Tuesday, December 4

Cities Skylines Review

Available on: PC, Xbox one
Price: Steam: £22.99, Xbox Store: £31.99
I played on: PC
Notes: The Xbox one version may be different but as I have not played it I’m not sure. I have heard good things though.

Cities Skylines offers us the Sim City 5 we never got and it lives up to that grand title very well.

The graphics are beautiful when on high and on the Xbox One but the game still looks good on low although less detailed. I was able to run this on my old laptop which was not a gaming machine by any means and it ran smoothly for me while on low graphics settings so most people with modern machines should be fine. The sound design is also wonderful with smooth relaxing music and very convincing city noises.

You will start off with little unlocked besides low-density zoning tools and roads. Once you have raised the population of your town you will reach a milestone which will then unlock more tools for you to use. I like how this game slowly introduces new systems like this as it acts as a very free and hands off tutorial system. This is good as you will be able to build a city any way you wish while still being able to learn and run things effectively. I always found with Sim City 4 the tutorial towns were just dull with walls of text and very strict instructions. This is not the case here, starting a new city is always fun whether or not this is your first city or first in a while. You will always be able to build something amazing that feels very unique to you.

When you have a basic city up and running the finer details start to become more and more important and this is where I fall in love with Skylines. Managing transport, district policies, funding and lots more means every detail from the placement of Police stations to the bus schedule is in your hands. I have spent hours before just setting up bus lines and making sure everything is perfect for the people of my city to get around. You can also change policies and laws including legalizing cannabis which is amazing.

Everyone in your city has an identity, meaning they all have a home, job, and hobbies. This is truly impressive as you can follow anyone around and just watch a day unfold in your city. I get really happy when I see people using my buses and parks. You have to keep your population happy through work, parks, unique buildings and more. This is where my love of building parks comes in useful as my cities are all based on the idea that nature should be respected. I try to have as many parks as possible and cut down on all the pollution I can. You could, however, give planet Earth the finger and build as many coal power plants and dirty industry buildings as you want. The land around these buildings will start to die and people will get unhappy and even sick if around too much pollution so it’s worth keeping an eye on things.

Your job as mayor is never done but it’s okay as after you have spent a few hours with your city you will fall in love. Learning to balance your zones, keeping your population safe and happy and managing your growing city's needs and wants is a blast. I have a few complaints but none of them is a real issue because with Steam workshop support from the games menu modding your game is simple. Any small problems you have can be sorted out with a mod and you can download plenty of extra unique buildings to keep things looking new throughout your city. Honestly, this is the best city builder released to date and anyone wanting to build their perfect city should check it out.

Recommendation Rating: 10 out of 10.

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