Second Of The SimCityNots: Cities Skylines Out March 10th

The first of the SimCityNots turned out to be little more than a slight expansion to an already mediocre game. We now know the second, Cities Skylines [official site], will be released on March 10th, so there’s just a month left till we discover whether it does a better job at bringing scale and interest to urban simulation. Watch the accompanying trailer below.

I just like footage of simulated cities, alright.

While I’m packing all my hopes into boxes and having them shipped to this next city simulation, there’s still a question over what this particular take on the genre is going to sacrifice. I don’t believe you can say “We’re going to have really big cities” without there being some inevitable trade-off, whether it’s simpler citizen AI and traffic behaviour or whether it’s just a game that grinds to a halt when your city grows larger than a hamlet.

Paul Dean at least helped pack some of my hope boxes in his preview for us:

We follow a woman called Anna as she walks from her home to a job in a factory. We can see not just where she’s headed (currently where she works; potentially anywhere else), but also how happy she is and even how educated. Curious, I think, that she’s decided to walk to work, though I appreciate our shared preference for leg-propelled travel. Anna, I learn, will eventually die and probably occupy one of the city’s cemeteries. More citizens will be born, live, and die, their routines and needs changing with their age. Hallikainen says that the largest maps can support up to a million of these tiny little lives.

This is what I want: the ability to watch my city scurrying around like an ant farm, and support for the fantasy that those ants don’t fade forever from existence when I turn my back. As ever though, wait until it’s out until you make your purchase decision.

33 Comments

  1. Catchcart says:

    In actual fact Anna did not die. She just moved to a farm somewhere and she’s very well and happy.

  2. XhomeB says:

    Don’t want to be *that* guy, but as promising as this game sounds, it sure is rather… bland visually.

    • Zarax says:

      TBH pretty looks shouldn’t be the focus as you’d spend most of the game zoomed far away…

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Every SimCity game had excellent aesthetics despite you being far from the ground most of the time. It really gives the games their charm and unique look and feel, whereas this has none.

        • solymer89 says:

          I have played the new sim city extensively and in my opinion the aesthetics in this game compared to sim city are almost identical.

    • noodlecake says:

      I quite like the aesthetic. It’s very clean and modern with bold, simple colours. Reminds me a bit of a Mirror’s Edge cityscape. I’ve heard people complain that there doesn’t seem to be any run down looking buildings, but I get the impression that it’s made by a smallish team. Maybe those kinds of elements will be added as expansions, or maybe people will be able to mod them into the game. The modability of it gives it a massive edge over SimCity, especially if it actually works and is properly balanced.

  3. Kollega says:

    In all likelihood, I will be buying Cities: Skylines, because I’m starved for decent city simulation, but it seems that most developers don’t look to tackle precisely the kind of city building that I’m after. Agent-based simulation is all well and good, but I don’t understand why no-one has made a game like SimCity 4, where you could build not even a metropolis, but an entire region if you wanted, where the city downtown gradually gives way to inner city areas, then to suburbs, then to farms, and finally to wilderness, and then marvel at how huge and pretty it is (and ideally be able to drive a car across the whole thing). It’s really too bad no-one’s tackling that, because that’s the feature I liked most about SC4.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      This post right here gave me visions of a multiplayer game I want to play, one player plays like you describes, a city builder, the other player(s) play it like GTA…

      • Martel says:

        Oh man, even a singleplayer game like that would be awesome. Quick, somebody make it!

        • bills6693 says:

          I don’t know if ‘Quick’ is the word I’d use to describe the process of making said game, but I’d sure as hell love to play that! I’d be a ‘backer’ :P

    • rekedens says:

      Look up a game called City Bound

  4. The First Door says:

    I was watching some of the simulation videos, and I must say I’m rather hopeful for this game! While it does look like it might still have some silly graphical glitches occasionally, such as an airport going a little wrong, the traffic simulation and the public transport options actually look quite well fleshed out!

    link to youtu.be

    • SuicideKing says:

      Thanks for the link, pretty interesting to watch. After I’m done with college in May, I’ll probably spend some time trying to build Delhi. Because there’s no test of a city simulator like a metropolis of 20-million.

      • The First Door says:

        You’re welcome! I hate to break it to you though, but I think the cities are capped to 1 million? I’m sure they said that somewhere in a video. No idea where though, as I was pretty sick when I was watching them!

  5. slerbal says:

    Please be good. Please be good. Please be good.

    That said, I would never pre-order this. Just too damn risky. But if it is decent I will definitely pick it up post release.

  6. DarkLiberator says:

    At least we get mod support from the start.

    • slerbal says:

      Paradox are generally pretty good in their mod support. They seem very aware how much it builds trust with the players and helps their sales. Good to see they are going that way with this too.

      • thelucster says:

        Given CiM2 (which this was based on) had pretty much no modding support, and the outcry that caused, they kind of had to add it to this…

  7. Artist says:

    From the available info and dev vids this finally looks so much like THAT update from Simcity 4 that was mandatory and demanded! Doesnt it?
    Please dont fail us on this!

  8. Stupoider says:

    You mean it ISN’T always online?

    That’ll never work.

  9. Matt_Ceb says:

    What you should also mention is the horrible burn that Paradox want to give EA/Maxis. The game will be priced at 29.99 /at launch/. And that is a planned, determined move against Sim City 5. (One of the PDX peeps tweeted about it yesterday night: link to 40.media.tumblr.com )

  10. cpy says:

    I preordered deluxe edition just out of spite towards SC5 and my complete hatred towards EA.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Hammer says:

    I may not have been paying attention when I bought Cities XXL and mistaken it for this.

    It may have been somewhat of a waste of money…

  12. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    I’ve read the developer diaries for this and I think it looks really promising.

  13. mtomto says:

    I am really looking forward to this, but pre-order is off the table. Everything I read and see in the videos seems to be pretty awesome. BUT! I own City in Motion 1 & 2, and I am far from impressed by those two. I just hope CO “steals” as much gameplay from simcity as they can, because their previous games seemed to lack the “game” element. Simcity had gameplay, but little real simulation. I hope CO can find a sweet spot.

    • bills6693 says:

      I loved CiM 1 and based on that would have pre-ordered this, but I never found much in CiM 2. I guess maybe I had too high an expectation (I was hoping for a CiM 1 experience but upgraded, wheras actually it made a different sort of game).

  14. SuicideKing says:

    No pre-order, but maybe birthday gift. :D

  15. April March says:

    It’s weird that I’m looking forward to this game because I hated their last game. CiM2 was boring as hell, but you could clearly see the devs were trying to fit as much of a city simulation as they could and it just outstripped the boundaries of their bus game.

    Though the real stinker is the awful controls. Then again, CiM Prime had awful camera controls out of the box but a brilliant mod fixed it wonderfully. It must be my fault for not looking hard enough for a mod…

  16. JustAchaP says:

    Even if it doesn’t become the SimCity we wanted, hopefully it’ll be an awesome game on its own term.

  17. Ejia says:

    All my hopes and dreams, all of them. Please please don’t suck.

    Because otherwise we’ll have to wait for Maxis to do SimCity 6. And relive the horror of SC5 all over again.