SimCity Buildit Addictive in a Modern Approach

Maxis has been working on SimCity Buildit for an awfully long time, going so far as to scrap their initial design and start again. And while it’s not substantially different from its predecessors, there’s enough new stuff here to satisfy mayor-wannebes everywhere. Rendered in beautiful 3D, SimCity Buildit lets you interact with neighboring cities, gaze at new monuments, and face a host of new challenges. It’s all great fun, displaying the same addictive qualities that have made this series such a success. This is a must-have.

SimCity Buildit

First you’ll notice the revamped graphics. The new buildings are stunning, adding nice variety to your city as each area assumes its own identity. When full assembled, the skyline looks more like a real city, and less like a mass of squared-off Lego neighborhoods. The water flows, the train systems run, and you can follow sims as they go to and from work, go shopping, and enjoy the recreational facilities you have so thoughtfully provided.

The core of the game is still city building, however, and there, everything you’ve come to expect from the series is back in spades. You must deal with power, water, transportation, and zoning; all of them can be taken care of on separate interfaces. Clicking through the various interfaces is exceptionally easy, and placing anything from a tree to the last piece of your intricate subway system takes only a quick touch of the mouse. The only exceptions to this rule are the freeway on-ramps, which are way too hard to manage and build. Unfortunately, these connections become extremely important later in the game, which adds to the frustration.

Managing the needs of your city with financial concerns is once again the backbone of gameplay, and adding to the intrigue this time out is the ability to interact with your neighboring cities. This is a great way to fill the city’s coffers, as you can sell excess power and accept payment for taking others’ garbage; be warned, however, that these deals all carry a possible downside, with stiff penalties for failing to fulfill your side of the bargain.

Other cool additions include monuments, so you can build landmarks like the Empire State Building in an effort to jazz up your skyline. In addition, an easy-to-use building editor is available, which lets you design and create your own buildings; these can then be incorporated into the game. And finally, Maxis has included geographical and building sets, which will let you recreate metropolitan areas like New York City and San Francisco.

When it’s all said and done, SimCity Buildit is not substantially different from the previous games. It maintains the same addictive gameplay style, and adds new several new touches that help keep the series fresh. Both veterans of the series and newbies will find a lot to enjoy.

GTA V Still Fun even with its Obvious Flaws

GTA V Trouble

The fact that GTA 5 was rumored to be an oft-delayed, unplayable mess, combined with the fact that Rockstar’s quietly put it in stores before Thanksgiving without giving the press early builds for reviews, usually means one thing: the game is a disaster. Imagine our surprise when we installed it just after finishing off the last of the turkey only to discover one of the coolest and most absorbing games we’ve played all year. Even more surprising, we love the game despite its myriad minor, but annoying, flaws. It has an awkward camera setup; the map function is useless; the AI drops out at times; and it has a ruthless game dynamic that demands players replay the same levels seven or eight times to get them right — with no in-game save. Yet getting it right and pulling off the perfect contract is so fun, so vastly cool, that even our PCs didn’t want us to stop playing.

GTA V’s in-game interface is clean and minimal, with only your health and armor displayed in the upper left, and the currently selected weapon in the upper right. Scrolling through your inventory brings up a pop-up menu including a helpful picture for picking the right tool. However, the HUD desperately needs a transparent mini-map that can be toggled on and off. The huge levels in Grand Theft Auto 5 demand that players often retreat to the map to get their bearings, and going through the load screen only to be treated to a nearly useless map with “grab” and “magnify” functions doesn’t help much either.

Once into the game, the AI is respectable but inconsistent. It’s understandable that a guard or thug would become suspicious when a smartly dressed bald guy suddenly pulls out an Uzi, but too often we would snipe some poor sap from a quarter mile away and his comrade would just sort of grow curious. The enemy would too often rush to the scene of a massacre, notice that our character was dressed like all the victims and become bewildered how so many people ended up dead.

If we had to guess, we’d say that the developers had the AI suddenly drop out at certain points because otherwise the game would be terribly frustrating. GTA V features 15 single-player levels with no in-game saves. Some of the levels are simply enormous and require three or four tries just to scope out a “hit.” Later in the game, some of the tasks are so complicated that we had to play through the levels several times, often at 20 to 30 minutes a pop, just to figure out what to do. And while all of the levels feature one or two “continues,” often those continues would have the respawn at a spot that was pretty close to where he just got gunned down, with the result being another gunfight and quick death, thus making those continues relatively useless.

So why bother playing a game with so many problems? Because GTA 5 money tricks  is just so damn cool. There are few other titles that have this game’s sense of style and stealth. From the anonymous with mysterious bar code to the quiet assassinations in Chinese restaurants with silenced Berettas or piano wire, GTA V is like taking part in your own Luc Besson film. There are even in-game cutscenes that show him doing cool things like capping guards or getting thrown out of hotel rooms.

For gamers not hip on stealth-style shooters, no amount of shiny graphics or neat-o skeletal system will change their minds. But, to us, Grand Theft Auto V represents the same breath of fresh air as the original Thief game. It has great graphics, great style and, for the patient, absorbing gameplay.

Get to Know Dying Light More

Dying Light is a new form of zombie video game. The leading name draws in energy and life into the average zombie weave while still preserving gravity in its narrative. There are shortcomings in the formula, but there’s enjoyable and intrigue here, too, and it’s the final attributes that keep your focus in the first hit of this year. The primary of Dying Light’s gameplay is fun since it patterned the game with Dofus Touch on. There will be some clumsiness in jumping from step to step and appropriately timing your jumps. But as you come to be more relaxed in controlling Crane, you’ll come to take pleasure in the liberty of motion that is being offered. There is the irregular control confusing at times however on the whole, you never feel as though you’re not in control. Match this with several speed upgrades and the world seems to be to hurry by at times.

Dying Light is an open-world action game played from the first-person perspective. You can and must play it like the streets are on perpetual fire; the game anticipates you to be on the roofs and walking on the streets are largely an invitation to die. Most of your actions are mapped to the shoulder buttons and you have to consider a bar to grasp onto it. It took me few hours to truly start gelling with the whole movement system, bring about a great deal of missed grabs or leaps.

dying light

Among the more appealing facets of the game is it’s day and night cycle, which not only provides visual changes to the games’ settings, but also simultaneously combines categories. In the day the game plays much like a normal action/brawler, as the gamer sets traps and exceeds the seemingly limitless hordes of zombies. At night, however, the game supposes a survival horror framework as zombies become quicker, a lot more threatening, and significantly more nimble, making the gamers’ sole target to find refuge. Things are different when the sun goes down, as unlike every other game ever, night is actually dark. Falling into a closed space is suddenly terrifying: especially when your lamp starts to flicker and unspeakable things start lurching out of the shadow. It also brings in a tasty necessity to acquiring stuff done during daylight hours. Combined, these two things make Dying Light feel unique. The city of Harran is the most intriguing aspect of the game; an area pleading to be checked out, made more compelling by the constant danger of things using to consume your soft parts.