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Review: Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit (Xbox One)By Sandy Wilson At 12.03.2019 17:51

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With Mass Transit comes the ability to create expansive transport routes with more vehicles - opening up the options available for tweaking roads and offering a range of new control and build options, bringing the flexibility of the PC road building to consoles in a very effective user-friendly way. It also comes packaged with three new levels that are set up to challenge the more experienced players, including one covered in vast forests with several large lakes which has the most stunning atmosphere. As always, the visual representations of the new transport and areas are fantastically detailed and tiny, much like playing with toys, which may be why it's so easy to get lost playing this. All the mini-people, animals and vehicles have an extremely pleasing shine to them, and a colourfulness that makes the whole aesthetic feel complete.

There are new policies related to transport, which means that civilians can use their cars less, and blimps can advertise the city's education, among many little cool things. These policies are set by the player in their role of mayor to impose ground rules on its civilians and businesses, such as curfews and tax costs. Building and networking transport routes is now improved, things like creating bus lines and deciding how many stops there are, where they stop and what's important for people in each area is fantastic, creating towering monorails to transport people round the central hub of a city is immensely satisfying, and finally setting up a blimp route to jazz up the city's skyline is really fun.

Of course, the new content isn't limited to land transport, as it also comes with a healthy dose of ferry lines, cargo/transport hubs, and cable cars. The ferry lines are a neat new addition, giving a seaside setting a new use. However, and there always is a however in a review, there are a few problems still in terms of building and connecting some of these new transport lines to the city. One of these comes when trying to build a new ferry system, on some maps the water from the sea (the link to the outside world) that are too bottlenecked to accommodate the ferry route, and the game simply doesn't let it be built. While doing this for review purposes, it was found that no level of terrain deforming/ forming would fix the building issue... but outside of that there were not many issues to encounter.

Sometimes building certain types of transport can appear fiddly but ultimately, it's the fiddly-ness that makes it so enjoyable. Creating blimp routes that follow roads instead of having them cut through the city, having cable cars that don't jut out at weird angles and creating monorails that majestically loop through the sweeping commercial districts keeping the citizens happy, is a hard business to master, but this handles it all with an air of grace and user-focused design choices. Another new feature is the addition of the hub buildings allowing for mixing of transport types (although this is only available for cargo transportation), meaning a tanker can pull in from the sea and offload its cargo onto a train for transport to the city's industrial areas; a system that's very cool, and makes managing the transport of supplies insurmountably better than relying on the natural resources of the map.

With the latest update, though, this seems to have a bug affecting old saves with infinite money that will with any luck be patched out sooner rather than later. The developers have also done some tweaks to the way noise pollution works, which removes the noise level from the road type, and actually moves it onto the vehicles which means a big but empty road will not cause sound pollution. It's this attention to detail that helps this game reign supreme in the city builder market! It's also becoming the ultimate way to relax while gaming - there is something so absorbing and satisfying about the city building experience that makes it seem that Paradox Interactive really can't be outdone.

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Final Score
The detail to which you can customise the cities in here is astounding, and [i]Mass Transit[/i] is not only adding more to the plethora of options already in [i]Cities skylines[/i], but also tweaks some of the more frustrating elements, easing up the controls, and letting the player really get into the nitty-gritty of the road and traffic networking. While it's not an essential purchase, the additions make a vast difference to the building of roads, and the management of city transport systems. All in all, it's a fantastic feature-full expansion that gets a hearty recommendation for fans of the base game.

8

/10

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