Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition – Review
Follow Genre: City-builder
Developer: Colossal Order, Tantalus Media
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Tested on: Xbox One

Cities: Skylines – Xbox One Edition – Review

Site Score
7.9
Good: Decent port, Graphical prowess, Still one of the only decent city building games around
Bad: Still works better with a mouse and keyboard, Frame drops
User Score
7.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Back in 2015, Paradox allowed us to try out Cities: Skylines, which proved to be one of the best current gen city building games on the market. We can imagine that many of our readers yearn back to the days when the original tycoon games allowed us to build enormous cities, albeit thanks to the industry we created. Then there was also SimCity. SimCity was more of a city builder, as it focused more on the city building, rather than industry alone, and before you knew it, you had a true metropolis on your hands, that could be pestered by disasters, disease, power outages and so on, which made it a bit more than just playing with digital LEGOs. Nonetheless, for years we haven’t had a decent game, and this is where Paradox brought change by releasing Cities: Skylines upon the gaming community. Now, two years later we get to dive into the ported Xbox One version to see how this game fares on console. A city can easily rise and fall, but games can too. If you’d rather learn more about the PC version, you can always check out our original review by clicking here.

Cities Skylines

Story

As expected, this console port of Cities: Skylines comes with no actual storyline, which isn’t truly a bother either. You’ll simply be tossed into the game, be it with an infinite amount of money, or not, and you’ll be good to go. A few tutorials pop up hither and thither and that’s pretty much all the ‘story’ interaction you can expect from this game. You either rise as a city building entrepreneur, or you’ll fail miserably to even accommodate your inhabitants for the most basic of needs.

Graphics

Graphically this Xbox One version of Cities: Skylines is very attractive, especially seeing the further you progress in the game, the bigger your city will become, and the more majestic it will look in all its crowded glory. Nonetheless, there are a few issues in this version where frame drops occur rather frequently, especially when you’re too far zoomed out, wanting to take it all in and see what you have singlehandedly created so far. That being said, the amount of details is rather impressive, especially when you zoom in, you’ll see that this game still has a lot of small details, which could have easily been ignored. When you start noticing cars driving around, or even the occasional ambulance, you’ll truly feel things gearing up a notch or two.

Cities Skylines 1

Sound

For some reason the music sounds a bit more ominous than you’d expect from a city builder such as this. Perhaps this was due to our poor managing skills, who knows, but for the most part you won’t be treated to such a cheery soundtrack. What the game does great however, are the sound effects, which truly make your city come to life, ranging from tweeting birds, sounds of busy streets and of course sirens in case of an emergency. That being said, those last two will require some patience, as the game progresses rather slowly.

Gameplay

Cities: Skylines is a simulation game, where it’s your job to create a luscious and blooming metropolis, starting off with a few roads, a few crummy houses and the basic necessities for people to survive in your city, which has pretty much nothing to offer at the beginning of the game. The game is pretty straightforward when it comes to starting out, as you simply have to pick a map on which you want to build your city and presto. From here on out, it’ll become a journey on what to build next to attract more people, and unlock new buildings, otherwise known as milestones in this game.

Cities Skylines 2

Tossing aside the fact that you can opt to play with an infinite amount of money and everything already unlocked, we’ll assume you’re playing the game the hard way. Nonetheless, having all the options available from the start might be fun for those who just want to build a beautiful city right off the bat. Nevertheless, when starting out, this game is a lot harder than you’d expect, as it goes further than building roads and some random houses to attract more people. You’ll have to direct where the different zones are for housing, commercial purposes and industry. On top of that, you’ll have to make sure everyone has access to power, which proves to be tricky, and of course, water is an important necessity too, and it’s even trickier to get that done. However, after some  trial and error, you’ll come to understand this game, as the tutorials are a bit on the simplistic side.

Controls are quite important for a game such as this, and while a mouse will still prove to be a lot better than a controller, the developers did all they could to make this a very accessible game for Xbox One gamers. You’ll be able to manage your city rather precisely, at least when you’re zoomed in. If you try to build items from a zoomed out perspective, you’ll face a lot of frustrating moments, trying to pinpoint a specific building, or connect roads/pipes to one another.

Cities Skylines 3

This game only has one problem, and it’s the fact that it’s just ‘building a city’, as there are no small scenario missions to learn you the ropes, there are no missions to clear, or something similar. While this will certainly be more than enough for experienced city builders out there, it’s a rather hard title to properly get into if you’re new to the genre, as the game truly lets you fend for yourself, safe for some subtle tutorial screens, and your inhabitants complaining from time to time about what they need to improve their lives.

Conclusion

The Xbox One version of Cities Skylines does a great job in staying true to the original, and it feels fairly optimized for consoles. While we’d still trade our controller in for a mouse any day, the controls are fairly smoothened out thanks to the ability of being able to zoom in very close, thus allowing precise movement. If you’re not bothered by a somewhat slow pace, Cities: Skylines is probably the best city builder option on consoles, and as far as recent games go, the PC version is pretty much the best out there as well.

Cities Skylines 4

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 7.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Cities: Skylines - Xbox One Edition - Review, 7.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

1 Comment

  1. […] Ever since SimCity put city building games on the map in 1989, millions of people have tried to build their perfect city. Cities: Skylines which was released in 2015 has been an amazing success. Now three years later Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order have released an expansion called Park Life. The expansion will bring everything you’ve been missing like new parks, playgrounds, zoos, green spaces and more. Besides the paid expansion, a free update will bring a new tourism panel, trees that reduce noise pollution, a camera mode upgrade, new tourist models, and new modding features, including submeshmodding and an improved camera system so users can control the camera with scripts. If you’re interested you can find our review of the original game right here. […]

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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