Friday, 12 May 2017 14:26

REVIEW: Cities Skylines: Xbox One Edition (Xbox One)

Written by Brett Hale
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Move out of the way Sims, oh you too Minecraft, make way for one of the coolest building games you’ll ever play. Initially released in 2015 on Steam only, Xbox gamers are finally able to play on console, and it works great on the Xbox One. It’s sold over 3.5 Million copies on steam in its first two years on the market, and those sales are only going to increase since coming to the Xbox One platform. It’s highly addictive, and no stone is left unturned in all it’s gameplay.

In this game you are practically the big man, you know God... You’ll create your very own city and put what you want, where you want, but there is far more to the game then just building. Besides building anything and everything you’ll need to keep your community happy, as unhappy people tend to move out and that’s not good. The key for having your city run fluently are several things that i'll cover lightly as I could talk about every nook and crany till the cows come home. You’ll need to have your city on the power grid, this means you’ll need power stations, you can even set up huge wind turbines among other means of power that you’ll unlock as your city grows. You’ll also need to have fresh clean water which requires big water pumps that’ll need to be placed on the water's edge and then laying the water pipes throughout the city. Then you’ll need the other city basics, emergency services such as police to stay on top of crime, fire brigade to put those pesky house fires out.

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Other sorts of buildings that are a must are schools and hospitals, and don’t forget to build roads! When it comes to roads and parks, there is a wide range of options and this is something I absolutely loved about the game, loads of options so I could make my city different all across the region. But all this isn’t for free, well there is an option to have unlimited money but that disables achievements. So spending money when not unlimited can be quite challenging though I did enjoy this element.

I'm sure I won’t be able to mention everything you can build in Cities Skylines, but if it’s in the real world we live in, chances are it’s in the game as well. Local dumps are needed for the community's garbage. When building roads, buildings will auto build, the only thing you’ll need to do once the road is built is allocate the sort of zones, from housing, commercial (Shops) and industrial zones. Green for housing, blue for commercial and yellow for industrial. Once you get your city bigger and bigger, it really takes off, and comes truly alive. Cars driving down the roads, people walking their dogs and using local parks,  even emergency vehicles with their flashing sirens making there way to emergency situations.

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Cities Skylines runs on a day/night cycle, and days will be seen in the bottom right in the form of a date. Like any city, public transport is key, and Cities Skylines hasn’t forgot buses that will travel throughout the city, once unlocked. As mentioned before you can build schools, and even universities and that’s a big part of the work force in the city, it’s not good to have uneducated people as they become unhappy and businesses pay for it. Businesses and houses can become abandoned, and when one does they fall like dominos for a lot of reasons. Unlike the PC version, you’re not really able to know the specific reason on the Xbox version, but once one becomes abandoned, its best to demo it as abandoned buildings bring down the value of other buildings around them. Now there is some odd but cool thing’s you can add to your cities, how about the Statue of Liberty, or the Eiffel Tower, there are others but you’ll have to play to find out. One awesome thing you can build is a medieval theme park, now that's pretty awesome.

Now remember you’re in charge of the entire city you build, so you can’t impress everyone, it’s just how people are in the real world, but just because people don’t like something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Think of it as the great of good, or for fast money. What am I talking about? I’m talking about imposing district and city policies. There are quite a few too, limit people from smoking or restricting night time noise and water and power usage. It can be fun to impose those but people will only take so much before they're pissed at you. Whenever something occurs to their property or with the occupants, icons will appear above the buildings. So not only can you put out community policies but also raise and lower taxes of all three zones individually. It can take some time to get a nice balance that has you earning good money but not having people too unhappy.

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The HUD is easy to understand and is always seen at the bottom of the screen. Thing’s displayed in the HUD include the date, population, money & building options. It can appear confusing, but once you start playing you’ll soon become familiar with how to use the HUD. The city doesn’t just look alive, but sounds alive as well. Depending on the sort of area you’re hovering over, you’ll hear things like factory sounds while over an industrial area or hear chatter and cash registers when hovering commercial areas. And when emergency vehicles are cruising around, you’ll not only see their flashing lights but hear their sirens. Music can also be heard that overlays the game itself.

Now, I know I haven't covered every spick and speck of the game but I think i’ve covered so much that anything I might have missed will be something you can look forward to once you buy the game, because it’s a game every Xbox One owner should purchase. It’s easy, it’s fun and most of all, highly addictive. Fans of SIMS and Minecraft will be all over this like a rash and will find themselves saying SIMS what? Minecraft who?

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 5.0 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: PC, XBOX ONE, Steam
  • Developer: Colossal Order, Tantalus Media
  • Publisher: Paradox Interactive
  • Genre: Strategy, Role-Playing