First, I have always enjoyed the SimCity games. Sure, I know that these games take a planning and technocratic control approach that I find distasteful in real life, but I enjoy playing first-person shooters as well despite being a pacifist.
So I have been extremely disappointed in their implementation of their new version. In this sort of mad rush to be like all the other games out there, SimCity built in a multi-player mode where you play online interacting with neighboring cities run by other players. This is all fine as far as it goes, thought the appeal escapes me so far.
But the true fail is that they require players to log in and play online on their servers, even when playing solo. What was an irritant yesterday became an enormous mess today, as every North American server for the game is full. Run the game, and you immediately get hit with a pop-up window with a counter forcing you to wait in what is at least a 20-minute queue before you can play. There is no offline mode - even if your intent is to play solo, you have to wait for a spot to open up on their multi-player servers.
At this point I would seriously recommend that you wait before buying this game. Combined with other irritants (the game is not available on Steam, you have to use Origins far inferior proprietary clone), and the game's high price, I am sorry I pre-ordered and did not wait for reviews to come in. It may eventually be a good game, but I am not going to pay $70 to stare at a 20-minute count down clock every time I want to play.
Update: Most online games allow players to pre-load the game several days prior to when the servers are turned on. This smooths out the load on the download servers. Apparently Origin did not do this, and the servers for downloads crashed yesterday (these are different from the play servers which are full today). Apparently Origin was still "polishing" the code right up to the hour of launch, which is code for, "this is likely still a bug-filled mess."