Simcity 4

Review

posted 2/23/2003 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PC
If you are not happy with the way the landscape looks you can play God and change it. Raise or lower the land, add trees, build bodies of water: you have complete control as to how the landscape is shaped. With the tools available you have the ability to recreate some famous cities down to the shape of the landscape. To show you how complex the landscape can be, Maxis has included a model of San Francisco with its hilly cityscape. No longer are you limited to flat landscapes to build buildings and roads can now wine around on the side of a hill.

Disasters are back and bigger than ever. Half the fun is destroying a prosperous city with a volcano rising from the middle, lighting storms hitting the buildings, or even a robot monster rampaging through the city. Each disaster is accompanied by impressive visual effects that make the destruction of the city a feast for the eyes. Buildings explode and collapse with impressive results. You an either initiate a disaster or during the course of your playing time, a random will one occur. Watching disasters decimate your city can be quite fun.


Power trip? Who says I've gone on a powertrip? I'll have them killed!

For those with the Sims, you can import your sims into the game and live in the city. You’ll get feedbacks as to how they are doing and what they think of the city. I didn’t have the game but you can import a sim created in Simcity 4 if you so desire.

The level of detail in Simcity 4 is just jaw dropping. If you have the horsepower to run the game in high detail you’ll be treated to an insane amount of animations and highly lifelike architecture. From the kids playing in the parks and various types of automobiles driving through the town there’s so much eye candy to be had that it can sometimes be a little overwhelming. And for the first time you’ll see your city at various times during the day. Experience your city at night or on a bright sunny day. Famous landmarks are modeled incredibly accurate. When you view the bustling city from a far, you can’t help but marvel at how well Maxis has done with the graphics in the game.

While it’s not the Simcity that I saw back a few E3s ago where you could zoom in and out and through the city, it’s still a nice addition to the line. There are some features that haven’t been implemented yet such as the online play but that will be incorporated in the near future. Some of the annoyances such as the auto road laying have been addressed in the patch along with the ability to rotate the way your zones face. Downloads from the Simcity website will keep the game alive with new features and edifices. Maxis has a nice game here and fans of the old Simcity will surely enjoy the new version. Just be sure you have a nice up to date computer to run it as it is a system hog with all the details in the game.


B
Great graphics and pretty good gameplay outline the latest installment in the Simcity franchise. Online feature is still missing though but some patches have addressed some of the issues with the game already.


Page 2 of 2