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SimCity 5 preview

SimCity 5

Gamescom 2012: Back in town

All in a dayís work


My first day at work and already people are demonstrating in front of the town hall. Being new to the town of Greenfork, the protesters will give me some leeway for not being fully up to speed but their patience is not endless. The discovery of a coal deposit nearby and a new highway connecting this once isolated community to the rest of the world herald an end to the years of high unemployment in Greenfork. Understandably, half the town is excited and eager to bring the economy up to speed while the other half is on the fritz for being afraid of the changes to come. And thatís where I come in: Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.

Fixing the poor energy distribution at the outskirts of town is at the top of my priority list. Many houses donít get enough electricity to turn on the lights in the evening hours and some even have problems during the day. The one wind turbine located at the eastern border canít service all the new houses that have popped up lately. I can solve the problem by placing additional, low yield wind turbines which will restore power and keep the eco fanatics happy. I can also slam down a much more powerful coal power plant and be done with it for the foreseeable future. To hell with the ecoís, we need results now. I go with the latter.

Iím ambitious and have a vision of Greenfork being a happy and rich city, with skyscrapers and a big harbor where the rich folk can anchor their yachts and enjoy the good life. I need this town to grow so the coal power plant is a quick fix that gets the ball rolling. I watch as the group of demonstrators at the town hall falls apart and eventually disappears. I open the Power Agent overlay to check my work and get treated to a grid of color coded lines that run along all the streets. Green is good, yellow is average and red means a problem. When no red lines appear on the map it is time to build!

Zones


I whip out the Road tool to lay down some new roads which proves easy to use. Selecting the type of road, I draw a line across the map, adding a few big square areas at the eastern end of town where I plan to zone some industrial areas. In the west, I draw curved lines to give the streets a friendlier look and zone that for residential housing. Zoning itself is a done a little bit different than Iím used to: Where in the previous SimCityís you would draw the zones by hand, it is now more like coloring in predetermined areas that automatically appear alongside of newly laid roads.

Dust rises up as construction trucks deliver building materials and workers ply their craft. After a whirlwind of activity a small house emerges, complete with a For Sale sign. Before long, moving trucks appear and a young family can be seen unloading boxes and making themselves at home. I smile, my plan is working, Greenfork is expanding and soon will be the buzzing metropolis I want it to be.

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