This Town Ain’t Big Enough: CitiesXL 2011

CitiesXL was half okay. It was an okay city builder, which was precisely what lots of people wanted. Sadly it wasn’t a great MMO, and that bit of the game soon curled up and died. Fortunately it didn’t mean the end for the series, which is back again for 2010/2011, hopefully improved in its single player capacities. There’s a little video and some information over on the new site, which was revealed today. The release date is October 14th, but the interesting news is that the next game will keep the “world” system, just in what appears to be an offline capacity. So you’ll be able to build a series of cities across a planet of your own, something like that. Will it just be the old game patched up to work offline? I’ll drop them a line and find out some more about what we should expect.


  1. Xercies says:

    I found Cities XL to be way to fiddly to really like as a city builder. Also it had to be the most unoptimised game i have ever played. i mean my computer can run most modern things on hig. This on medium slowed my computer down to a crawl

  2. Bobs Lawn Service says:

    I seem to recall reviews stating that the game was horribly gimped if you didn’t subscribe to the MMO portion. Was that right? Did they ever patch the micropayment content into the single player game?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      You could opt to play offline and it seemed to work okay. If you played online you went bankrupt or got ultra-rich, depending on your dedication to the trading.

  3. byjimini says:

    It was half a city builder which required an online subscription to obtain the other basic tools such as mass transit. An absolute aboration, obviously they’re back for another pay cheque.

  4. Jimbo says:

    They’re basically just re-releasing CXL because the first launch was a train wreck. I mean, that’s fine n’ all, but the people who have already bought it once shouldn’t be having to buy it again. It should be handled like the Witcher re-release / patch thing.

    Some of the screenshots on that site (the circular city one for instance), carrying a CXL 2011 watermark and being used to advertise the new game, were taken by a guy in the original CXL beta. I think they might even have been on a poster that came with an edition of the original game. So this clearly isn’t a new game or anything like that – they’ve just finished making the first one.

  5. The Walker says:

    I really want these games to be awesome. I’ve been craving a modern city builder for a long time now, and Sim City 4 refuses to run on any of my machines.

    • Jake says:

      Sim City 4 got a Steam release recently, maybe that would work.

      A new Sim City (and Rollercoaster Tycoon) would just be excellent, I doubt Cities XL is going to be a worthy stopgap, but I will keep an eye on it.

  6. Andy says:

    No need to speculate on the release date… there’s a banner on their front page that says “Discover the new Citiex XL 2011 Available October 14, 2010.”

  7. Casimir's Blake says:

    Rock Paper Shotgun. The only website on Earth that mixes gaming and Sparks references. All that’s missing now is elephants and tacky tigers.

    The sad thing is, CitiesXL would probably be far, far less relentlessly uninteresting if it could boast a soundtrack by Ron and Russ Mael. Cue lots of meta-jokes about mayors that don’t know their own drugs policies…

  8. Alex Bakke says:

    Heartbeat! Increasing Heartbeat!

  9. Batolemaeus says:

    I think it’s sad how long Sim City 4, even with all the pathfinding bugs and aging engine, has still been the unchallenged best city builder available.

    Cities XL had so many damn issues it wasn’t even funny, especially since it never felt like I was actually connecting cities together. Even if pathfinding in Sim City 4 makes connecting cities painful and potentially harmful, it still looks absolutely incredible when you see a huge region full of interconnected cities specializing in different areas with highways and train lines going through them. Cities XL never felt that grand at all.

    • Alez says:

      i think it’s very sad too, that sim city 4 is still the best. Is it so hard or is there no market for a GOOD city builder? Do people only buy shitty ones?

  10. Nilokey says:

    I think what Cities XL really lacked was a proper infrastructure system, they were on the way to solving it with the buses system (which was rather awesome, making bus routes and stuff) but it really did miss out on trains/boats/subways etc.

  11. W Main says:

    Now that support has been dropped on Cities XL the modding community has been able to unlock a lot of features and options missing in the offline game. What I always liked about Cities XL personally is the ability to zoom all the way in to street view and wander about your city. I think it was a great idea that gave a sense of adventure in how to plan out your city so it looks neat.

  12. Bob's Lawn Service says:

    My tiny brain is confused. You tell me that it’s just resource trading that you miss out on and the random internet person says mass transit is missing from the single player game as well.

    I’m going to sit in the corner and rock myself to sleep out of confusion.

  13. Gamma says:

    yeah… and then you start seeing some silly cartoony looking dolls in the middle of realistically modeled buildings and cars, 2011 edition hints at it once more… its a killer!

  14. Anthony says:

    Still waiting on a worthy successor to SimCity 4.

  15. neofit says:

    With a bit of luck oil will become a lucrative industry instead of a money drain.

    But then again: “Available October 14, 2010.”? WTF? Seriously, with the deluge starting in less than two weeks, that gives me like 3 days per game that I want to play for the next 3 months! :)