PlayStation 4
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Game Info:

Cities: Skylines
Published by: Paradox Interactive
Released: March 10, 2015 (PC), April 21, 2017 (Xbox One), August 22, 2017 (PS4)
Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS
Genre: City Building, Strategy Video Game
ESRB: E for Everyone
Number of players: 1
Price: $39.99 (PS4 and Xbox One), $29.99 (Steam)

Thank you Paradox Interactive for sending us a review copy of the game.

Note: This review is based on the PS4 Pro version and might not look, sound, and perform the same on other consoles and PC.

In an era of first person shooters, driving simulators, and MMOs, city building games are a rare breed. There are many gamers who played hundreds, if not thousands, of hours over several years perfecting their city building skills. SimCity was not the first but it was the most successful franchise in this genre. As it has lost its luster, fans of this genre have been hoping for a new franchise to come in and outdo the former city building leader; thus enters Cities: Skylines. This game has been an answered dream to many fans who have been waiting so long to play something that is so familiar, yet a little different.

When I started Cities: Skyline I was a little nervous because I didn't know what to expect since I loved and missed the SimCity franchise. I was hoping for another installment in SimCity or a game that would bring that same enjoyment I had since I first played SimCity on Super Nintendo (still my favorite in the series). Cities: Skylines was what I've been waiting for these many years, and going by the sales of this new franchise (over 3.5 million) I would say that city building fans feel the same way.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Gently eases players into building your city. Helpful prompts throughout. Gorgeous graphics. Very nice sound effects.
Weak Points:
Needs more starting areas on each map.
Moral Warnings: None.

The game has you choose a map from several choices then you start slowly building roads off an interstate exit (so that your city is connected with the game world), sectioning areas near the roads to build into residential, commercial, or industrial. AI citizens will start building on these areas so that frees you up to build an electrical and water grid. The game offers so many choices in roads, specialty buildings, and more. I love how the game will notify you what the citizens feel about your city building job. I constantly found myself reading these to see if the citizens want a park or new police station or something else. The way citizens notify you is by "#" which appears in a constantly updated ticker on the top part of your screen.

You know the game is fun and addicting when you spend many hours laying down road, adding more windmills, laying water pipe, and solving the latest citizen's needs without even realizing 3 hours or more has passed and you haven't got up to stretch or eat. I lost track in this game and I want to blame the developer Colossal Order for this. How dare they make a game that causes you to forget everything because you just have to expand and modify your city just a little more! I think my cat has lost weight waiting for me to feed her. So if you have kids, pets or work I would recommend you get an alarm clock and set it so you remember the real world.

Seriously, this game is just pure fun and addicting. I hope that for the PS4 version the developer will look at bringing out more expansions to this amazing game (After Dark expansion is the only added expansion in the base game) (Please just don't tell my wife or cat that I requested more expansions).

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 94%
Gameplay - 20/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

In regards to negatives, umm... well there really aren't any. The graphics are very excellent but not as good as say Destiny 2 or Horizon Zero Dawn. I enjoy the detail and many building types throughout the game. To me it seems there is far more variety than SimCity in regards to building and maps. The sound is very good and I enjoyed all the ambient sounds throughout the game (really enjoyed zooming into my city and hearing people, vehicles, and dogs barking (where are the cats meowing?)).

I noticed no morality issues unless hearing and seeing little cop cars and fire trucks could frighten younger children of people playing the game. This game is very clean and family members of all ages will enjoy watching and playing it. I would recommend 8 or older, because of the need for math, reading, and comprehension that this game requires of gamers as you play.

In closing, if you had fond memories of SimCity or other city building games and have been dreaming of a new city building game that does everything classic city builders do but with a modern twist then I would wholeheartedly recommend this gem of a game. Just make sure to not blame me when you look at your clock and hours or days have gone by and your mail is piling up in your mailbox.

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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