Introducing Cities: Skylines 2 – The Deeper, Flawed Sequel to a City Simulator Classic
After years of support for Cities: Skylines, Colossal Order has finally released the highly anticipated sequel, Cities: Skylines 2. This new installment brings the best aspects of the original game to new heights, creating one of the most immersive city simulators available. However, while it may be an exciting city builder for genre enthusiasts, it does come with its flaws that may disappoint some fans.
Expanding the City Size for Limitless Possibilities
Fans of Cities: Skylines will immediately notice one of the biggest improvements in the sequel – the dramatic increase in city size. Players now have the freedom to construct their dream cities with the ability to purchase hundreds of new tiles. Although these tiles may be smaller than the expansions in the original game, the sheer number of purchasable plots makes up for it. This enhancement makes Cities: Skylines 2 a worthy successor to its predecessor, complemented by the addition of other features that enhance the gameplay experience.
A Deeper City Simulator Experience
Cities: Skylines 2 takes city realism to new heights, offering a far more immersive city simulation than the original game. Players have to tackle traffic accidents, manage a fluid economy, experiment with different zoning types for unique city vibes, interact with realistic citizens affected by aging mechanics, and can even micromanage various aspects of their city. These additions result in a much stronger city builder that will leave a lasting impression on genre fans.
Modular Upgrades for City Service Buildings
One notable change in Cities: Skylines 2 is the revamped system for city service buildings. Taking inspiration from SimCity 2013, players now have the ability to modularly upgrade these services. Hospitals can have additional wards and a helipad, police stations can expand with more jail cells, universities can be enhanced with more classrooms, and landfills can be improved with various additions. This upgrade mechanic adds functionality to the buildings and allows players to evolve their cities as they grow in size.
Unlocking New Milestones and Development Trees
In Cities: Skylines 2, the progression system has been redesigned. Instead of milestone unlocks based on population size, the game now utilizes an XP system. Players earn XP by achieving various goals such as increasing population, ensuring happiness, and constructing specific buildings. Once enough XP is earned, new milestones are unlocked and players gain access to new tools and features. Additionally, the majority of buildings in Cities: Skylines 2 are now unlocked through development trees, where players use points earned from milestones to unlock upgrades or new buildings. This allows players to prioritize their city’s services based on their preferences.
However, while the development trees introduce an interesting addition to the game, the milestone system may disappoint some players. After reaching milestone 10, there are no further unlocks for the next 10 milestones. Instead, players only receive points to spend on the development trees and a cash influx. This departure from the frequent unlocks in Cities: Skylines may impact some players’ enjoyment of the game.
Content Comparisons and Missing Features
Cities: Skylines 2 launches with a deeper simulation experience than its predecessor but lacks much of the DLC content from the original game. While elements from packs like Snowfall, After Dark, and Natural Disasters are present, a significant portion of DLC content has been left behind. This absence may discourage some players from making the transition to Cities: Skylines 2, especially without any news of future content updates.
One significant omission in Cities: Skylines 2 is the freeform area tool, which was introduced in the Cities: Skylines Parklife DLC. This tool allowed players to create custom parks to fill the gaps in their cities, and its popularity led to its inclusion in other DLC packs. However, it is surprising that this feature did not make it into the sequel after the studio dedicated time to developing it over the years.
Additionally, the districts in Cities: Skylines 2 feel more limited compared to the original game. While players can still specialize and implement policies in their districts, the ability to paint districts onto the city has been removed. District policies also seem to be reduced in number, leaving players with less control over these areas. Furthermore, it is not immediately evident which policies apply to which districts, as the UI no longer displays this information unless players click into the district itself.
Despite some of its flaws and missing features, Cities: Skylines 2 remains a commendable sequel to the beloved city simulator. With its expanded city size, deeper simulation mechanics, and modular upgrades, it offers a captivating experience for genre enthusiasts. While the absence of certain DLC content and changes to the milestone system may disappoint some players, Cities: Skylines 2 still manages to deliver on the city-building concept.
Editor Notes – VR Game News
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