Cities Skylines: an Editor Review

Cities: Skylines is a pretty neat game to fill the SimCity void after SimCity 4 (2003), which was just over a decade long. Skylines, like any city simulator before it, is a management of electricity, water, and happiness. As well, the player also has to balance zoning for residential, industry, and commercial properties. It boasts an active community and developers who interact with players. Skylines is also single-player only unlike recent SimCity(2013) games.

Graphics 

Cities: Skylines graphics are beautiful and realistic, especially in night mode. Watching your city grow looks quite nice from afar. Although if you happen to zoom in the game can look a bit displeasing. While things are not very detailed the main problem resides in strange clipping in building parts usually occurring with slopes or jagged land as well as very blurry textures.

Sound/Voice

Skylines contains no voice acting, only sound effects. From afar your city may be peaceful and quiet with birds chirping and cheery music. Zoomed in you hear a busy street with train, bus, and car noises. Also, that damn chirping bird at the top of the screen is pretty annoying, but can be disabled in the settings. Sound is very average and not too important to the quality of this game.

Narrative

Like almost all city builders Cities: Skylines has no real story, but you could make your own.

Gameplay

Cities: Skylines is entirely based on three factors and a few subcategories to focus on later. These three being mentions earlier as water, electricity, and happiness. These are all influenced by some subcategories. Included in this are traffic, transportation, police, fire, and medical services. Additionally, districts can be set allowing for specific regulations according to where you assign them. Different districts also can have different specializations. These include farming, oil, and ore for industry’s as well as tourism for commercialization. Transportation and traffic are keys to help all of your services. If traffic is a problem then firetrucks can’t reach fires, garbage piles up, and industry cannot get the recourse they need. Transportation can fix this, by using public transportation you can limit traffic increase, especially when you avoid using taxis and buses. That said, traffic is by far the hardest thing to manage in this game. Speaking of difficulty, this game really lacks it. Even after the Hard Mode, which simply isn’t enough to satisfy the audience for this game, this audience being the ‘hardcore city builder crowd’ for games like SimCity 2000(1993) and SimCity 4. This makes Skylines have more of a relaxed environment and lets you focus on beautification and making your city pretty. Again this unfortunately, does not cater to the crowd this game was meant for, making out Skylines to be a casual game for beginners and intermediates. While not making up for the difficulty this game’s community is extremely active. Not limited to the steam workshop which has over 70,000 assets and mods, the community also shines in the developers interactions with players. Most player requests have been or are being patched in as well as included in DLCs.

Verdict

Cities: Skylines, while not catering to its mass audience, is overall a great city builder. Even though it is not the best looker it shows potential in community mods, assets and a developer willing to listen to players. All in all I found myself sinking almost two hundred hours into Skylines within the last six months

8/ 10: Great

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