E3: SimCity 4, Sims Online Info
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Excitement from the E3 expo has resulted in a plethora of information regarding two new franchise updates to Will Wright's Maxis empire, SimCity 4 and The Sims Online. Both games have yet to be announced for the Mac, but the sheer popularity of The Sims would seem to indicate Mac publishers will try very hard to bring both titles to the platform.
Both PC.IGN and GameSpy have previews of the games available, along with a number of impressive screen shots and even videos. SimCity fans will be very glad to see the strides taken in graphical quality of the game. SimCity 4 will feature completely 3D environments, three modes of gameplay, and even the ability to import your favorite Sims. Here's an excerpt from a preview at GameSpy discussing the three play styles:
Mayor mode is the traditional SimCity mode where you control the development of your city through public policy and zoning decisions. There are no goals other than to develop whatever kind of community that you want. Consider it your "sandbox mode." Check out PC.IGN's screen shots and videos of the game for a much better idea of how it will look.
My Sim mode is an interesting addition that will endear the game to many The Sims fans. SimCity 4 allows you to import your characters from The Sims and place them within your city. I got to transplant one of everyone's favorite sims, Bella Goth, into my city. You can then track the dispositions of your sim, viewing his/her thoughts and activities. It gives you an extra impetus for improving his/her livelihood.
God mode, perhaps better referred to as "vengeful god mode," allows you to rain fire and other disasters upon your unrepentant sims. In short, it lets you unleash controlled disasters just to see what happens. It's strangely therapeutic, and you can always restore your game once you've gotten it out of your system.
Both zines have posted previews of The Sims Online as well. This massively multiplayer online title should be instantly familiar to anyone who has played The Sims. One of the most interesting elements of multiplayer interaction will be the in-game economy:
The economy in The Sims Online looks like it could be a complicated one. Almost everything you do can be tied to earning Simoleans. You can charge people to enter your house, play your games or almost anything else. Unlike The Sims, The Sims Online doesn't have careers. Instead, you develop certain skills and create your own jobs. Like the quartet of sims that created pizzas, you can access different work widgets to earn money. The catch is that this takes time and cooperation from other sims.Check out both previews and the media files (the movie file is corrupt as of this posting) for a good idea of how The Sims Online will play. You can be sure IMG will bring you the latest on both titles as any new information about the status of possible Mac versions is revealed. Do remember that Aspyr's The Sims: Hot Date expansion should be in stores very soon for the Mac.
GameSpy Preview of SimCity 4
PC.IGN SimCity 4 Media
GameSpy Preview of The Sims Online
PC.IGN Preview of The Sims Online
PC.IGN The Sims Online Media
The Sims Online
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