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New Sim City Set For 2013 Release

News; Mar. 14, 2012; Channels: Video Games; By David Telfer
Subtypes: News
Maxis bringing an classic back to life

Whenever a new Sims game is announced, the most common response from gamers is to make a new Sim City. And that's exactly what Lucy Bradshaw, senior vice president for EA's Maxis label announced March 7 at the EA Gamechangers GDC event. To top it off, it's being developed by Maxis itself, the brains behind the original Sim City in 1989.

SimCity

According to reports -- and various images and trailers already appearing on the web -- this is going to be the most in-depth Sim City game yet, dealing with very real and current events such as climate change, environmental issues, renewable energy sources and, of course, natural disasters (whether this means the return of the fabled alien UFO invasion is yet to be announced). But all of your choices during the game will have a massive impact on the way your city works and evolves. (For instance, relying too heavily on a coal-mining industry will result in the need for more hospitals to keep your workers healthy.) The resources are finite as well (meaning you won't be able to get a limitless supply of coal, either). So it boils down to whether or not you want to start investing early in more expensive, greener technology, or whether to carry on with the fossil-fuel way of life we're not yet free of today.

The graphics will be updated, even down to minute details such as clouds of dust and dirt appearing when a new building is dropped into the world. Roads will be carved into the landscape rather than being very linear as before. But the most interesting feature is the game's multiplayer elements.

You can play alongside your friends by neighboring your city with theirs, and your city can impact theirs and vice versa. For example, you may be an environmentally friendly mayor trying to create the perfect green city, but your friend may be vomiting CO2 emissions and toxic vapors into the atmosphere. This won't go down too well with you or your Sims, but there's always the potential to trade resources and even technologies to turn that polluter into an eco-warrior. There will also be global leaderboards tracking your progress and ranking you in terms of how much you pollute, how little you pollute, the amount of resources you own, or simply how nice your city is to live in.

It sounds promising, which is unsurprising given the Sim City series' track record and sheer popularity among gamers. It should be a treat for those working for global change, as EA itself has pointed out its collaboration with organizations working toward such goals. Whether you choose to follow suit, however, is entirely up to you -- the game won't force you one way or another. However, the rest of the world will judge you on your choice, so it's probably safer to go green.

Sim City is set for release in 2013.

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