Join Date: Jan 2012
Sim City (2013) vs. Cities XL
In light of recent events, that is the disaster of the release of the new Sim City, I thought I should try to at least compare it to a lesser Known game of the genre. Why, you may ask? I don't really know, for the lols of it.
Now the first think I would like to say, ignore the stupid server problem and let's get at the actual game. The game should be single player only, I know this as Cities XL tried it too when it first came out, though they've changed it now (thankfully>.<).
In Sim City, you are a mayor of a town (no shit Sherlock), and your goal is to make a beastly city. In order to do this you have basic tools to make streets and zone and such. But in order to get your city very wealthy you are advise to specialize your town in one of the certain categories: culture, high tech, mining, etc. This is where one of the first flaws of the game can be found, the insanity of the requirements in order to upgrade your specialization. It may be easy to get the first few things needed for your specialization, but then it get harder and harder really quickly, so much so in order to upgrade a certain HQ you need at least two cities or more to work at full capacity for you to upgrade to the next level. But the cost to keep your specializations up is so immense that you have to get rid of normal services like fire and medical and such. This forces players to work together....socially awkward penguins to work together does not work.
A second huge problem which is probably the first thing you'll see, the maps are tiny, i mean, really tiny. A size smaller than the town I lived in Canada with a population of 30,000, like half the size. And on this you need to make a world class city? Get out. And then somehow specialize your cities to work on the insanely expensive great works. This is Nonsense. And forces your skyline to look like downtown Manhattan at 50,000 (now it looks like a mess at 200,000).
They tried to sale the game by saying, with the sims it becomes more personal, you'll feel their personal story. Besides for giving them names, nothing.
One problem that I already see, that will hit almost any large city, you'll run out of water. The water tables do not refresh, they just empty, so over time, you'll run out and your city will no longer operate, and you would have to move on to an other city or ask unhelpful neighbors to help. But they would be unable to because they too need water.
I hate the disasters, especially the ridiculous ones like Godzilla and zombies. And the shear frequencies they hit your city at, it is nonesense.
The final bad thing with the game, move the tax one or two percent, and everyone is moving on out. Believe me, we complain about taxes, but very few actually move because of it.
Now the question is, do I like anything about the game? Yes, three things. One that the buildings will upgrade density themselves and the buildings have land value. The second we can upgrade roads without destroying things. You can upgrade your buildings, which is a plus.
Now let's talk about Cities XL, more specifically Cities XL 2012 version. I'll start with what is bad. In order to upgrade a road, you have to destroy the old road and possible some of the buildings, then you loose some of density you developed.
Second, you can't zone an area an automatically get different size buildings and density, they are all certain size and the density you choose. (though this makes sense as in many cities they zone a residential area to can only have a certain size of building).
The third thing the air pollution gets really high really fast, unrealistically so. This cause the population to be sicken quickly. Something I'm not pleased about. But oh well, not like the citizens move out too quickly.
Now what is good about the game? Well lots of things, taxes that work, you can have all important services while sacrifice too much money. The map? they are actually for a decent size city, so a good city size. Not that tiny cubicle of Sim City.
The water tables are stable, so your city will never lose water, or at least run itself dry. And this goes with other resources, what happens instead, you are unable to put down an other water tower for example, within a certain radius of the last one on a water deposit.
City traffic problems can be solved with good bus lines and other methods of mass transport. And you can actually make money off it, if done correctly (if i remember correctly).
When building city block, i may not get the helpful grid things i get in Sim City (but they end of in the end become annoying), but it easy to lay out 3x3 blocks of residential in one flat go. And it won't take up a quarter of your city.
But one annoyance, you don't unlock all the road types right away, but that is a small problem to the sheer number of types you can have, even a highway and different kinds of bridges. The city can transformed into something nicer than can be found in Sim City as it looks far more realistic.
You also get more different types of zoning. Which allows your city to take far greater shapes and sizes, and forms of economy.
Oh dear me, i'm starting to ramble on about little small points. But in the end, I would advise anyone who is looking for a city simulator (not a large group) to go buy cities XL, much better worth of your money, plus it runs on steam, not on origin.