I had seen many videos of the PC version of this game on YouTube, along with my friends playing it for prolonged hours at a time,reminiscent of the old SimCity games I had on my older computer system. I envied them because I really wanted to play this game and finally I got the chance! as Cities:Skylines made it way to Xbox One this past week.
As standard for simulation games, your first task of action is picking a location to start your new City, each biome/region has its own perks and downfalls, ranging from land assets like coal, oil and water, to smaller land mass to build on and vice versa, once you've selected your new homeland, you give it a name and your propelled right into your first day of being the mayor of your new city (Please do a better job then Len Brown ;) )
The game gives you "A small loan of 60K" and starts to guide you through the basics fundamentals, from how to lay down roads, setting electricity grids and how to start residential populations and get the town into making goods to sell to run the economy, The game offers a handy little feature which allows players to click their right thumbstick on any menu, and items within it to get a brief breakdown of the item and what it does for the city, its quite a handy tool as details like how much pollution the building makes can really make big impacts on your decisions on where to place your assets, although the game doesn't really supply any information on how to maximize the efficiency of assets e.g making effective roading or how to maintain water pipelines, but its a double edged sword, it leaves you feeling left in the dark, but at the same time, forces you to explore ways and engages your brain more as you have to run trial and error methods, and then deal with the fortunes or consequences of your decisions,and In Cities:Skylines, you really do get to make all the decisions and your city is really in the palm of your hand, you can be the laid back, cool calm and collected mayor who puts low taxes on residential estates and enables the Recreational Use policy, or be like the Tyrants spoken of in olden times, max tax hike on all services, severely cut water and electricity use during the days or nights and damage the economy by industrializing a city and causing mass pollution of the environment or having no soul and ban, you could invest all your money into bettering education, and perhaps cut costs to other vital sectors like police funding or creating more hospitals, or being downright deviant and not building enough cemetery's and leave buildings littered with the dead and damaging your reputation that ends up running you right into the ground yourself, so you better make sure you make smart decisions, as later down the line, your harshest punishment will be the game forcing you to take a large bail-out loan to cover your negative costs and chuck you a bone to get you back up on your feet, but be aware! being forced down this path will also cause you to lose the ability of gaining achievements and reaching certain milestones within the game, thus really enforcing the fact that no matter how big or little decision you make, from the rate of taxes to the amount invested in public services, all will make major impacts on your society further into your cities lifespan.
The only current negatives I have about this game so far, is more on the aesthetic and content sides, the graphics are sub-par, but with these kind of simulation games, its overlooked because we're more interested in the mechanics of the game, the User Interface and HUD is also quite ugly, after seeing the PC versions which have a more sleek and compact design, I kind of felt dissapointed, but also took into the fact that since it was being designed for the console, that user interfaces when being ported from PC to console, which is common, the UI's usually have to be tweaked to meet console requirement and functionality, so not that big of a gripe really, and on the content side, I'm hoping later down the line the developers will release the PC DLC's onto Xbox (Like the Winter DLC which is available right now for Steam/PC users) and if possible, maybe further down the line we may see community mod support similar to what Bethesda currently have for Skyrim and Fallout, or even Farming Simulator's content providing path, where the most popular PC mods are combined into a pack and released for the console
Cities:Skylines cost me $50NZD off our local Xbox Marketplace, and definitely one of the best indie/low budget games I have brought this year and I can see myself still playing for days to come. If you're into your life simulation games, be it from Sim City, to other genre service clone games, you will fall in love with this game instantly!