Unlike most genres, city building sims are not meant to be pretty. In fact, the higher resolution each texture is, the smaller the overall map will be; or the higher requirements the game will have. With lower resolution textures, the in game cities can be sprawling and gigantic. This is the route that Cities XL Platinum takes. Each building, road, and vehicle texture is lower resolution but this allows the cities to be massive and filled with life. That being said, some of the textures do look abnormally lower quality than others.
AudioOne of the more important parts of a city building sim are the audio elements. In a city building sim, the player will be hearing the same few backing tracks for hours on end and will need audio cues to let them know if there is a problem with their city. The backing tracks in Cities XL Platinum are fairly bland, and do get repetitive. However the game is loaded with audio cues to help the player know when the population is upset or requires something new.
City building sims can go one of two routes, they can be easier to pick up while sacrificing the customization; or they can be a bit complex but allow the players to custom tune the cities to their liking. Cities XL Platinum goes down the latter route. Cities XL Platinum has a lot of intricacies and complexities to it. Players have to manage two types of pollution (sound and air), traffic, entertainment, job availability, as well as importing the resources they lack and exporting the resources they have an excess of.On the subject of imports and exports, Cities XL Platinum has a very interesting feature to it. Players can have multiple cities within one save file, and can trade between said cities. This allows the option for an Industrial city specializing in manufacturing, and low skill workers, a city that specializes in offices and mid to high skill workers, and a city that specializes in farming and vacations; and have the option to trade between the cities for maximum efficiency. This adds a whole new layer to strategy when planning out cities.
Cities XL Platinum does have it’s issues however. Traffic is very difficult to solve, as there is no easy way to replace problematic roads without ripping up half the city. Furthermore building bridges and building in some mountainous areas can be difficult to control.
Ultimately, Cities XL Platinum is a solid city building simulation game. Marred only by abnormally low resolution textures, repetitive backing tracks and some small issues with building roads and bridges, Cities XL Platinum more than makes up for it’s shortcomings with it’s intricate and extensive gameplay. While it may not have the option to have aliens attack a city at will, these cities will be so extensive that even the most villainous of players won’t want to see their creation destroyed. For anybody who enjoys city building simulation games, Cities XL Platinum is a fantastic purchase.