Reach the sky in Cities: Skylines (review)

Cities: Skylines
Being the mayor of a city is a daunting task. Each decision made will influence the town in ways we can only imagine. Cities: Skylines by Paradox Interactive creates an experience where you create a city of your dreams. From the schools, police, public transport, and work force, each aspect of a thriving city is at your fingertips. Can you handle the stress of running the city to ensure its survival? Or will you run the city into the ground?

Cities: Skylines is a simulator that gives you the feeling of what it’s like to raise a city. You choose land as a starting point, each with resources and limitations. Your main task is to build from the ground up, build a road from the main highway to draw people to your town, and designate zones as residential, commercial, or industrial and watch it grow. This portion can be tricky at first seeing as there is no right way to create your city. The tutorial also leaves many unanswered questions where you’ll find yourself restarting several times until you figure it out. But once you get the hang of it, you’re only limit is your imagination.

A Living City in Your Hands

Once your town is slowly growing, you’ll manage aspects of the town to ensure it’ll continue to grow. Luckily, all you do is designate areas and the city just starts building. You’ll see residential areas start building homes and stores popping up in the commercial areas. A good mix of each zone will ensure a good influx of residents as well as tourists. Each zone, however, cannot succeed without resources. Besides building roads and assigning zones, you control the city’s power and water/sewer system. Homes and factories won’t run without power or running water. But just connecting power lines and a few pipes won’t do the trick. One of the neatest features is the day and night change. The city itself shows a lively nightlife as people head home from work and go out and enjoy what the city has in store.

As your town/city grows, building too fast can prove to be costly. Too much resources being used will push you into debt. The sewer system and power system come at an expense and can prove costly. Being able to budget can be difficult at first and is probably the hardest to learn. But it’s not without reward as your city slowly grows to the sky. Milestones are set in place to unlock perks, and newer and bigger roads allow more traffic to your city. Schools and public services like Police and Fire Services unlock as your city grows. And eventually you can create public transportation that you create along the roads you’ve built.

Final Reaction

Cities: Skylines is more than just a simulator. The challenge of balancing the zones a city requires to thrive is difficult. It may require a few playthroughs until you understand it completely. But once you do, the skies the limit to what you can create. The option to have unlimited money and unlocks from the start gives a different experience. It’s one that can help you understand the mechanics of the game and to better your skill. All in all, Cities: Skylines is a challenge that rewards you with a thriving city from the ground up.

Rating: 4/5 Atoms

Cities: Skylines is available now on the PlayStation 4

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