GDN:NEWS ARTICLES

Cities XL 2012 Reviews (Windows PC)

Posted by Patrick Gibbons, Nov 22, 2011 23:07

I’ve always loved building things. I’m the kind of guy who puts tons of effort into a Warhammer figure, or spends hours at a time organizing a house in an Elder Scrolls game (Curse you SKYRIM). Way back in the day, I was really into SimCity 2000. In fact, I’m pretty sure that it’s the first computer game that we owned. It should be easy to imagine how excited I was to get my Cities XL 2012 reviewhands on Cities XL 2012 for the PC. It had been a long time since I had played a city builder, but I was hooked from the word go. Rather than being a stand-alone game, Cities XL 2012 is actually an expansion to the 2011 version. I never played the original, but not much has changed if I understand it correctly. All that was added was a new set of maps and about 300 new buildings models. The expansion also incorporates new tools for it’s sizable modding community. While it might not seem like much, I feel that fans of the original will definitely be satisfied with the new content.

Cities XL 2012 Building Basics

I think the most appealing aspect of Cites XL is that it has a lot of things to build and manage. A majority of the player’s time will be spent building residences and places for citizens to work. Even here the player has a lot of options. Residences, for example, are split into four categories, Unskilled Workers, Skilled Workers, Executives, and Elites. These are further divided into 3 levels of density, ranging from single homes to massive apartment complexes. There are also five different industry options. These are Food, Heavy Industry, Offices, Manufacturing, and High Tech. Each industry type has it’s own set of labor requirements, so a city’s businesses always end up being a reflection of it’s population or vice-verse.

I can see your houseHey I can see your mom’s house from here!

Laying down buildings in Cities XL is pretty simple. When placing specific buildings, like utilities or services, the player can just click on the building and then place it next to a road. More general buildings, like residences and industries, are placed a bit differently. For starters, the player can only place a plot down. The plot remains vacant until a person or business comes and builds there. To speed up the process, Cites XL gives the player four methods of plot placement. The first is to just put down one plot at a time, or what I refer to as “the boring way”. The other three methods involve building multiple plots and a road simultaneously. One builds a road and places plots on one or both sides along its length. Another builds two rows of plots surrounded by roads on all sides. These two techniques are well suited for anyone who loves symmetry. The third method, however, is perfect for those who wish to express their inner Picasso. All you need to do is place a connecting circuit of roads and the game will fill the area with as many plots as it can hold. Ultimately, these methods provide an expedient way to make a unique looking city.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Cities XL 2012 Reviews (Windows PC)
6.0 Replay
There are a bunch of different maps with diverse terrain and resources. Add in over 1000 different buildings and you’ll bee expanding your empire for weeks. Modders will have plenty of support.
6.0 Graphics
Lots to build and many ways to do it. There is a ton of things to oversee, but the game lacks fine-tuning capability. Building roads is annoying as hell.
5.0 Sound
Cities look pretty from a distance, but the models don’t really seem on par with what games today are capable of. There is a great deal of lag, especially with texture loading and animations.
4.0 Gameplay
The effects are ok. The city sounds alive, but there is nothing that really stands out. The music is dull and repetitive. The whole game only has one or two tracks. If you have iTunes or Pandora then you have no reason to listen to it.
0.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
5.5 Overall
Cities XL 2012 is mediocre if anything. There is plenty to do in the game, but it’s also frustrating. If you love building stuff in games then you may want to check it out, provided you can get it at a reduced price.

Rating: 3.0, votes: 2


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