Platform: PC | Edition: Standard | Format: Box
As ever, the task is one of balance. You're Mayor of a city, and you need to strike the right mix of commercial, industrial and residential areas, while keeping an eye on finances, the transport system, fire, education, landscape--the list goes on. To its credit, the game is as straightforward or hard as you want it to be, and it's surprisingly easy to get into. While you don't directly control individual buildings and people, the decisions you make have repercussions throughout, and need to be taken with care. After all, agreeing to build a landfill site may bring in some much needed revenue, but it's unlikely to go down well with the locals.
As with its predecessors though, it's in the small details that Sim City 4 really scores. From residents going on the rampage through to full-scale disasters taking hold of your city, the complex game barely gives you a moment to rest. You can zoom in to get very close detail of what people are up to. And in a nice touch, any families created in The Sims can be moved into town. These characters are a real bonus when assessing the needs of your burgeoning city, as they tell you what they like, dislike and will positively not put up with in your metropolis.
The lack of clear goals still haunts the franchise though, and despite the well-thought-through user interface, the casual gamer may still struggle to get to grips with the challenge. However, there are months of gameplay to enjoy if this kind of title is your bag, and Sim City 4 is another excellent addition to an already top-notch franchise. --Simon Brew
Each city a player now creates will become part of an ever-growing tapestry of municipalities that, once connected by transportation networks, can share and compete for resources. Depending upon the choices made by a player, this multi-city game play can result in a variety of outcomes within that region. Players can follow a Sim as they go about their life in the city. Players can personalise their Sim and immediately move him into any area and watch him experience life in the city, first hand. Is he or she enjoying a happy existence in an urban utopia or enduring a futile fight for survival in the inner-city? A player's Sim will provide valuable clues to improving the city.
SimCity 4 will allow players to actually touch their handiwork and feel the pulse of their creation. Whether a metropolis is booming with expansion or decaying through neglect, SimCity 4's new simulation engine will give players immediate feedback so they can react to its every need.
But what a game!!! Since buying it, I've had to cancel virtually every social engagement and even considered taking a day off work for it! The hours just disappear as soon as it's loaded as you become instantly, completely engrossed in building your ultimate urban environment.
But that's not easy. I (like probably everyone else) had dreams of immediately raising a huge, Manhattan-like forest of skyscrapers and high value commerce, but it was not to be... In fact, I had to build at least five cities, from scratch, before I acheived anything that was making a profit and had a respectable population. It's too easy to end up with a tiny, farming community with 500 or so (jobless) residents, while you watch your bank balance veer dramtically into the red.
You really have to watch every little detail with this, and pay attention to what your citizens want, as the smallest thing can get people moving out in droves, or trigger industrial action at the local school.
However, it is incredibly rewarding when you do, finally, get the hang of running your successful city - but as I say, time easily slips away from you when you have to watch everything constantly. They say a city never sleeps, and to be a successful mayor you'll soon find out that you don't either!
All in all, this is a great, great game. Coming from me, who normally requires his games to have a body count well into quadruple figures, this is praise indeed. I just can't imagine that you'd ever finish playing it or that you'd ever be too bored to load it up again, just to see how your Sims are getting on in the big, bad world.
Really, check it out.
Sim City 4 is the 4th installment from the series of great games series. It is 4 times better in everything this time around though!
Graphics are Superb, astounding level of detail! You can zoom right out and see your sprawling metroplois or little town and watch fireworks explode in a glittering colourfull site. You can zoom right down and see the people walking on the sidewalks, the clothesline in the backyards, to the cars piling up in rush hour traffic. The level of details on the buildings, roads, mail boxes streetlamps is breathtaking you could spend hours just looking at all the detail. Then spend another few hours once it's gone into NIGHT TIME mode, then the city really comes alive! With musems search lights lighting up the sky.
Now there is NO DIFICULTY levels in Sim City, so be warned un-expierenced players will find it hard. But as long as you start up small it'll be ok! You do feel like you're running your own city when things really pick up! You can manage your schools' budgets, or have them outside with their boards on stirke! It takes a lot of figuring out, but once you've got a little city running it's very rewarding! You can really feel it's alive as you watch people and cars and everything going on in it.
This game is definatly worth the money, it includes the expansion pack with lots of added bonuses. A very good quality game that'll bring you hours of enjoyment! And with the great online site offering updates, NEW buildings to import into your game and a city exchange it simply doesn't get any better!
The graphics are superb. Its not like a simulation anymore, its more of a reality. You can actually see sims move around, talking to eachother, cars overtaking and having accidents, aircraft's taking off and landing in exactly the same way they do in reality and cruising over the clouds. Its amazing. There are also night and day effects which is a swell idea. Street lamps, house lights go on at night, giving a beautiful effect to your city. You can send Police Cruisers to make sure law and order is preserved. You have new God Like powers, such as manually changng night to day and vice versa, making storms and natural disasters. Beautifully renderd landscapes such as canyons, mountains and water effects add to realism.
System requirments are pretty high. Im playing Sim City 4 on a 1.6 Ghz P4, 356MB ram and a GForce4 64MB. It tends to get a bit slow when scrolling around in dense areas. Besides that, it works perfectly!