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Cities XL Platinum (PC) Review

/ Apr 4th, 2013 No Comments

A quiet snowy town.

A quiet snowy town.

The City Building Simulation genre has always been a very niche genre. It was a fairly popular genre back in the 90s, but fell into obscurity in the new Millenium. That is, until a certain big named city building sim was released and brought this genre back into the forefront. Some players might be tired of that city building sim, or they may just be looking for another game to fill their city building addiction. For those people, they need not look any further as Cities XL Platinum is the game for them. Cities XL Platinum is the new release/update to the popular Cities XL franchise. It functions as a whole game for those who do not own Cities XL 2012, and an update/expansion for those who do own Cities XL 2012.

Graphics

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.

Audio

A beautiful ocean front city.

A beautiful ocean front city.

One 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.

Gameplay

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.

A sprawling mountain city.

A sprawling mountain city.

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.

Conclusion

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.

CITIES XL PLATINUM (PC) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall78%

GAMEPLAY8

An incredibly intricate gaming experience with a steep learning curve and a few control issues against it.

VIDEO7.5

Medium resolution textures allow for much larger cities, though some textures are abnormally low quality.

AUDIO8

Repetitive backing tracks that do get old after a while. The overall quality of the audio is still fairly high.

Alec Levine

Alec Levine

Contributor at Gaming Illustrated
Alec is an avid PC gamer who has been gaming for over 15 years. In addition to playing RTS, MOBAs and RPGs, he enjoys annoying his girlfriend and chasing neighborhood cats.
Alec Levine
Alec Levine

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CITIES XL PLATINUM (PC) REVIEW

Gaming Illustrated RATING

Overall78%

GAMEPLAY8

An incredibly intricate gaming experience with a steep learning curve and a few control issues against it.

VIDEO7.5

Medium resolution textures allow for much larger cities, though some textures are abnormally low quality.

AUDIO8

Repetitive backing tracks that do get old after a while. The overall quality of the audio is still fairly high.

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