- Huge maps;
- a ton of possibilities;
- public transport;
- a wide range of creation tools;
- informative details on citizens and buildings;
- complex management of the budget and social matters;
- engaging gameplay;
- fair optimization.
- graphical restrictions;
- troublesome road development;
- emergency vehicles.
After a huge fiasco of the recent Cities XXL, all fans of the city-builder genre have had their eyes fixed at Cities: Skylines – a brand new title of this kind from a small Finnish studio Colossal Order. Was the experience taken from the two quite successful recent creations – Cities in Motion – (focused on managing public transport) put to good use in the process of making a title on a much bigger scale? In Skylines transport is just a fraction of the solid gameplay, which by the way, was designed in a meaningful manner – despite a few missteps that effect the final foundation of this virtual urban empire.
We have what the other guys don’t!
From the start the creators were intentionally referencing the competition, starting with the newest Sim City, since they wanted to fulfill the expectations of the gamers correcting, amongst many things, the mistakes that drove the virtual planners and mayors mad in the first place. A lack of a ‘always online’ requirement? Done. A complex editor? Also there. Big maps that allow us to fulfill our fantasies? Check that one off. Actually, when it comes to the latter, one can get an impression that the Finnish studio has shown the experienced team of the now non-existent Maxis, that literally big things can be done in that department – especially when in comparison to the infamous Sim City. There is a dozen of vast maps, while each one of them represents a bit different setting - both when it comes to terrain formation and the resources, and natural conditions. What is most important, we don’t get thrown into deep water from the get-go – at the start we only get a fraction of the terrain at our disposal, which, along with the growth of our metropoly can be purchased for a symbolic fee. I can promise you that before you fill the entire map with buildings, roads and various attractions, you will have spent a couple dozen hours with the game. There are a lot of things to do.
If you have encountered other games from the genre, you certainly won’t be surprised with what Cities: Skylines has to offer. Needless to say, in the game we get to build a city from the very first street, to the monumental skyscrapers which will latter become the symbol of our creation. Luckily, the developers didn’t mess up the most essential element of a city-builder – the interface in City: Skylines is comfortable in use, and yet minimalistic. Access to certain options and buildings is given to us relatively quickly, which is crucial taking into account the fair amount of in-game objects. Expanding our city basically comes down to three areas: residential, service and industrial along with a network of roads and public service buildings along the way. It is the planning of the communication network which is the main factor on which the utilization of the terrain relies on. Whether or not will we be able to raise a city that will be a pleasant sight depends on locating the aforementioned zones along with the infrastructure.