Not only did SimCity Societies get thrown into the deep end of the pool to fight for attention this holiday season -- the critics are enjoying watching it drown. The big outlets have yet to give it above a 70 and there are apparently a lot of technical issues holding the title back. SimCity Societies could have been a reimagining of the series that started a different franchise from "SimCity core." But it looks like developer Tilted Mill, best known for the Caesar games, could have really taken more time with it. It's sad that a casual approach to SimCity didn't yield the best results. Perhaps it's because you need a Crysis-level computer to play it, as one review pointed out.
  • 1UP (70/100): "And speaking of smooth, Societies isn't. When you reach the 10,000-population mark, you can expect the game to crawl (I routinely witnessed sub-30 frames per second on a machine I built to rock Crysis). In a game where constant zooming, map rotation, and precise building placement are key, laggy performance is more than a mere annoyance. 'Course, when you reinvent the omelet, you're gonna break a few wheels...or something. And, despite its few slipups, the core of Societies is strong enough -- and the gameplay addictive enough -- that even the stodgiest traditionalist will find something to shout about."
  • GameSpy (60/100): " In short, Sim City Societies is a novel game with a unique new mechanic for building towns and cities with personality. Casual players will find a lot to tinker with as they sculpt towns out of their dreams or nightmares. More serious gamers will be able to plumb the depth of the title over the course of the weekend, so your enjoyment of the game depends a great deal on what you're looking for when you pick up the box."
  • EuroGamer (50/100): "Those Maxis-faithful naysayers who crowed that Tilted Mill would sully their beloved series have sadly been proven right as the game suffers from many of the same complaints levelled at the studio's previous game, Caesar IV. But let me make my final point quite clear - Societies doesn't stumble just because "it isn't SimCity". Fresh takes on old concepts should always be welcome. It stumbles because it's a generally unsatisfying patchwork of a game, dragged down by inconsistent gameplay, outdated design and weirdly implemented ideas."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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