This is a city builder/simulator very much like the old Sim City I played on the Amiga 30 years ago. Come to think of it I really haven’t played a city building game since then, until now.
I’m always wary of games that start out as PC games and then get ported to console. The worst kind gives you a simulated mouse pointer, and more than often the text is so small on the screen you have to squint in order to read it on a TV.
This is not the case with Cities: Skylines. Even if I haven’t played it before on the PC I dare to say that the PlayStation port is very good. It is easy to get an overview and at the same time it is easy to zoom in on the details.
The game starts you off with building a small community of 3000 people. You build roads, water pipelines, electric grid and community services like police, fire department. Quite soon you unlock more buildings. You create bus lines, subway, expand into new areas. You build industries and start importing goods from other cities by railroad and harbors.
This is all very fun. You get goals to achieve and unlock new buildings that change the mechanics of the game. The parts of your city you built at the beginning soon gets obsolete as you get new tools and more people. Roads get clogged with traffic, people die in epidemic outbursts and everyone complains about the noise from your streets.
This is a lot of fun and I find myself thinking about the game when I’m not playing it. That is always a good sign. However when you reach a city of 100 000 people something happens. The game kind of ends. All buildings are unlocked (sort of) and there are no more goals to fulfill. Now you’re just supposed to build and be happy. I do not respond very well to that. I find the whole venture pointless. Without a clear goal I loose interest, so I setup my own goals. When you reach 100 000 people you unlock Monuments. I decided to build one of the monuments and call it a quits.
I ended up building two monuments and got a population of 200 000. I’m quite happy with that but in the end it felt more like a job than a game.
All and all I had very fun with this game until I got to endgame where there weren’t enough content. The simulation and building engine is very good and it works well on the console. I guess they want you to buy DLCs to provide more content for endgame but I’m not going to do that. Finish your damn game and don’t make me buy DLC to get a complete experience.