Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Cities: Skylines – PS4 Edition

Posted by GG Goblin On August - 21 - 2017

Building cities on your PS4.

 
City building games don’t traditionally make their way onto the consoles. This is mostly down to the complexity and precision required from the controls, which much more naturally suit a keyboard and mouse combo. Most developers don’t even bother trying, as failure is almost guaranteed. However, Paradox Interactive and Colossal Order have made that jump to consoles with what is probably the best city building game of current years, Cities: Skylines, despite the risks, and it has paid off.

 


 
Launching a few months back on Xbox One, Cities: Skylines recently arrived on Sony’s console in the form of the PS4 Edition. The most important job in porting this sim over to the PS4 fell on the shoulders of Tantalus Media, who were responsible for setting the controls to work with the Dualshock 4 controller, and they did a great job. This is the main aspect where the game could have fallen flat, but all of the menus are easy to access and even complex things such as laying roads work incredibly well thanks to a certain amount of snap. There is quite a lot to learn in the game, especially for the usual console audience who would not normally play games of this genre, but the controls don’t hinder any of the enjoyment.

 
The game itself suffers with a difficult entry, the early game can be quite intimidating with so much to learn and so little actually explained unless the player goes looking for answers. The early game is where things will most often go catastrophically wrong. It is quite easy to blow the budget or construct buildings in places where they will cause problems further down the line. But get over the initial hurdles, or learn from your mistakes as your small city goes up in flames, and a much more relaxing experience is waiting.

 
Players will find themselves having to lay roads, all of which can be upgraded further down the line to cope with the huge amount of traffic that will descend on the city once it becomes successful, and then start assigning zones. Again, this is so easy to do, placing residential, commercial or industrial areas alongside the roads. Even at this early point, the player needs to be mindful of where they place the zones – you wouldn’t want to live next to an massive industrial zone, would you?

 
Then comes things like building power plants and connecting all of the areas to the power grid. The player also needs to connect up the water and get rid of the sewage. As the city grows and the player reaches milestones, new buildings will be unlocked that make these simple amenities much more proficient, but at the beginning the only option will be pouring the poop into the river. It’s a means to an end.

 
CitiesSkylines_03

 
So, more people will come to live in your city, and that will mean more and more requirements. Garbage disposal, police and fire services, healthcare, education. These services will all need to be managed and upgraded as the city grows to deal with demand, which will drain the players resources if they try to grow too quickly. All of the financial dealing are, much like everything else, easy to find and deal with, whether it be raising taxes for the industrial zones or taking out a loan for that shiny new hospital.

 
As apartment buildings turn into skyscrapers, players will likely find that the traffic is getting to unmanageable levels, even after upgrading the roads. So, it is now time to turn to mass transit, setting out bus routes. This is perhaps one of the fiddliest jobs in the game, trying to set the most efficient route possible for the most passengers.

 
Keeping the citizens happy is the goal for any wannabe mayor, and there is plenty of information that will be thrown at the player to make it easier. In-game tweets, little emoticons, and all manner of overlays that reveal everything from air pollution to happiness, all keep the player informed of what is going on in their little ecosystem.

 
Visually, the game looks good. From a distance, cities seem to be alive, especially at night time. However, when zooming in and getting close to the action, the visuals do deteriorate somewhat and, at busy times, there is some framerate drop. But there is so much detail in the game, from the different buildings to even the little sound effects in the different zones, that it really doesn’t matter too much if things are not quite perfect.

 
While there is plenty of DLC available for Cities: Skylines on PC, only the After Dark DLC has made it into the PS4 Edition of the game. This brings night life to the city in the most dramatic way and rounds out the city building experience nicely. Still, I do look forward to the addition of some of the other DLC – Natural Disasters adds a whole new level of threat to the game.

 
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Cities: Skylines – PS4 Edition is fortunate in that there really is no competition on the console. The game proves that traditionally PC only games can make it onto consoles, complete with controller support, successfully. Aside from the successful controls, the game is absolutely great anyway, and easily one of the best of the genre. If you fancy running a city from the comfort of your couch, Cities: Skylines – PS4 Edition is the perfect match.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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