ďI pity those poor suckers on the freeway. Gas break honk. Gas break honk. Honk honk punch. Gas gas gas.Ē
- Homer Jay Simpson
I hate traffic. There is little worse than sitting bumper to bumper with thousands of SUVs and mini vans in a vain attempt to drive 5 miles in under an hour. As the years go by, gridlock only seems to get worse, not better. If not for my trusty iPod, Iím certain Iíd be in a road rage wing at some mental institution. Even in my digital SimCity, traffic and gridlock reigned supreme. As my city grew so did my transportation nightmares. Yet, notice how I speak of my SimCity transit woes in the past tense? I do so because thanks to Aspyr Media, my SimCity is cruisiní like a mofo. Trust me, thatís pretty fast.
In just a few weeks, Aspyr Media will release the expansion pack to SimCity 4, Rush Hour. This expansion will give SimCity fans everything they need to turn their purgatory-esque city roadways into high-speed freeways of bliss. In this preview, Iíll be offering up a taste of things to come. So, fasten those seatbelts, weíre going for a ride!
Drive In, Drive OutSimCity 4 brought us the thrill of city planning, as well as all the traffic headaches that such ventures entail. Rush Hour will bring players much needed relief to their backlogged streets. For example, players will be able to use ultra-wide avenues to alleviate throughput on backed up commuter routs. Thereís nothing Sims like more than zipping to work quickly and safely. Players will also be able to build massive highway systems to keep their cities running smoothly. Of course, such luxurious stretches of concrete and steel donít pay for themselves, thus Rush Hour will provide players with the ability to place tollbooths at key traffic areas.
Players who like to do the mass-transit thing will have a plethora of new options to enjoy. For the high-tech approach to citywide mass-transit, will be able to construct a ziptastic monorail system to whisk SimCitizens from home, to work and back again. It will also be possible to build elevated railways and than connect them to other transit systems, such as subways or street level bus stops. Iíve been using Rush Hour for some time and itís very cool to my citizens pile onto the L train, fly from one end of the city to the other and then hit the work day after a quick jaunt on the subway.
Prior to Rush Hour, water was the bane to all transit in every SimCity. SimCitizens could only stand in awe and stare helplessly across even the most shallow of rivers. Thanks to Rush Hour, this will change. First, for the Long Island method of water transit, it will be possible to place ferry stations on river banks, allowing SimCitizens and their vehicles to float from point A to point B in comfort. Though, I tend to avoid a ferry system, they creep me out ever since I saw The Ring. However, those who prefer the San Francisco thing will finally be able to smite waterways with monolithic bridges. Players will have 10 unique bridge styles from which to choose. I love an ornate suspension bridge, but others might prefer a stone arch bridge. There will be many bridges to suite oneís taste.