Weekend Playlist: Cities: Skylines

Cities Skylines logo 1

Adam puts on his majors hat this weekend to build a bustling metropolis.

Its my birthday in a couple of weeks, I thought you may like to know. Well, there is a reason I told you that, because the game I've been playing this weekend is an early birthday present from my girlfriend; and that game is Cities: Skylines.

There's been a lot of talk about the new city-builder made by developers Colosal Order since it was released on 10th March. Some of the talk is from favourable reviews about how its a city-builder which hit the marks Maxis and EA's 2013 SimCity missed. As a fan of SimCity in general, and with my somewhat disappointed view of the latest game, I was very much looking forward to playing Cities: Skylines.

The game was only a 1.5GB download on Steam, which is a rare, and small, amount of space for a modern game to take up on your PC these days. But, at least it meant I didn't have to wait long to build my first city. And that first city was a bit of a disaster.

My first city wasn't too efficient. I eventually ended up scrapping it after around 45 minutes of play, because I had seriously messed up my budget. It's to be expected when starting out in a new game like this, at least for me anyway. Once I couldn't sustain an income from my city, and utilities such as power and water began to suffer, I knew it was time to throw in the towel on my first mayorship.

As I played more, and took my time a little, I began to create much more efficient, and better looking, cities.

The similarities of Cities: Skylines to the latest SimCity are plentiful, and not just because they're in the same game genre. Some of the statistical views lend from SimCity's with buildings shown as certain colours depicting their condition, depending on what information you're trying to see - for example, you can see how educated a dwelling's citizens are, or if it has sufficient fire coverage, just by a quick glance, rather than reading through numbers and charts.

Cities: Sklines makes use of the tilt-shift view to give your fledgling towns and cities a toy town look and feel. If you're not a fan of it you can always alter how much this effect is present in the options, but I like it a lot, so I keep it on.

I spent a good portion of Saturday engrossed in Cities: Skylines, eventually building quite a sizeable city, with many separate districts (each with their own policies and specialisations), and looping highways branching out across the huge map to small towns and farming communities. This is one aspect the game does really well - city size. You start off with a building area about the same size you would find in one of the larger areas of SimCity, but eventually you can branch out, increasing your city size further and further. In city building sims size does matter, seriously. SimCity really messed up on that one.

I won't waffle on too much more about the game, I have citizens' needs to attend to, but I will say this - you need to play it, especially if you were looking forward to SimCity back in 2013 and were disappointed by it. Cities: Skylines really does deliver what SimCity should have. It's a tough city builder with plenty of room for creativity, plus it has Steam Workshop support, so who knows what you'll be finding in there.

Oh, and here's the trailer for the game. Enjoy!

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