The best city-building simulation game gets a next-gen upgrade with Cities Skylines II. Unfortunately, the next-gen experience also comes with some difficulties. To experience the ultimate city building experience, you need a powerful computer. The developers have already postponed the release on console because the game requires a lot of platforms on which it will be played. They also promise that performance will stabilize after the game is released.
When you open the game, it is best to first optimize the game for your device. Once you are sure that the game will work at its best, you can get started. When you start a new game, you first and foremost choose the area you think will be the most fun to farm. This way you can build an archipelago similar to the Greek islands, a mountainous region like the Pyrenees, a river delta like the area where the Scheldt flows into the North Sea, and much more. All regions are based on European or North American regions which you can manage as you wish. You will also receive information about which hemisphere the area is located in, the temperature residents can expect, how to travel and the natural resources that can be found there. Then you can choose a name and your region.
So you can choose a European region instead and then make it North America or vice versa. You can also choose which side of the road you drive on, whether natural disasters are possible, and if you want a completely free sandbox mode, you can unlock all the unlockables in advance and save an unlimited amount of money. Finally, you can choose whether you want to use the tutorial or not. Given the scope of the game, this tutorial may be helpful. Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order weren’t lying when they said they wanted to build the best city builder.
You start with a small village at level 1. Each time you level up, new and larger buildings, roads, services or special locations are added. Moreover, you can also expand your city boundaries using tiles. This way you can evolve from nine tiles to at least 441 tiles. This gradual development is very important, because once everything is unlocked, you will have a lot of options for building your city. A seasoned city builder will quickly understand the finer details, but if you’re a casual fan, the tutorial is vitally important.
There is a lot to handle, which can make the process overwhelming at certain times. On the other hand, this of course gives the player a lot of freedom to build the city of his dreams. If you get far enough into the game, you may encounter natural disasters. While other city builders dare to make potential disasters completely crazy, Cities Skylines 2 sticks entirely with natural disasters as we know them. By building your city correctly, you can reduce the consequences of disasters and the residents of your city will be able to safely survive storms, forest fires or snowstorms.
Visually the game is a gem. Due to the sheer scale and ambition of the game’s structure, you can build dazzling, eye-catching cities. Especially when night comes and the whole city lights up, you can get a beautiful overview of the lights all over the city. The areas shown are also great principles for each city.
However, the large size also has some disadvantages. When building streets, you sometimes have to make a lot of adjustments to get things exactly as you see them. Since the map is so large, there is also a lot of zooming in and out in the building process. And of course the biggest drawback: due to the large size, it is better to borrow OC from NASA to have enough computing power to build your city. The game stutters significantly on the mid-range PCs it was played on for this review. Although multitasking was fine as long as the game was running, holding the Alt key to exit the game for a period of time was something that made the computer automatically sigh. At the beginning of the game, everything was going smoothly, but the bigger the city got, the more difficult it was to play smoothly. So we can only recommend trying the game at the moment if you have a reasonably high-scale new build.