Should you Play Cities Skylines: Free this Week Only on the Epic Games Store
By: Mr Constantine
Throughout this week, Epic Games will once again be doing us gamers a favor by making the game Cities: Skylines free on their launcher. If you haven't heard about it, Cities: Skylines is a 2015 game developed by colossal order and published by Paradox Interactive. As we can tell by the name of the game itself, Cities: Skylines is a city building game. It is a single-player open-ended city-building simulation where players get to engage in urban planning by controlling zoning, road placement, taxation, public services, and public transportation of an area. Going back to Epic Games, they will have Cities: Skylines free on their platform from the 10th of March, to the 17th. It'll be free for the entire week, which will give you enough time to redeem it. And you definitely should.
Since you definitely should get the game, should you put the time and effort into playing it? Well, the answer is YES. Cities: Skylines was first introduced in 2015, so it is a game that was created almost 7 years ago, but surprisingly it still holds up to this day. For those of you who may think that this game is on par with the game SimCity which is also a city-building game, which launched 2 years before Skylines, these 2 games actually have substantial differences and are definitely not on the same level. During launch, Cities: Skylines faced a lot of negative feedback as the game didn't feature things that SimCity had. But now, a lot has changed and most people who play Skylines say that the game holds up a lot better than SimCity or any other city building games.
Some of the factors that allowed Cities: Skylines to hold up even to this day is the graphics and gameplay. First off with graphics, Cities: Skylines’ graphics still look decent nowadays, whereas some games released in the same year may look worse. The developers have also released some updates for the game which somewhat increased the games lifespan. Overall, the visuals in Cities: Skylines isn't next-gen or stunning, neither is it ugly or old looking, so it's right in the middle. If graphics don't really matter to you, then you can look past this, after all Cities: Skylines is a city-building game, no need for any fancy lighting or textures.
What a city-building game DOES need, is engaging gameplay. And Cities: Skylines offers exactly that. In the game, you are given so much freedom, you can create far more diverse roads than in other city-building games like SimCity, you can even hand draw roads, freely place buildings and set up your city to look just as you imagined. When you enter the game for the first time, you will be introduced with some land that you can terraform to your liking, then you can add roads, service buildings, residential areas and many more. You do this with the tools that the game gives you, and each tool is in-depth. Unlike other city-building games that give you multiple cities to work on, Cities: Skylines only gives you one city, but it's expandable. You can keep expanding the city, making it grow bigger and bigger. Now some people may not like the idea of having only one city, but honestly, having one city is a lot better than multiple, as you can put all your effort into one area and things will be less confusing. Cities: Skylines also has an efficient agent system, Day/night cycle, Dynamic weather and tourism which makes the game pretty immersive.
So in summary, Cities: Skylines offers diverse and engaging gameplay. It seems that the developers were focused on player freedom which is awesome and perfect for you guys that want to make your own dream city without limits. If you were to play this game, you would probably spend half the time designing highways, roads and tunnels because there are endless possibilities when it comes to making roads in this game, it's also fun too. There are also a ton of other mechanics that you can mess around with, letting you be experimental, just don't blow your city up in the process.
Now unfortunately, Cities: Skylines inst a perfect game, it has some flaws. Although the game's issues may not be of much value, some of you guys might disagree, so it's worth pointing them out. The first issue that some players had when playing Cities: Skylines is its tools. As mentioned before, Skylines has a ton of mechanics and tools that you can use to create your own dream city. However for some people, the tools that you can use in the game can be too in-depth or complicated. Now this isn't a problem for everyone that's playing the game, but most of the negative reviews of Cities Skylines involve the tools and how they can be too complicated. For me personally, the greatest drawback to Cities Skylines is that the simulation does not dynamically respond to your choices. You will not see any cool visual cues for crime-ridden neighborhoods. Nor will will you see any exciting visual effects for the problems plaguing your city beyond obnoxious icons and popups. I would have love to have seen graphiti, dilapidated buildings, broken windows, body outlines… all the cool stuff that still distinguish Sim City games. A simulation should dynamically respond to your choices and offer you more than just popups or icons. I’ve played Cities Skylines for roughly 50 hours. In the end it felt mostly like a traffic simulator which is not surprising considering this same studios most popular prior games were focused on traffic simulation games. Another drawback are the repetetive buildings. You might have a huge sprawling metropolis but most of your buildings are nearly identical. You can get around this by downloading custom content. This is where the game really shines. Citites skylines has a huge and vibrant modding community. This will really elevate your Cities expericence.
But still, if you can look past its drawbacks, Cities Skylines is still a pretty fun game. Understanding the mechanics can be tough for some of you guys out there, but there are hundreds of guides on YouTube that you can watch. The game is one of the best city-building games out there and you should play the game after getting it on Epic.