SimCity to be reborn next year

SimCity is returning in 2013, and it looks as if it will combine the classic gameplay with some more modern gaming trends.

It being nine years since the last edition, makers Maxis have opted for a reboot with the new game simply being SimCity rather than SimCity 5. Among the changes in the new game:

The graphics will be 3D and it appears individual buildings will be highly customizable. There’s a new game engine called Glassbox which takes more account of physics.

The interface will be redesigned (and possibly customizable) so that it works for both new and veteran players.

Players can create curved streets rather than be forced to use straight streets in a grid layout.

New buildings won’t spring up immediately: they’ll take time to build and you will be able to see them under construction.

There’ll be more emphasis on the effects a city has on its residents. For example, if you decide to base your city’s economy on coal mining, you’ll need to build more hospitals to keep residents healthy. Indeed, there’ll be more involvement of environmental and climate issues.

There’ll be a multi-player mode in which cities are placed into regions and one player’s decisions could have a knock-on effect on neighboring cities (for example, those downwind of heavy polluters.) There’ll be a range of ways players can compete against each other, from the health of their residents to how good a place is to live — and those fed up with the environmental element can compete to produce the dirtiest city.

Although the “one player’s actions affect the others” system is labeled Social Flow, there’s no sign of the game making use of sites such as Facebook and competing with CityVille.

The game won’t be entirely realistic: as well as natural disasters, there’ll be a few less predictable concerns such as rampaging giant lizards.

There’ll be downloadable content, including a “Heroes and Villains” mode. This will be free to players who pre-order the game through the Origin download service.

Here’s the official trailer for a game, though bear in mind that for the briefest of moments it concedes “Images not representative of actual gameplay.”

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