So you might be wondering why a game (Cities: Skylines) that released on Xbox One April 20th 2017 is getting a review almost 4 weeks later and not closer to the release date of the game. That’s because this is the most addicting game I have played in a very, very long time. I spent nearly 50 hours playing this game before I wrote a single word for the review. I kept telling myself that I only needed a few more hours of gameplay before I could give a full, unbiased, thorough review. The same way an obsessive gambler says he only needs one more race, the way an addict says ‘just one more’. That’s the level of game you are dealing with if you choose to throw down your $39.99 on the Xbox Marketplace.
I didn’t have the chance to play the PC version of this game, so playing it for the first time on Xbox One was something of a challenge for me. I had trouble, even with the great tutorial system in place, figuring certain infrastructure items out such as how electricity worked with structures. A few quick Google searches and I was able to find exactly what I was looking for thanks to the PC Community. Figuring out how to strategically place my neighborhoods and industrial areas was also a bit of a challenge, not because the game lacked information but because I lack the mental fortitude to think and plan ahead. Which, by the way, resulted in multiple restarts.
Finally when I had the basics down to the game, I realized that it is incredible in-depth despite its simple interface. The UI and controls are extremely intuitive and easy to figure out after about 10 minutes of messing around with different features. The progressions or ‘milestones’ are also spaced out quite well to help you learn the game easier. The crawl-walk-run aspect of learning is clear throughout the early stages of the game which helps it feel like it’s not rushing you to figure out the game quickly.
One of the most interesting things about the game I found was the way you control everything from the planning of the city to the actual governing of the city. Putting policies into place, adjusting taxes and working the budget so you still have income to build more was very in-depth but not overwhelming. It makes complete sense, especially for someone who doesn’t know about how to govern a city. This was the one aspect of the game that genuinely surprised and delighted me.
There are, of course, unlimited resource/money modes that are akin to ‘creative’ modes you will find in most building games. I did not use these as they lock out achievements and I really enjoyed the achievement list. I felt that they were all fair as they are unlocked through natural progression of the game with a few mixed in asking you to go above the minimum. This makes everything about setting policy and working budget useless which in a lot of ways takes the fun out of it for me.
The game is well ported to the Xbox One, although I have not played the PC game I feel that this game works well on the console and performs well even when things get insane in your city. There were almost no performance issues with this game and the few that I did experience were not game breaking and fixed themselves quickly.
I highly recommend this game to anyone that has or has not played the PC version of the game, but I warn you…you’ll need to take some time off of work or school because you will not sleep, you will not eat, you must make sure the prosperity of your city at any cost.
You can check out City Skylines HERE