New SimCity More Realistic, But A Resource Hog | Pre-Orders Open

It’s been a nearly decade since the release of SimCity 4, the last major Maxis entry into the SimCity franchise.

For years, fans have eagerly awaited news on when the next game will be released, even after the disappointing non-Maxis release of SimCity Societies.

But now the time has finally arrived.  A new SimCity game will be out in one weeks time, and it will be called… SimCity.

But don’t let the name fool you, the new SimCity is expected to have its share of innovative additions.

The new entry into the franchise is expected to follow a similar concept to its predecessors.  The game will place the player as mayor of an empty piece land.  It will be the mayor’s job to turn a vacant expanse into a thriving metropolis.

SimCity challenges the player to plan and build a city which provides all the services that its denizens need to thrive.  Providing better transportation or education, for instance, will encourage population growth.

Failing to control crime, pollution or giant killer robot attacks will damage population growth and tax revenue.

As you would expect, the new game will have updated graphics, new buildings options, new road types and new vehicles.  Some features of the game will be streamlined, like the ability to upgrade buildings to increase their capacity or area of influence.  But some of the game’s most ambitious features may not be immediately noticeable.

The biggest improvement will be how data is handled.  It may not sound too exciting, but SimCity is a city management game, so data processing lies at its core.

Previous installments of the series used basic statistics to emulate game events.  A SimCity 4 traffic jam, for instance, wasn’t caused by too much traffic flow on a road.  It was caused by statistics saying the road should be busy.

But the new SimCity is different.  Every denizen and every car will be simulated.  Each Sim who uses a vehicle will add to road congestion and pollution when driving.  Now a traffic jam really will be caused by too much traffic, providing a more realistic and effective style of game.

The new SimCity will use roads differently than its predecessors as well.  Now roads will carry essential services such as electricity and water.  And the amount of traffic a road can handle will determine the density of the surrounding buildings.  So, if you want high density residential, connect it to a high density street.

And why not use these new roads to connect to neighboring cities.  This will allow you to share services such as health care, water and electricity with your neighbors.  SimCity will allow players to share resources over the internet.  Now renewable and non-renewable resources such as food, water, electricity and oil will be tradeable between cities through a fluctuating online commodities market.

So, the new SimCity will have a lot to offer, and a lot to live up to.

SimCity shoppers should be aware of the games hefty system requirements. Minimum specs for the PC version include: an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core 4000+ or better or Intel Core 2 Duo Processor 2.0GHz or better processor; Windows XP/Vista/7; 2GB Ram; 12GB of space on the hard drive; an ATI Radeon HD 2×00 or better, nVidia 7800 or better, or Intel Series 4 integrated graphics or better graphics card (with a minimum of 256MB of on-board RAM and Shader 3.0 or better support); and broadband internet with a minimum 256 kbps download, 64 kbps upload.

At this stage, there is no telling how the game will perform running on the minimum system requirements.  SimCity 4 was infamous for its bugs and poor performance, so only time will tell how the new SimCity will run.

Recommended specs include an Intel Core i5 or faster processor; Windows 7; 4GB RAM; and an nVidia GTX 275 or better, or ATI 5850 or Better, graphics card.

The Windows version of SimCity will be released in North America on March 5, Australia on March 7 and Europe on March 8.  The Mac version is set for a spring release date. Pre-orders are being taken at SimCity.com. The limited edition version costs $59.99, the deluxe version is $79.99.

Are you looking forward to building your own metropolis?

Can your computer even run it?

Tell us below!

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Nic is a freelance writer who enjoys covering cool products, games and ideas. If there’s anything weird, interesting or new, it’s fair game. Before starting as a writer, Nic has worked everywhere from bars to mine sites and post offices to airports. He likes to spend what time he can traveling and photographing, or at least wishing that he could ;). Check out some pics here!