cities skylines

A city builder with actual space on the map. Imagine that.

Perhaps the most surprisingly reveal of Paradox’s Gamescom event was Cities: Skylines, an old school city builder from Colossal Order. They’re the developers behind the Cities in Motion series and their new game seems, somewhat, to be the antidote to Maxis’ most recent effort with SimCity.

Here’s what I wrote down from Paradox CEO Fred Wester’s little on-stage talk about the game. The map is 36 square kilometers in size. Cities: Skylines will have full, integrated mod support from the very first day of release. You can play the game entirely offline if you wish (that bit is actually in the trailer, below.) It was described as a no nonsense city builder, “like they used to be.”

So, definitely not trying to target the audience who were annoyed by SimCity’s tiny city sizes, lack of mods and always-online DRM nonsense. Not at all.

Here’s a more extensive features list from the official site.

  • City policies: Set policies to guide how the city and districts develop over the course of your playthrough.
  • City districts: Personalize city districts with names of your choice for variety and personality.
  • Road building and zoning
  • Unlock buildings and services
  • Taxation: Fine-tuning the city budget and services and setting tax rates to different residential, commercial and industrial levels and controlling what kind of areas are more likely to spawn in the zoned areas
  • Public transportation: Build transport networks throughout the city with buses and metros
  • Outside connections: Make industry and commercial districts flourish with new customers in the neighboring cities
  • Wonders: the ultimate end-game content that the players strive towards
  • Huge maps: Unlock new map tiles with unique possibilities to expand the city
  • Water flow simulation: Add new challenges to water services.
  • Polished visual style and core gameplay
  • Modding tools: Built in feature designed to encourage creative pursuits.

And here’s that first trailer. Cities: Skylines is due in 2015 for PC, Mac and Linux.

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