FANDOM


This week, Zero Punctuation reviews SimCity.

TranscriptEdit

Electronic Arts. ARTS. Arrrts. If there was ever a name that illustrated a need for some kind of verbal equivalent of social services who come and forcibly take words away if they're being misused -- then again, they do mainly go by "EA" these days, so maybe they quietly changed their name to "Extruding Arseholes" so as not to offend reality. My point is if there ever was a time where artistry was important enough to the company to be eponymous, then that is not a time in which we are currently living! Now, they're just all about money and being a dick about things. Perhaps "EA" now stands for "Expel All. (Your Money. From Your Wallet. So That We Can Have It. And Then Be A Dick About It)"

Yes, I am quite bitter, because I had to install Origin to play SimCity; EA's overpriced "I'm going to make my own clubhouse just for all my friends and it's going to have cake and Subbuteo and it's gonna be so much better" digital distribution system, and putting that on my computer felt like leaving a child of my own in the Jonestown daycare center. I felt dirty afterwards. I had to take a Steam bath; that's where you load up Steam and download a bunch of indie games to scrub yourself with.

So I gave SimCity about a week before I started it up, because as we all remember, once EA had everyone's money, they had to start making up for the "being a dick" part of the mission statement, and dick everyone around with connection issues because SimCity has to be played online now for the sake of some features nobody fucking asked for, and also because EA assumed that we're all dicks who steal games so they have to dick us first, preemptively-like.

I'd like to quote now from a statement made by Maxis which I will read in an insultingly dismissive voice:

"SimCity is made to be played online, and if you can't get a stable connection, you're NOT having a good experience."

I agree with that last part; I certainly am not having a good experience as I sit and wait for an update to download every dicking time I start a session. At this point I imagine a cute little finger puppet on the end of one of EA's many slick black tentacles hovering earnestly behind my shoulder. "No, it's all right. It will be FUN! You can play alongside other people, and what a jolly lot of fun you'll all have!"

Okay. So on a desolate plot of land, I placed the foundations for the emerging city of Dogbollock, USA.

"Oh, no, no, no!" Went the little finger puppet, leaning over and typing a row of asterisks. "Can't call your city that; that would be ever so beastly!"

"Why not? It is a fun name. I would be having more fun as the mayor of a city called Dogbollock. I’m hoping to set up a Department of Dogbollock Beautification."

"Oh, but other players will see it! A small, innocent child might see it and suddenly know that bollocks exist!"

This "online play makes things more fun" assertion has sort of fallen at the first hurdle, hasn't it? So, what benefit is there to being next to other cities that other people are running? Well, if they've got an excess of facilities, you can buy some of them. Choo choo, all aboard the fun train! Suppose we should be grateful they didn't charge fucking micropayments for it. Buying facilities from other cities was a SimCity 3000 feature, so maybe being able to do it between player cities is a natural development. I wouldn't say it was worth dicking the entire user base for. Oh, but who doesn't have a constant Internet connection these days? Poor people, who could only fantasize about holding a position of power and influence? Why would they want to play a God game?

I’ll say this for EA: They are full of innovative ideas. As we've just discussed, they have innovative new ideas on what the word "fun" means, and they’re breaking new ground with the definition of "sequel," too. I always thought it meant "game with more stuff in it", but that just shows how archaic my thinking is. The area given for each city seems a bit small, which I suspect may be intended to incentivize sharing facilities with your neighbors, which I think is one of the ways HIV can get transmitted. You also can’t edit the terrain before founding the city like you could in SimCity 4, and you can’t import characters from The Sims anymore, either.

"So tell me, little finger puppet: assuming that multiplayer elements are about as enticing to me as the sight of a dog sniffing another dog’s bum -- an easy thing to assume, because they are -- are there any new features that SimCity can offer me?"

"Well, there's a poo map!"

"...I beg your pardon?"

"We've got a special map that lets you see all the poo forming in big piles under peoples' houses! Then you can build an outlet pipe and watch all the poo speed away on a wee-wee one-way system."

*beat*

"...FUCKING SOLD!"

So, for a while, I played along: grew my city, waited for the hourly cash inflow so I could build whatever I was being nagged for the loudest at the time, occasionally switching to the poo map and watching it, mesmerized, for about an hour. But then I was informed that a meteorite strike was incoming and I should prepare for fires. Okay, prepare how? I don’t directly control the fire service; am I supposed to just, what, print off some leaflets? Whoops, too late! Bombs away!

Within minutes, my city was an inferno. But like a strong leader, I stayed level-headed and built twelve new fire stations, which seemed to eventually sort the problem out, and after bulldozing half the city into some kind of invisible mass grave, things swiftly returned to normal. "Well, on the bright side," I thought, "I now have the most fireproof city in the universe, with the possible exception of Rapture." Then, about an hour later, the game said, "Hey! A house burnt down! Why haven’t you improved the fire service, you spaz?" And I wondered about this until I noticed nine of the city’s fire engines arranged in a conga line on the far side of town. I think there may be something wrong with the AI. This might also explain why my town was briefly terrorized by a rampaging criminal whose house turned out to be directly opposite the police station.

Specifics are kind of moot, though, 'cause I don't see what this game has over, say, SimCity 4, which is cheaper, and deeper, and available on a download service that doesn't make my hard drive dry heave. It's just the online features, la-dee-cunting-da. "Oh, but everyone else seems to like them," has been the gist of EA and Maxis' company line on this issue. "It’s not our fault you don’t know how to have fun!" Listen to me, EA: not every introvert is longing for the day that Zooey Fucking Deschanel kicks their door down and forcibly drags them to a roller rink. I know how to have fun. It involves feeling like I'd achieved something with a sense of independence. It does not involve gangs of punks from some asshole's gambling town coming over to kick all my bus stops over.

Can I suggest that perhaps you only ever hear from people who like online features because such people are extroverts, and it is only extroverts who think anyone gives a shit about their stupid opinions? And before you say anything, my opinions are actually very clever!

AddendaEdit

Can barely run a fucking bath: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

Also I thought Dogbollock would've been a good name because the name of the local sports team would have been a total no-brainer

There are parts of Brisbane in dire need of a public poo map

ScreenshotsEdit

SimCity 1

I had to take a Steam bath; that's where you load up Steam and download a bunch of indie games to scrub yourself with.

SimCity 2

I'm hoping to set up a Department of Dogbollock Beautification.

SimCity 3

My town was briefly terrorized by a rampaging criminal whose house turned out to be directly opposite the police station.

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle · Destiny 2

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.