Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines is next on the agenda for my Filmaholic Gamer Experience, and I couldn’t be happier. Why? Because after suffering through AC Odyssey and of course Dark Souls (twice in fact) I just had to go on a different path. A path that doesn’t involve killing, slaying or fighting. Thankfully.

RIP Suzanville Hello St. Martins

Cities: Skylines Is a Nice Distraction From Uncertain Times

The uncertain times in which I, and I believe the rest of you are currently living in, but hey. At least we have pleasant distractions like these. And why Cities: Skylines is such a pleasant distraction? (Besides the absence of killing). Well, it’s my first ever strategy game.

I know I know. I’m behind the times, but hey… Don’t judge. I picked up gaming just recently and out of quarantine induced boredom. And as always, please take this post with a grain of salt. Although it has the word REVIEW in the title, it’s not a review. It’s a simplified, watered down opinion of a rookie gamer. I suppose the title suggestion from one of our readers is pretty apt here. “A Play-through review” seems more fitting but hey. Enough about the semantics. Let’s focus on the game itself. Shall we?

Cities: Skilines
Early experimentation

Cities: Skylines: What’s The Game All About?

 Developed by Colossal Order and published by Paradox Interactive, Cities: Skylines is a modern take on the classic city simulation. The game introduces gameplay elements for the ultimate thrills and hardships of creating and maintaining a real city.

All while expanding on some well-established tropes of the city building experience. Engage in urban planning by controlling zoning, road placement, taxation, public services. And of course public transportation of an area. The various elements of the city, including its budget, health, employment, and pollution levels are also of the game, so you have to be careful.

Very careful indeed. Which I learned while working on my third city. Susanville and Suzie Town are now part of my inglorious gaming history. Hey, the third time was a charm for me, but hey. But at least I got some progress on my third attempt. I don’t know about you, but it’s saying something to me. Hopefully I don’t suck as much as I thought I did. I mean, I still do (and I’m slow as your grandma would be, but I try my hardest not to suck as much). If it makes sense.

Cities: Skilines
Trust me I KNOOOW I don’t have the money

If You Build It, They Will Come

Who knew that Ray Liotta was right about this? All joking aside, I managed to make a proper working city (named it St. Martin’s) on my third try. And I learned some valuable lessons along the way. The first lesson of the entire gaming experience? Don’t bit of more than you can chew. My „Go BIG OR Go HOME “mentality was taking me nowhere, and I had to take It slow. Used my head rationally and strategically. Start small and go from there. So, my starting point were of course, the roads, sewage and pipelines. The schools and hospitals came later. Yes, I went over budget in my previous two attempts, and the cities went downhill way fast, but I eventually got better. Not good.

Better. Oh, and just a head’s up disclaimer. I disabled all of the potential distastes in this game. So, I made sure there were no pesky surprises from earthquakes or other natural disasters. I’ve had them enough this year, and I wasn’t in the mood for more. No joke, we actually had several of them this month alone (IRL), and I think those were enough for me. As If this 2020 wasn’t bad enough.

Cities: Skylines
4 earthquakes and countless after-shocks. All in a span of 12 hour period

Money Does Make The World Go Round

Isn’t that the truth? And here’s a kicker. You can’t expect to get the money for your dream city, from taxes alone. But if you do get the money, boy you can even buy the Statue of Liberty if you want, and place it in you sleepy little town. Which I totally tried to do by the way, and which is totally the reason for my failed attempts. Oh well. But I also got serious (after the failed attempts) learned that it’s hard to run a city. Let alone build it from scratch. But I remember watching my poor long-suffering husband play SimCity a few years back and it’s a similar concept, from what I can gather. Building and more building.

But I loved that the citizens themselves reminded me of what’s next on the agenda. My agenda was based on their need and of course on my budget. New school? You’ve got it. Police Station? Sure. Parks? Of course. For a beginner like myself, it was welcomed guidance. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you have no idea what to do first. Or you have no idea, where to go next. Step by step, and with clear, detailed instruction, I managed to GIT better. Thankfully the game told me what need to do next and it was basically just a city planning for dummies guide. But in a form of a simulation video game.

Statue of Liberty? Whaaat?

It’s An Oddly Relaxing Game

Which I must say, is a fantastic relief for me and my anxiety. For the first time since forever, I played a game in which I didn’t felt worn out. Guess, all the killing and slaying really took a toll on my fragile nerves. Indeed, Cities: Skylines had me worried and stressed out differently. But unlike the previous games I’ve played, I noticed that there’s only crucial difference.

The conversations. Or lack there of. Aside from the super-annoying Chirper (more on that later), there isn’t anyone to talk to in this game. Big city, but no one to talk to. In AC Odyssey and even in Dark Souls there was some chance of small social interaction. Between my character and someone else in the game. Exchanging information, chit-chatting about something. There’s none of that here (aside from atmospheric background noise/music). And I suppose it captures 2020 perfectly. I’m social distancing even in video games.

But I suppose I should count my blessings. My problems here in Cities: Skylines were, more in the…. Oh, I forgot to put a prison in the city situations (hence all the crime). And not so much of the…. Oh crap. I just died for the 156th time situation. However, I enjoyed it, I must admit.

Go Away Chirper! Chirp somewhere else!

Chirper Is Annoying

I really don’t know your personal opinion about Chriper is (would love to know it though), but it was bugging me to no end. Oh my god, how annoying this Twitter-like notification panel is. Seriously. How to disable it and make it go away? I’m asking because it was killing my otherwise „Kumbaya vibe“ while playing Skylines Experience. Let me know in the comment section. I could just bug Martin for this, but he’s suffered enough with my gaming adventures. Not to mention, as a health worker battling the second wave of the Coronavirus, he’s stressed out enough. He doesn’t need my basic B***H problems.

Time Flies When You’re Not Dying A Horrifying Death

Oh, how I love Cities: Skylines. Seriously. I still need work on the planning, architecture, politics, and civil service, and my city is still not the prettiest. It still needs more work. And yes, in the end, a more advanced and more experienced gamer could probably do a better job, but for a rookie like myself, it’s pretty decent.

It’s a work in progress

Your Take On Cities: Skylines

What’s your take on Cities: Skylines? Do you like it as much as I did? Or you need more action? Flesh-eating zombies? Or undead characters? Hey, I don’t judge. Let me know what you like the most about Cities: Skylines.

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