As an admirer of cities, I enjoy wandering around a city looking for its history in little tells, in the curve of streets, in clashes of architecture, in demographics, transportation, building sites and boarded-up shops, guessing at its planning and improvisations. I like building my own cities in games too, thinking I’m so clever and know everything, then after a few hours I take a step back and realise “oh god it’s all just a huge horrible mess built by an idiot.” Still, I suspect the prettiness of the newly-announced Cities XXL might have me whipping out my t-square to try again.
Publishers Focus Home quietly announced Cities XXL in November but didn’t have much to say beyond that it exists and has multicore support, so I didn’t have much interest in posting it. Now they’ve made a formal announcement with details on everything it offers. In short, you plan and build from small towns up to big fancy cities on big fancy maps, playing with a thousand buildings, managing usual civic stuff as well as concerns like air and noise pollution, and following citizens their silly lives around if you’re feeling nosey. It’ll have mod tools with Steam Workshop support too.
Focus Home call XXL’s engine “vastly improved”, so perhaps it’ll break the series’ tradition of being a bit janky. City-building and management is a genre without much modern competition to make everyone try extra-hard, unfortunately.
In case you’ve forgotten what cities even are, here’s an example in the teaser trailer: