Cities XL 2012 video game is a welcome addition to collection of every fan of city-building games. At least in case he/she does not own Cities XL 2011 already. Anyway, this review will focus on Cities XL 2012 as a stand-alone game without comparisons to the previous year’s game.
Cities XL 2012 is a simulation that allows you to build huge cities from scratch. You as a player will have to build roads, allocate places for people to build their houses at, parcels for shops, offices and industry. It is also solely up to you to provide for all the needs of your citizens. There are lots of buildings to choose from. Despite the complexity of building a working city with happy inhabitants, Cities XL 2012 is not a difficult game to play.
Tutorial missions will walk you through every aspect of building a successful city. You can learn everything the hard way too. However, taking time to go through the tutorial missions will make Cities XL 2012 a more enjoyable experience. Overall, I give Cities XL 2012 8 points out of 10 for game play. There are few minor bugs and zoning out parcels can become unpleasant now and then. Absence of missions or at least victory conditions does not make me happy as well. The only goals to reach are in player’s own head. The motivation to play Cities XL 2012 will fade upon completing the first few cities. Also, there are no natural disasters that would destroy parts of the city and force you to rebuild. Such feature could extend the play time by great margin for most players.
Cities XL 2012 look rather well. There is not much detail in ground level view. However, that is perfectly understandable given the fact that player is building cities with up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of inhabitants. Nevertheless, most parts of the city look lovely when you zoom in on them. You can also see the traffic on the roads and an occasional pedestrian. That does not mean the graphical side of Cities XL 2012 could not be better as some building types look rather strange or even plain ugly. So, I give Cities XL 2012 7 points out of 10 for graphics.
While game play and graphics make up for a rather pleasant gaming experience, you will want to turn off the music after a while. It will probably not bother you much at first. However, listening to pretty much the same music for several hours can make people crazy. Also, the sounds of a lively city did not impress me much. I give Cities XL 2012 only 6 point out of 10 for sounds, especially for the music.
The game costs 39.99 Euros on Steam and Cities XL 2012 cost pretty much the same on Amazon, although owners of Cities XL 2011 can upgrade their copies for half the price. The price seems to be a bit high though. Cities XL 2012 is a good game that will surely have its fans, but it is still just an upgrade of the game that is just about one year older. Judging from reviews of Cities XL 2011 and articles comparing the two games, I’d say that there is not enough new stuff to justify the price of an entirely new game. However, I cannot complain, because I bought my copy in Midweek Madness sale on Steam for only 10 Euros.
Overall, Cities XL 2012 offers enough fun and city building puzzles to last you for at least 10 hours before boredom starts to set in. Sadly, motivation to build more than two or three cities is insignificant thanks to the absence of missions, goals or victory conditions for the maps. Cities XL 2012 looks relatively good and it does not sound that bad either. The only real downside of Cities XL 2012 is the price and relatively high system requirements. You might experience unpleasant lags in bigger cities. Everything considered, I give Cities XL 2012 a score of 7/10.
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