|Klaus van der Kroft|
Anyone else playing this new citybuilder?
Developed by Colossal Order (same people behind Cities in Motion), Cities: Skylines is a pretty comprehensive city-builder in the same line of the SimCity series. It takes several hints from SimCity 2013 (on the surface they actually look very similar), while avoiding pretty much all the things it did wrong (in particular: No online requeriments, huge city sizes, functional simulation, and lots of modding tools).
Graphically it looks great, though I admit the style is a bit bland. But with thousands upon thousands of custom buildings, parks, intersections, and landmarks already available from the modding community, it's quickly being fixed.
Maps are huge; you start with a 2x2 km area, which you can expand by purchasing additional 2x2 km lots, up to 9 in total (with mods you can purchase up to 25, for a massive size of 100sq kms).
Difficulty is pretty low, particularly if you compare it with SimCity 4. Though there are ways in which the game can throw a wrench at your carefully built utopia, save for the very early stages you will never really encounter money issues.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the game is the traffic simulation. The engine can hold up to 1,000,000 individual agents, each with their own homes, works, and needs, which scurry about your roads and walkways in a very realistic manner. And with the extremelly flexible road tools, you will soon find yourself experimenting with 4-level fractal highway junctions and spiral bridges.
It also deals very well with gridless city shapes, as lots are subdivided into tiny tiles that orient themselves to the street rather than the ground, allowing you to have very natural curves and corners.
All in all, a fantastic citybuilder. A bit easy, yes, but it more than makes up for it with its depth and replayability. The absolutely ludicrous amount of mods also give it a constant stream of free content, and the devs are very committed towards quality DLCs, both free and paid (the publisher's Paradox, and they've announced a release system like that of EU4 and CK2, in which even paid expansions provide free content for everyone).
Truly, Cities: Skylines is the first citybuilder since SimCity 4 that has managed to enchant me.
Also: The game includes poop dynamics. Sewage drains actually add volume to waterways and, if you build a dam to close them, you can drown your city in literal, volumetric crap. Sewer surfin'!