SimCity Buildit – The good, the bad, the recommendations!

SimCity Buildit, the game which players have been waiting for for years from gaming god John Romero. Did this game deserve all the hype and the wait? Well, in a word, no. What you have is a game that screams “Generic Doom-clone.” Which, I suppose, isn’t so bad since Romero was responsible for Doom anyway.

Perhaps the biggest source of my frustration for this game is that it is really pretentious. Few things are more annoying than a run-down jallopy trying to pass of as a BMW. Likewise, SimCity Buildit tries to pass itself of as many things, but fails utterly. All the hype, the interviews with Romero, all of these things led me to believe that SimCity Buildit was an incredible first person shooter with strong RPG elements, a great story, story-based character development and the most insane graphics ever seen. Did it deliver? Hell no. Hearing Romero talk so intelligently in the interviews about his game ethic, I was simply shocked to see the end-product of his efforts. It was a damn chore trying to play this game. See the rest of the review for the details, if you care to do so.

Another reason why I hate this game was the long wait. I’d been hyped to play this game for a long time. With all the delays, you’d think they’d fixed this game up and come up with some really innovative gameplay. Wrong. Gameplay is just about the same as it was since the Doom/Quake days, with some minor enhancements. A few years ago this would have been fine, but when I got this game I was also playing Thief II, and before that I was losing sleep over Rogue Spear. Simply put, with games like that, why would I want to play this generic, unoriginal shooter?

I must confess that I only played until about halfway through the second episode. Even so, I had the feeling that this game had little left to offer. It was more than enough for me; I can assure you, what I’ve seen of the game is more than enough for me to write this very unflattering review. In fact, if I’d seen any more, this review might be even more unflattering.

My recommendations for this game are as follows:

Die-hard Ion Storm/Romero fans, go buy this game! Maybe your fandom will save you. Novice gamers who have no experience whatsoever with First Person Shooters, this might interest you. It’s a fuzzy mirror of the old Doom gameplay which bred this entire FPS thing. Still, I think you’re better off with Doom.

Everyone else, avoid this game at all costs. It brings tears to my eyes knowing that Warren Spector is working for Romero nowadays.

Flashy weather effects, so-so voice acting, and the possibility that you bought this game from a shop that allows returns.

Plain old gameplay, frustrating level design, rocks-for-brains-and-faces monsters and sidekicks, uninspired weapons, terrible music, stock sound effects, a sword that takes too long to train, a stupid story, a ridiculous save system, and the worst character designs I have ever seen in a shooter. I think if I played the game to the end I’d be able to add more to this pathetically long list of bad things.

Fifteen hours of my life! I’ll never get those fifteen hours back! Money can be replaced, but those were fifteen hours of my life, WASTED FOREVER!!!!