1 person found this review helpful
3.3 hrs last two weeks / 493.5 hrs on record
Posted: Feb 16, 2016 @ 5:17am

TL:DR Best city builder, worth buying. It's on sale at around 66% off a few times a year too. Will run on most modern-ish PCs, but a decent CPU and loads of RAM recommended.

This game is well balanced, well designed, has the correct challenges for players of all still levels and is very engaging.
The support from the developers is good, listening to the community and giving the community what it needs and wants. Mod support is also good, with various mods enabling things well beyond the limits of the base game, of note are mods like Traffic ++ which enables better customisation of the road network in the game.

CS looks brilliant and has consistency throughout the game.

The game has some issues. I can run this game on an old moderately powerful laptop, but not well, this game can and will eat your CPU and RAM. If you run mods and assets, be prepared for a crash to desktop on startup if you have too many for your RAM. You can get away with a lot of mods and assets on 2GB RAM. But it can be quite easy to over do it. A powerful machine is what this beast of a game demands. The frame rate is consistent unless zooming in on a heavily populated area or saving. Though the dip depends on your computer.

The water in this game is... Well... Strange. When placing Hydroelectric Dams be prepared for strange sink holes and weird water flow. Also in large cities, water levels can significantly drop due to water pumps, in some extreme cases it can lead to certain water areas drying up, which does affect land value nearby. Though the strangeness of the water can allow some rather interesting map details and if used well can make for an enjoyable game.

Zoning is similar to old Simcity (3000, 4) games. RCI and road based. But a new zone offices is aimed at higher educated workers and pulls from the industry side of the game. Balancing RCI can be complex because there is no differentiation between normal industry and offices.

The roads and traffic management can be problematic, the AI for roads takes the shortest route, even if it's the longest time route. And ignores almost all other things. The AI will also ship in/out cargo to your city via the shortest route, which may leave some ports and cargo stations empty and others blocked up with traffic. The AI for people does priotise walking and public transport, which makes the creation of public transport and neighbourhoods quite good, especially with footpaths and the new bus and cycle lanes.

All the issues mentioned can be worked through and some can make for a feature. The designs possible with the game make real cities look bad. The mods for this game can really extend the gameplay. I use various mods and assets, including clean sewage works, different power plants. Various new roads and some bug fighting (Phantom lanes for example).

Even without mods this game is fantastic. A game I have plowed over 220 hours into and will continue to plow many more into.

The spec as minimum or recommend will run the game, and a couple of mods... Just. But the load times can get ridiculous (30mins+) unless you have a lot of RAM. I recommend 8GB minimum, 16GB+ to have a decent load time and faster FPS.
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