Why didn’t Maxis make this game, instead of Simcity?

After playing Cities: Skylines for a few hours, and having managed to grow my first town from a relative backwater to an industrial and commercial juggernaut* of 30,000 people, I have to ask the simple and obvious question. Why the f*ck did Simcity turn out like the pile of excrement it was with the development experience and resources of Maxis, when a small independent developer like Colossal can make such a gorgeous city builder like this?

I’ll say this, Cities: Skylines is everything that 2012’s Simcity should have been. It’s beautiful, it’s scale is enormous, there are so many options and the interface is slick, gorgeous and intuitive. I can build an enormous metropolis that stretches for kilometres in every direction, or a cosy little farming hamlet.

I like that I can define bus and metro lines, and watch people begin to use the new transport system that crisscrosses the city. I don’t see how this could have been that difficult to implement. Imagine my frustration in Simcity when I watched as people piled on to a tram, get off at the next stop and proceed to walk back to the stop where they got on the f*cking tram originally. Then, they got on the tram again…

If this sounds like a rant, it is. The main Maxis studio was closed down by EA earlier this month, and I’m sure a lot of good people lost their jobs as a result. It should never have happened. That a company with such vast experience in this genre of gaming stumbled so badly on their bread and butter just shows how bad management decisions can be a death knell.

I digress. In fairness, Cities: Skylines has some niggling issues of its own. On launch, there isn’t a lot of building variety, leaving your city lookin very repetitive. But the modders are already out in force, making new buildings and additions for transport options, like roads. I’m sure that this is the result of Colossal making sure that the systems within the game actually worked as they should (and they do!), because downloading the game only cost 2GB of my data allowance.

You read that right, this game is only 2GB in size.

If, like me, you miss building big, bustling cities, and can’t stand the Cities XL series (which are hateful things), then you really have no option other than to play Cities: Skylines. Thankfully, it’s brilliant.

* Not actually a juggernaut yet!

Rating

The best city building game since Simcity 4

Play this if you…

Like city building games, obviously. Or you need to wash the taste of bile on your tongue after playing Simcity

Don’t play this if you…

Absolutely need a UFO disaster to befall your town

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