Cities Skylines Xbox One Edition is an adaption of the popular PC title for Xbox One, in which players can design, build and manage the city of their dreams. How has this popular PC title transferred to console? Read our review to find out…
City builders are few and far between when it comes to consoles, so with the announcement of cities skylines getting its own Xbox One version there’s been a lot of fuss made about it, and for good reason. The PC version is regarded as one of the best available. The Xbox One version is the same game, not stripped back, or a watered down. it’s just had a massive UI overhaul during the port process for use with a controller, and I must say that it’s simply fantastic to use, there’s no complicated sub menus to navigate, everything is always, at most, a couple of button presses away.
So, what’s the point in cities skylines? The whole game is about managing and growing a city from scratch. There’s 12 maps to choose from, with varying natural resources, outside connections and themes such as European or Tropical. You can give your city a name and even switch the traffic from right to left hand side. there’s also a couple of options to have unlimited money and all milestones unlocked to make things a little easier and more sandbox than management, although turning these on will disable achievements for that save.
Once you’ve settled on the map you want, and finally decided on the name of your city you’ll be presented with a 2 km² plot of land a connection to the highway and a pop up on screen telling you to build some roads and zone out some areas for buildings, other than some small tips from time to time and notices to check out new buildings once you’ve unlocked them. that’s it. No hand holding, it’s a learning curve that varies depending on peoples abilities when it comes to management games.
There’s 3 building zones you need to pay attention too, Residential, Commercial and Industrial (Office unlocks later in the game and is classed as industrial). The demand for these is shown by the three bars at the bottom of the screen, Green = Residential Blue = Commercial and Yellow = Industrial. when these bars go up that means there’s a demand for that particular building type so lay some road and tab over to the zoning tool and colour in the squares that are either side of the road. seems simple enough, but factor in that you will also need to supply electricity & water to your buildings, as well as avoiding polluting your residential zone by having it too close to your industrial zone, it starts to get complex, even more so later in the game when you need to manage education levels of your residents, as if they get too educated they will not work in factories to produce goods etc. It really is in depth.
the same goes for the traffic and providing public transport for your city, that small road you’ve just laid at the beginning of your game, you’ll be upgrading that later from 2 to 6 lanes, adding interchanges and roundabouts too, to keep the traffic flowing nice. you can check up on the status of everything going on within the city from the games intuitive info views menu, you can see everything from pollution, land value, traffic congestion, public service routes and more. It provides a great insight into the goings on in the city, even giving it a quick re-skin so you can see everything in colour charts etc. I could go on and on about the features available in Cities Skyline but for your sake I won’t, although I show more features in the video above if you want to check it out.
There really is a hefty game here, and for those that are into their sim/management games will be in love. I’ve lost hours just playing it for review (getting close to 96) and am still invested in it. it does have a couple of flaws, though given the amount of game here they can be forgiven. namely the visuals. They’re a little bit rough, and once you get a lot going on you can sometimes get some frame drops and the occasional stutter. They have to be mentioned, but for me at least they haven’t taken away from my experience. The audio is good too, there’s a generic soundtrack that plays from time to time, with the majority of the audio coming from the city itself, giving different audio experience depending on where you are within the city, and how far in or out you are zoomed.
It’s also worth noting that Cities Skylines Xbox One Edition also includes the PC DLC After Dark this adds a day and night cycle, leisure and tourism specialisation options to district zoning so you can turn your normal commercial buildings into night clubs, bars and restaurants etc. new services including taxis, cargo hubs, international airport, bus terminal and even prisons. dedicated bike and bus lanes are also included. I’m hoping that we see the other DLC come over and at a push maybe one day mod support too?