Cities: Skylines 2’s troubled launch, and why simulation games are freaking hard

Enlarge (credit: Paradox Interactive)

The worst thing about Cities: Skylines 2 is that it was recently released.

If this hugely ambitious city builder simulation would have been released some time ago, patched over and over again, and updated with some gap-filling DLC, it would be far better off. It could be on its slow-burn second act, like No Man’s Sky, Cyberpunk 2077, or Final Fantasy XIV. It could have settled into a disgruntled-but-still-invested player base, like Destiny 2 or Overwatch 2. Or its technical debts could have been slowly paid off to let its underlying strengths come through, as with Disco Elysium or The Witcher 3.

But Cities: Skylines 2 (C:S2) is regrettably available now in its current state. It has serious performance problems, both acknowledged by its 30-odd-employee developer Colossal Order and studied in-depth by others (which we’ll get into). It has a rough-draft look when compared to its predecessor, which has accumulated eight years of fixes, DLC, and mods to cover a dizzying array of ideas. Worst of all, it was highly anticipated by fans, some of whom have high-end systems that still can’t properly run the sluggish game.

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Author: Kevin Purdy. [Source Link (*), Ars Technica – All content]


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