The new "SimCity" game ("SimCity 5" in some countries) just hit stores on March 5th, and completely predictable, still unforgivable server delays notwithstanding, the game is really good. But is "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" worth it?
The "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" has two features that immediately stand out, before even considering what's inside the box and whether it is worth buying. First, it's a steep $80 - very high for a PC game, and a full $20 more than the Limited Edition of "SimCity" (the normal version found on EA Origin and store shelves). Second, there is no box - as the name "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" suggests, the more expensive version is only available online, through EA Origin. No fancy collectibles here - just more stuff in the game. This is in marked contrast to Blizzard Entertainment's popular Deluxe and Collector's Editions, which include DVDs, decals, and cheap plastic crap, and sometimes even art books - but make no changes to the game itself.
The "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" trailer shows off some of the new features in the game. Watch it here:
The most notable features of "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" are the three national city sets: the British City Set, the German City Set, and the French City Set. Each includes new placeable objects - somewhat ridiculously called Ploppables - from those national cultures. Think the Eiffel Tower, Brandenburg Gate, and Big Ben. Placing these monuments in an area of your city will slowly transform that region until it resembles that culture - so placing the Brandenburg Gate in a residential area will give that neighborhood a decidedly European flair.
The appeal of the "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" national city sets will vary from person to person - if a little cultural flair is all they provided. It isn't. Each of the city sets - all of which come with the Deluxe Edition - includes a more general upgrade. The French city set allows an additional police station upgrade to further control crime. The British city set includes improved public transportation - i.e., double-decker buses. Best of all, the German city set adds high-speed rail transportation. And nothing is cooler than high-speed rail.
The "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" also includes the Heroes and Villains Set, which adds a superhero hideout and a supervillain evil lair to the game, adding a new dynamic of unnatural disasters to the otherwise fairly serious city simulator. But the Heroes and Villains Set also comes included with the Limited Edition, so it's not really a bonus - it comes with every version of the game available at release date.
Whether a bunch of extra Ploppables (seriously, that's what they're called) and some bonus cultural flavor is worth the extra $20 for "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" will obviously depend on the person. This reporter would lean against it. That's a steep price for an Eiffel Tower. And it seems likely that the sets will be available a la carte at some point - the very existence of four specifically named 'sets' strongly suggests that "SimCity" will have more DLC in the future. This seems even more likely considering the initial popularity of the game.
Both "SimCity" Limited Edition and "SimCity Digital Deluxe Edition" are a huge sandbox, and more options in a sandbox can only add to the experience. But the price is pretty steep, whether it's worth buying or not.