city limits.
"Together, players will address real global challenges such as climate change, the search for renewable resources and natural disasters. It’s up to the players to decide whether to compete or collaborate to shape the world of tomorrow – for better or for worse."
I like the idea of a persistent global economy – but I despise the choice of playing my own game, offline and without the influence of other players being taken away. It joins an ever-increasing list of games – including the hotly anticipated Diablo III – that will require a persistent internet connection. While some may already consider it mandatory, it looks like always on internet is becoming a prerequisite to being a gamer.
Last Updated: March 29, 2012