World Edition improves upon City Life with many new, added features. One notable feature is that, as the game's title suggests, players can now build famous world landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, The Kremlin, and the Statue of Liberty. These international landmarks are part of the 100 new buildings available, bringing the total to 300. World Edition also features an in-game building editor, which allows players to modify existing buildings and then share with the City Life online community. Players can also generate their own city maps.
I was pleased to see that World Edition is on a DVD-ROM, because having to install a game using four to six discs is a pain in the neck. However, ease of installation ended there, as I had problems from the very beginning. Trying to install resulted in a crash. Attempting to reinstall would freeze and then crash. Frustrated, I finally used the "Run" function on my computer to manually install the game. I wondered if I just had a bum disk, until I read on Wikipedia that this game was prone to startup problems.
My disk problems continued when I fired the game up a day later and encountered errors in saving my games. A series of error messages would pop up, and my games don't get saved. I noticed however, that this only occurred during Free Mode. I've notified CDV about these technical problems and they've been working on it.
Actual game play is not exactly a picnic either. Not surprisingly, there's a lot to learn in building and micromanaging a city. The main screen has lots and lots of menus, which can be overwhelming for beginners. Although the game comes with a printed Quickstart Guide and an in-game tutorial, I didn't find them very helpful. I found that reading the Quickstart Guide while trying to play at the same time was distracting. Meanwhile, the in-game tutorial is a simplified version of the Quickstart Guide - nothing more than just a step-by-step description of what to do.
Because World Edition is a complex game with a steep learning curve, a playable tutorial, a la Warcraft III, (in which you play a brief round covering the basics while a voiceover tells you what to do and describes the menu items) would have helped, especially for those new to this genre. Therefore, I highly recommend reading the manual and Quickstart Guide cover to cover a few times before playing. Still, expect to restart your game several times.