72 people found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 32.5 hrs on record
Posted: Feb 6 @ 11:25pm
Updated: Nov 24 @ 1:56am

I am adding my update review and video . Review is mostly unedited (though shortened) for posterity.

Full Review[kinglink-reviews.com] --

https://youtu.be/dXL9aekqpL0

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I booted Cities: Skylines. After Cities in Motion, games that focused on mass transit as their first two games, I was almost definite I was going to have a bad time as I disliked both of those games on some level.

A couple hours later I was a bit surprised because the hours flew by. I’ve heard Cities: Skylines is a SimCity clone. In reality, it’s a fantastic Simcity, far better than EA’s always online SimCity that they produced. In fact, it’s released two years after the SimCity release and just is better in every way possible. No online, great gameplay, and not as many really annoying bugs (such as traffic).

That’s the thing though, Cities Skylines is SimCity, if you hate the idea of city building, you’re probably not going to be happy here. If you miss classic SimCity, this is a must own. It’s not the same game, but it’s an excellent replacement for it, far superior in almost every way.

The big thing in Cities Skylines is the growth of the city ties to items. When your city is a village, you can only create certain objects. Garbage is locked until you 440 people, The Police department is unlocked at 850 people. Want a Solar Power Plant to be green? Get 18,000 people and not a second before that. It actually is a great way to scope the game and let you focus on tasks right in front of you than give you infinite choices and have you build stuff you don’t need but it can limit the game in the early game. This might not be for everyone though.

Which is why there are mods, glorious mods! The game ships with three mods if I remember correctly (I’ve gotten a lot since then), the Unlimited money mod, the unlock all mod, and the hard mode mod. The unlimited money and unlock all mods both will unlock all buildings. But there’s a LOT of mods for this game and a ton of great support through mods. Basically, if you don’t like something in Cities Skylines there is a mod for it.

But the building system does have one thing that’s quite cool. There are unique buildings in which the player has to fulfill some minor or major task such as construct a certain type of building 30 times, or produce a certain amount of goods. If you do that, you get a special building to customize your city with and give your city bonus usually a tourism, but they also help you build the big monuments which are awesome to aim for.

So it’s like a great version of SimCity, what’s different?

Well, first there’s a number of tools that aren’t as good as others. The road tool seems to hate perfect lines. I want to draw perfect grids such as can be found in New York City. Just long lines of perfect roads. The road tool seems to hate me and I seem to fail at this often. The roads do snap to each other at specific points, but I seem to miss the 90 degrees by a few degrees often. I’m sure there’s some button to make these roads perfect but it should be easy to do this.

I’ve tried to do highways and such and it’s sometimes a bit hard to make the connecting road matchup without an odd design. They’re just something not 100 percent right with the way it creates roads, not to mention curves.

The reason you want perfect roads is that the grid for the city has little squares, and anything other than a perfect rectangle gives you spaces in the grid or little gaps that don’t look too bad, but can limit growth They are minor breaks but they don’t look that good and the best buildings won’t be built there.

Zoning is well done though and it’s easy to throw down different types of building quickly, and replacing buildings with services don’t seem to hurt the neighborhoods much (The area around the service buildings, like a police station, recovers exceedingly fast.)

The game does add a fantastic tool that lets you build districts. But what’s brilliant here, is you can paint the district, applying almost a blob to an area so you can make your own design and rename your districts what you want. You can also change policies specifically for that area if you want. It’s great to grow as you decide. The management of these districts is far easier than I expected, but I’m not a micromanager. I like to run “Freelandia!” where you can do what you want. However the micromanagement with the districts is fun, and it makes your city look great. I love naming areas with different names or recreating real places I have visited in San Diego, LA, Orlando, or of course Boston. Or just name everything after body parts. The choice is yours.

I’ve always loved city building, and the experience of just watching a city grow, and that exact experience is here. It takes some time but eventually the player gets an idea how to figure out what’s going on or what problems to tackle. Sadly the game doesn’t have the best complaint system unless you look at buildings. Anything wrong and there’s a little complaint on top of a house. There’s a twitter style feed on the top of the screen that tells you random things going on in your little corner of the world, but it doesn’t give a deep understanding of what’s going on. Imagine if a mayor of a town could only find out what’s going on with a twitter feed. It’s a little silly, the single interactions with the populace doesn’t work. I'd have preferred an advisor telling me what are the major issues people are talking about.

In addition, the game is VERY slow. A single day is 10 seconds… at that rate you pass a year in an hour of constant running. That’s a bit long in my opinion. But triple speed makes a day only … 5 seconds! Wait what? Yeah.. triple speed only doubles the time in my test. That means a year is 30 minutes. That’s quite slow still. I’m sure it’s due to the simulation time and such, but really, quite slow. The game is focused on weekly cycles instead of monthlies but it’s a very long year.

The one thing I’m not a fan of here is that the game currently promotes its expansions and there’s a lot. It’s starting to become like the Sims, where there’s tons of content each one in its own expansion. Luckily the game doesn’t feel like you need expansions as the main game is fantastic on its own and fully featured, but if you have to have it all. In fact, there’s good quality of life additions to the game along with the expansions. However, it feels that expansions are a bit of a mixed blessing. You can remove DLC from Steam by uninstalling the DLC itself but in game, if they are installed they are always on. Want to switch from a Snowfall game to a one without? You need to uninstall the DLC.

Yet the player can avoid all the DLC and the game is still fantastic, it’s a fully featured game with a lot of depth. The ability to grow your city and then tackle new problems is rather refreshing as you can focus your talents on the smaller tasks even on a second playthrough. Designing your city is easier when you’re able to focus on it at first. You can fly through the ranks quickly especially once you know what you’re doing.

There’s a very solid UI as well once you learn it, and interesting challenges for the player to tackle. There’s not much here I dislike. Even the annoyances are minor in comparison. I plop down a few zones and I start remembering why I love this game. It’s not just that it reminds me of a great game. It’s a great game on its own. While I didn’t like Cities in Motion much, this is exactly the game I was hoping they would make, and now that it’s here. It is kind of fantastic.

So ....

If you enjoyed this review or want to see my opinion on other games you can find my curator page at this link. http://store.steampowered.com/curator/31803828-Kinglink-Reviews/ Give me a follow
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5 Comments
DarkM4773r Feb 15 @ 10:47am 
The road-building got to me, too, even with mods. Even when I was able to shape freeway on/off ramps the way that I wanted them, they ended up buckling at certain angles and I was ripping my hair out over it. My OCD is telling me to play Cities: Skylines again. Great review.
King Link Feb 7 @ 11:33am 
I went back last night to play to get a value or two for the review and ended up playing for 5 hours it's incredibly addictive.

And I'm with you Alex, I've made a few mistakes but if you have a good cash flow nothing will stop you. You'll be able to recover a misstep if you don't leave them floundering for too long (and too long is an understandable amount of time). I love seeing a city recover, or even revitalize itself when you improve the education of the city.

Realizing you need a new fire station or a police station for your new section that you just layed out is a brilliant feeling.
Alex Feb 7 @ 10:45am 
Great review! I found once I figured out how to develop and sustain a profitable industries the initial worry of debt was replaced with whether or not the water is clean, and the garbage is being collected in a timely, efficient manner. Utility and essential service management is no joke! I'm learning more dump sites isn't necessarily as important as knowing when and how to use them efficiently. Failing to do this has thrown my denizens from super happy to leaving en masse more than a couple times! It's a startlingly hopeless feeling when your entire city is waiting for a hearse that won't come for a couple weeks, to say the least. Who can blame them? The silver lining in all this is the recovery times in a city with a successful industry is markedly fast and more generous than I remember in Sim City. Road management is a whole differen't animal. The bulk of my time in this game is spent on the road finding a way to strike a balance between aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Tardis Feb 7 @ 10:38am 
Great review! Fully fleshed out with potential pros and cons depending on what you want from the game. I brought the game a few years ago, but if I hadn't, your review would have helped (and should help future buyers) me make a fully informed decision.
pepoluan Feb 7 @ 8:00am 
Your honest, heartfelt, and well-written review sealed the deal for me.

I'll follow your curator page. Kudos!