Cities Skylines: Industries Review
Reviewed on PC
Cities Skylines: Industries feels like a game all of its own. Bringing micro-management to your creations industrial output; making use of the natural resources that sit around your metropolis it opens up a whole new area of depth whilst not unduly affecting the base game that we know and love.
This latest DLC works very much like the previous release, Cities Skylines: Park Life, but instead of designing wildlife reserves and theme parks you're tasked with harnessing the world around you to increase your industrial output and earnings. The concept is simple - find the resources around you - trees, oil, ore or fertile land, and then exploit them by creating a whole chain of processing that then links into your wider economy.
Industrial areas are scoped out as part of your city layout, and much like the districts you create for neighbourhoods or park areas, you define industrial areas that encompass the buildings and structures that extract, process and refine the materials available to you. Ore can be mined from the mountains around your town and the hidden oil that flows below your citizens feet can be extracted with drills both on land and at sea. This raw material is then processed in other facilities that you build within your industrial areas to produce end products - plastics, wood for construction and this then feeds into your smaller industries.
The previous industrial zones adapt to the larger defined industrial areas in which they sit - timber processing plants will grow naturally to make use of the wood you harvest and even commercial zones develop to sell on items you produce; when you're running low on productivity your commercial areas will struggle to survive due to not having the goods they need.
In addition to the new zoning and production mechanics the DLC also introduces toll roads which will enable you to monetise the busiest areas of your road networks or provide more convenient paid routes for your residents and business, and the new concept of a postal system that requires a depot and post offices dotted around your city.
There is a surprising amount of depth brought to the game through what are reasonably simplistic mechanics and when combined with the larger city simulation the end product is quite remarkable. While the base Cities Skylines game was a deep and involving take on a genre that has been around since the 8-bit days, the continual flow of quality and deep DLC is breaking new ground and carving out a much wider genre of game.