GamingFirst Look: Cities: Skyline

First Look: Cities: Skyline

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The guys and girls over at Colossal Order, who brought us Cities in Motion 1 & 2, let me take a look at their latest project, Cities: Skyline. It seems that every time I play a city builder I’m always disappointed in some way. Either there isn’t enough to do, the maps are too small or for some reason it’s always online. Cities: Skyline looks like it might just be the game I’m looking for.

I got to see the start of a city and so the usual tasks presented themselves. We need to designate zones for buildings to develop, similar to Sim City, and connect everyone up with things like electricity and water. Luckily there’s a lot that Skyline doesn’t do like Sim City.

When setting up the small town with electricity first you select the type of power you want, wind, hydro, coal etc, place the building and then connect it up with your town. But instead of painfully hooking up every single building and house you just connect an area and it’s assumed cables are under the ground. Thank god we don’t have to unnecessarily connect every square foot to a power plant; again.

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And the same theory is applied to water and sewage. Pipes that you lay have a decent sized area of effect around them meaning laying them under your towns requires some effort but again avoids hours of pain and suffering. You also have to plan where your buildings go and draw water upstream from your sewage plant or you’ll pollute your water source.

After a small amount of effort the town was up and running and functioning on a basic level. The UI is hands down the biggest reason Skyline looks so easy to play. Other than your city there are only a handful of tools and features on screen. Everything just looks so simple and easy to do. Although the complexity and micro management is still there if you look for it. I certainly saw some menus that brought out the micromanager in me but the UI remained clean and functional.

Next we took a look at how big a city could be in Skylines. One of my biggest problems with the latest Sim City was how short the games were. Before you know it your map is full and there’s nothing left to do. I can absolutely guarantee that won’t be happening here. The map is huge. You can expand and build to your hearts content. You can even specialize small towns to become focused on one type of industry and connect them to other areas in your city, all in one map.

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Cities: Skyline really could be the city builder I’ve been looking for and wanting to play for so long. The UI is wonderfully clean and looks nice and easy to use. If you should want it, there are loads of micro management options just under the surface. There’s a lot of promise for Skyline and I hope it can become the game I’m still looking for. We’re hoping to see Skylines sometime mid 2015.

 

phillvine
phillvine
Phill has been the director of a small IT repair business since 2011 which he runs alongside studying for his degree in Information and Communication Technologies at the Open University. Video games are his real passion and they take up more of his time than he'd like to admit.

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