Cities: Skylines has solid city-builder bones

Mostly agree with what J3W3L wrote about Cities: Skylines. In short, its a very solid city building sim that is more than worth the $30 to grab right now on Steam.

A few additions to what was already written. I love that mod integration happened day one, and that in the game’s own lobby screen you see a selection of Steamworks mods. This is a game type made far better with mods, and taking this into consideration right away is a great move.

Fully agree that how you unlock some of the unique buildings is a bit silly. For example, to achieve the 50% crime rate unlock, I basically built a test city, got it to a certain population, then deleted all of the police stations and let the game run for an hour or two while I did something else. And the crazy part? It took over an hour on the fastest time mode for the crime rate to get that high. How is that fun or good design? Granted some of the other building unlocks are better (10k industry space, 5000 elementary students), but to unlock everything you are going to be making test/dummy cities.

I think city builders last longer for kids than adults. The comparisons to older SimCities are a bit unfair IMO, because I think a large factor in how long you played those games is based on age. The younger you were, the longer it took you to master the game. An adult is going to figure things out in fewer cities or fewer hours, and this taints how we view these games sometimes. As someone who recently played SimCity 4 for the first time in a LONG time, it certainly didn’t have the replayability I thought it would, while at the same time I feel my mastery of Cities: Skylines is also climbing at a very fast rate. I don’t think that is so much a flaw with the game as it is just a reflection on who is playing it.

I also think future mods that increase the complexity will help. I view it how I view Mount and Blade; the base game is very solid and fun, and then you have total conversion mods that build on that and greatly increase the complexity. A mod like Prophecy of Pendor wouldn’t work as a standalone game, it’s way too complex, but it works great as a next-step after you play the base game. I’m hoping in the future we get such conversion mods for Skylines that also greatly extend the games life/appeal.

Complaints aside, this is still a title worth picking up at ‘full price’ (it’s $30 so not really ‘full’). For a new release, its nice to get a game that isn’t early release, in beta, or whatever the hell pre-alpha means. So far I haven’t had the game crash once, didn’t notice any bugs, and there aren’t major content gaps that you can clearly spot “future DLC” content coming. Very solid title and recommended for anyone who enjoys city builders.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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3 Responses to Cities: Skylines has solid city-builder bones

  1. Doone says:

    Thats an interesting but good observation about how adults vs children play city sims. Hadnt quite thought of things this way before.

    I love city sims and I plan to pick this up. Its like in the last 30 days quite a few games made it to my wishlist so Im trying to finish off what Ive already bought! Might have to pick this up sooner though.

  2. n0th says:

    Can comment only on last post? Please tell me that is some wordpress quirk and not intended.

    Anyway – re: Wasteland 2
    I had a good bit of fun with it – rerolled like twice, got to the second part of the game on Supreme Jerk and got bored. It is a flawed game for sure.

    What you really should have a look at is D:OS
    The only negative points i can think of are – UI is your standard wow-clone UI; itemization is a bit standard/uninspired (green/blue/yellow items with prefixes/suffixes for stats)
    Other than that – AMAZING old-school RPG with turn-based combat.
    Combat in Wasteland 2 is ok-ish/meh, combat in D:OS is BOSS TIER in terms of tactical options.
    – a ton of CC options,
    – AP saving, characters can accumulate up to 20 AP,
    – every buff/debuff you can think of, also summoning
    – chainable debuffs/combos, simple example: if a target is “wet” a chilling spell (minor resistance debuff) becomes a 3-turn freeze
    – terrain can be altered

    Encounters so far are very hard/challenging. Obviously its a singleplayer/coop so i guess minmaxing around some of the mechanics to make combat faceroll easy is possible.

    And this has A TON of quality content; of course without any handholding whatsoever. I’m like 10+ hours in and i didnt even really leave the first city.
    Plot/Atmosphere-wise while you do encounter RPG clichees its all quality or at least above-average.
    I’ve yet to encounter a standard fed-ex/kill-10-rats quest.


    • SynCaine says:

      Comments close after 4 days on older posts, because after that timeframe 95% of comments are spam and with 7 years of posts, that was a lot of spam to manually delete.

      D:OS is certainly a game I’m going to get at some point, but with Pillars of Eternity coming shortly, it will have to wait.

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