Well, I Guess There Will Always Be The Ceremony: SimCity Modded To Run Offline

Modder gets SimCity to run offline and I am gettin' too old (at 22) for this sh*t.

Well, I previously reviewed the SimCity game and came to the conclusion that the game was pretty good despite its online DRM flaws and minor AI hiccups… I’m actually at wit’s end when it comes to that review simply because of the way I mentioned the durability and intelligence of the actual simulation; apparently Glassbox isn’t that great of a simulation at all, with ‘agents’ using simple pathing to find the shortest route between points A and B for water, sewage, power… and Sims. Rock, Paper, Shotgun explains that (paraphrased) agents shuttle sims from residential to their job to commercial districts via the shortest route, filling up whatever job/shop/home has the closest available slot without regard to what the sim had done in previous days.

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While this is infuriating enough, what comes next is at least as frustrating, if not more so. To be entirely honest, this bit takes the cake for me.

SimCity, the game that prides itself on inter-connectivity via a regional multiplayer system, has been modded to run offline. Yup, folks, the game that was built with multiplayer in mind as a core feature can, and has been made to run offline, bypassing EA’s servers and DRM. While this hack doesn’t allow for saving, it’s probably the final nail in the coffin for most would-be purchasers of SimCity. Not only does this mod afford the ability to run offline (without saving of course, since all saves are still cloud–I bet someone’s working on making local saves a thing, though), but the hack supports roads and structures outside the small 2km by 2km city boundaries.

This basically flies in the face of the folks at Maxis and EA, given that they’ve repeated time and time again that the game has been built to take advantage of advances in cloud computing, affording an experience that can ‘run on your dad’s computer’, and have chided gamers for complaining that the always-online requirement was solely for DRM purposes. An offline mod shows that the latter is most likely the case, given that the former also requires the AI to have some semblance of intelligent life… Which it does not.

*Sigh*, I’m pretty much done with this SimCity garbage, and I’ve got to find a new game to review. Guild Wars 2? No, too old. And it’s too late for Fire Emblem. I need a better-paying job.


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