SimCity first update today fixes problems, reduces disasters

A bunch of problems with controversial build'em-up SimCity are to be fixed in a first update at 9pm tonight.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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A bunch of problems with controversial build'em-up SimCity are to be fixed in a first update at 9pm (GMT) today. After server problems caused one of the most disastrous launches in gaming history, Electronic Arts is launching a patch to fix issues within the actual game.

The server problems drew so much attention that other issues got a bit lost, but EA reveals this first update should take care of many of those glaring errors and other areas of complaint.

The patch fixes assorted bugs and problems within the game, such as school kids teleporting around, recycling not working properly and fire engines clogging up emergency scenes. Water supply is improved and there's options for more tourists.

Players will also be pleased to learn there's to be less random disasters from here on out.

New features include fancy cars, limos or helicopters for players to get to work.

One feature notable by its absence is the ability to play the game online. You have to be connected to EA's servers to play -- hence the calamitous first week, as servers struggled to cope. EA laid on extra servers to cope with the early demand but won't entertain the possibility of an offline option. The company continues to claim that the game can't be played offline, despite what some critical gaming fans insist.

EA has at least offered disappointed players a free game to make up for the early woes.

During the update this evening, EA is making servers unavailable for "a few hours," so no Sim-ing for you tonight. Perhaps recreate the experience offline by making a city in your living room out of cardboard boxes, then smashing it like you're Godzilla.

Now the initial issues are over, what do you think of SimCity? Is it the best game you've ever played, or a fault-ridden waste of money? Are updates like this a good thing, or do you expect your games and new kit to be in full working order when you fork over your cash? And is online connection the way of the future? Build your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.