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.

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.

Featured Contributor

Published Mar. 14th 2013
  • Ashley Shankle
    Associate Editor
    At least you're getting a good show!

    Just sucks you were one of the unlucky ones who got a front-row seat.

    EA's time is coming, friend. One does not get so transparent with their lies and lack of consumer care without falling eventually.
  • L2112Lif
    Featured Contributor
    I'm half annoyed and angered beyond wits end, and half taken aback by the grand magnificence of EA's Colossus of Rhodes falling into the ocean.

    I pre-ordered the game, expecting it to be as bad as Diablo III. I was going to be away the weekend of the release, so I knew I'd get almost no playtime. Coming back home unable to play the game was one thing, watching these fireworks... It's incredible.
  • Mat Westhorpe
    Featured Columnist
    This may be wrong, but my schadenfreude gland has been throbbing throughout this debacle. From the comically terrible PR to the shameless lying, it's been a great story to follow. The beautiful irony is the aggressive and incompetent DRM is a big shiny golden ticket for pirates. Electronic Arts are hoisted on their own petard.
  • Clay
    Featured Contributor
    SimCity has been a train wreck I can not look away from. Maxis was one of the staples of my childhood gaming (along with Bullfrog and id). This whole incident is on par with the Super Mario Bros movie or Daikatana.
  • Ashley Shankle
    Associate Editor
    Perhaps aim for a niche title, then? Like, if you're looking for something to review specifically here, there aren't really any limitations on what you CAN review. Though if you're looking for something fresh-fresh, I don't know what to tell you. I'm so behind aside from the games I get super excited for..
  • Ste Grainer
    Featured Correspondent
    Eh, nothing wrong with that as long as it showcases your perspective. Heck, I'm mostly reviewing older games when I have the time to give me a reason to replay them!
  • L2112Lif
    Featured Contributor
    Haha, I love Femblem. The problem is that it's been out for awhile and any review of it will just add to the GUYES-GET-DIS-GAME-IS-SOOOO-GRAET pile of reviews.
  • Ste Grainer
    Featured Correspondent
    This whole debacle has made me kind of glad that SimCity wasn't available for Mac on the same day. I would have rushed out to buy it and been as sadly disappointed as everyone else. Now I have time to think about whether it's even worth getting when it IS released.
  • Ashley Shankle
    Associate Editor
    It is NEVER too late for Fire Emblem. NEVER.

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