SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow Expansion Pack
Top Critic Average
SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow moves the city-builder forward with an interesting new layer of interdependent systems.
I got along a lot better with Cities of Tomorrow than I did with SimCity. I've watched the finely-sculpted skyscrapers become sundials for the city, while the streets they've stood watch over have filled with robot firefighters and automated garbage vans. But I've also been called away from my mayoral duties by police officers complaining about non-existent crime, by reports of full classrooms from empty schools, by a transport advisor who said my streetcars were lost. Every time I've reached for the future, it's brought me back to the present. Just as I was having fun.
Cities of Tomorrow doesn't add much to the deeply flawed SimCity aside from Blade Runner visuals.
More stuff crammed into cities that are too small still makes the game frustrating despite Maxis' best effort. Only pick this up if you're a fanatic.
The content it adds is beautiful, appealing to existing fans, and often successful as a brute force method of overcoming some of the game's original limitations. But for all the ways in which aims to take SimCity into the future, it remains tethered firmly to its past. Due to the peculiarities of its simulation, Origin's temperamental connection, and ultimately its own mechanical shallowness, Cities of Tomorrow is unlikely to make converts of those already driven out of town.
In a nut shell, I dig Cities of Tomorrow more than vanilla SimCity. While the game has been massively patched to fix many of the release issues, the game is still not without its frustrations.
Crashing and burning has always been part of the fun of SimCity, though, and while these sorts of incidents are annoying, they're not game-breaking. Cities of Tomorrow is both a good expansion to the core game and a perfect entry point for a newcomer. Just don't let the power go to your head.
SimCity: Cities of Tomorrow is a visually appealing addition that unfortunately only runs skin-deep. It's an attractive new world that can be developed under your whim, but it doesn't fix any of the core issues SimCity had in the first place, and actually makes them more apparent.
Cities of Tomorrow isn't a bad expansion if you're already a big fan of SimCity and are itching for new ways with which to test your city-building skills within Maxis' sandbox. The new facilities add alternative approaches to creating prosperous cities of utopian wonder or unbridled capitalism. They can be appealing and even fun to experiment with, as long as you're not hoping for this to do much more. On that level, Cities of Tomorrow works decently well. If you're expecting it to solve some long-standing issues, there's nothing to see here beyond the neon glow of the streets and the purple haze hanging above every smokestack.