Cities: Skylines might well be the best city builder simulation created in the last ten years. Something that's further highlighted by the mess that was SimCity when it launched back in 2013. The game has now been on the market for almost a year, and it has just received its second expansion pack, if you can even call it that.
As we wrote when the main game launched last year, there is much to enjoy here and it's great to see that Colossal Order continues to push out free updates that give us many new cool features. Add to that the whole Workshop section on Steam that is brimming with both modifications, buildings and maps. There's already a lot of extra content out there, so what do we get with Snowfall?
As the title hints at, this time it's focused on snow and cold. Where the previous expansion pack gave us a day and night cycle, which meant the Cims had certain times where they went to school or work, and a system that created rush hour traffic, Snowfall makes sure you must think of snowy roads, as well as keeping the Cims warm in the winter cold.
Besides the snow and cold, the best addition in the package is probably the option to build tram rails to expand public transportation in your city. Snow is not the only weather effect that has been introduced, as rain and fog have also been added. Although it may sound like big changes, there are isn't too much to get excited about. The problem with snow is not that you have to think about the cold and such, but the fact that you need to choose a map that has winter biome. In turn, this means that you are locked into building on a snowy landscape, which quite frankly is not much fun.
We would have instead wished for the full set of seasons. Since time seems to pass more slowly, thanks to the "After Dark" expansion, it would have been cool if you actually went through the different months too. It would also have made sure that you had to provide heat for the Cims in the winter, which in turn allows you to make more money on power consumption. While in the summer, you could cut down power consumption and save up your reserves for the winter.
This is where Snowfall stumbles. Although the appearance of your city at night, with the snow falling and trams carrying Cims to ski facilities, is a sight to behold, it's a bit boring to always end up not having enough power to supply heat. You come to a certain point, and then there isn't enough money to build anything other than power plants. The game still suffers from a tiresome UI that feels unfinished, and it doesn't help that they added several features that aren't assisting the gameplay.
One can the always hope that the next expansion pack does something to improve old features as well, and not just add another variety of new features that you have to stress over. The game goes too fast from cuddles and fun to "you do not have enough power or money!".
However, it is still great that you have access to thousands of modifications that improve the experience. It's just a shame that you're made to pay to add so few features, especially considering they don't really add something to the extent that you'd expect of a paid-for expansion pack. These are features that other companies give you for free. On the other hand it should be said that Cities: Skylines, with After Dark and Snowfall included, is still cheaper than what SimCity was at launch, and it's better.
If you, like us, are hooked on city building, it's just about worth the cost of admission, but don't expect too much. The most you can hope for is a freezing, snowy desert to build within, with a few new things here and there. See it as more of an investment in Colossal Order so that they can continue to push out free updates, for what is, at the end of the day, the best city builder we've seen in a very long time.
Loading next content