Along with the problematic Diablo III, the disastrous launch of SimCity has proven to be one of the biggest arguments against Always-On DRM in recent years. The constant requirement for an internet connection caused the title no end of problems when it was released back in March of last year. With waiting lines to access a single player game, server crashes and countless errors which plagued the title which elevated Maxis’ to infamy in the eyes of the public.
The DRM has been strongly suggested to have been something thrown into the game by Electronic Arts and, despite SimCity operating perfectly without any connection after some modifications, that its removal was not possible. Well, now it seems that the impossible has happened.
Announced in a blog post last Sunday, General Manager Patrick Buechner of Maxis announced that a new download with Update 10 would be coming to SimCity allowing the game to be played offline. After following the announcement with “I’ve wanted to say those words for quite some time”, Buechner clarified a number of details about the game. Any purchased DLC for the title will be available offline as much as online, and offline mode itself is intended to allow for players to make modifications to its components. This will at long last permit players to build mods around the title and build their own content and not be utterly reliant upon the multitude of DLC packages.
Unfortunately offline mode is unlikely to solve all of the title’s problems. As the player will be limited to an extremely small area without outside contact, many problems which will plague cities will continue here. You will constantly be short on something and, as has been criticised by community and reviewers alike, there is simply not enough room to make the city truly self-sufficient in any capacity. Trading in a region with other cities was intended to allow for small clusters to support one another, and it seems unlikely any metropolis will be able to work alone.
While a definite step in the right direction, only time will tell if this is enough to truly save it.
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