Colossal Order's Cities in Motion 2 was deeply discounted on Steam in response to Sim City's botched launch back in 2013. That desire to satisfy the city management craving of consumers continues with Cities: Skylines, a city builder that borrows from Sim City's desirable features and avoids its unsavory elements.
The week before Paradox Interactive launched Colossal Order's Cities: Skylines, EA shut down Spore and Sim City developer Maxis Emeryville. The decades old studio, best known for the Sims franchise, avoided disclosing why it was being shuttered, but it isn't hard to imagine the failure of the Sim City reboot played a role in the decision.
The future of the Sim City franchise is uncertain, but Colossal Order's Skylines proves itself worthy of stepping up to keep the city building genre alive. There are five reasons why Cities: Skylines is up to this tall order.
There's a common trait among the video games that are old and gray before they finally die. They outlive their contemporaries that don't allow modding.
Cities: Skylines' mod support, and Steam Workshop integration, is already helping to engage the game's community. It allows those invested in the game to make it better, no matter which side of the fence they stand on.
Even before the game was released, Colossal Order opened the game up to deeper modification because that's what players wanted. While the developer said it wouldn't officially support it, Colossal Order gave gamers the keys to adjust map size beyond the official limits.
Despite some players wanting even more map space, Cities: Skylines gives gamers much more room to work than the Sim City reboot. Skylines offers players 36 square kilometers of space in which to build whatever types of cities they want, a colossal offering when compared to the 2 square kilometers offered by Sim City.
Sim City eventually got around to allowing gamers to play the game without having to be actively connected to the Internet. Skylines gives the offline, single-player experience right out of the gate.
Off the Grid
Skylines doesn't tie players to the traditional format used by city builders. Players can make straight roads, choose from curved presets, or draw them free hand and still maintain functioning cities.
Cities: Skylines launched at the price of just $30. That's a price point that's more commonly associated with four-hour titles or games sure to be seasoned later with DLC content offered through the purchase of a pass.