I guess we should've seen this coming. I can't think of a single major gaming release with a vital online component that's been gone off without a hitch. While I'm sure Maxis' Top Men have been working on this around the clock since SimCity's launch last night, it doesn't bode well for many gamers like myself who had defended Electronic Arts' decision to mandate an internet connection to play this game.
At 10:01PM last night, I was fully ready to download the game. Origin, EA's digital distribution service, informed me that the game was not available for download, even though it totally was. I'm not sure what I was expecting. Resetting Origin allowed me to download the SimCity launcher, which started to pull down the game properly. It rushed to 21% before cutting to a crawl. I ended up going to bed. By morning, it had only reached 41%. I restarted the game launcher and finished the download, which completed the install. Voila! Except now I had to go through the fifteen minute tutorial again before the interface would open up.
Tutorial complete, I exited out to check on the server status, which is a weird panel on what has predominantly a single-player franchise. (Yes, I realize Diablo 3 fans faced the same thing last year.) Of course, the two North American stations were busy. When I finally got a connection, I was prompted to play the tutorial again. When my spirit returns, I'll be more than happy to play through it just so I can join a friend's game. What a fantastic design choice, but oh boy, won't I be like a kid on Christmas morning when this gets cleared up!
Look forward to our review soon!