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Beyond CityLife

April 17th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · City Builder, Preview

Monte Cristo’s CityLife is one of the most important city builders ever made. It saw its citizens as more than an evolving tax base; they had preferences, dislikes and social values that you had to work with. The result was a game that had neighborhoods, conflict and tough decisions.

So I’m really happy to read about Cities XL, their new city builder.

CITIES XL™ allows gamers to develop cities on realistic 3D maps using an incredible collection of unique structures and monuments based on American, Asian and European-influenced architectural styles. The maps feature a variety of environments: mountains, hills, canyons, beaches and islands, all set in different climates from tropical to desert, Mediterranean to temperate. Players must create the right combinations of social services, leisure activities, special events and other job opportunities within their cities in order to feed, clothe, employ and entertain their citizens. Be it planning and building a new zoo, public park, residential neighborhood or transit system – there’s always a fresh and exciting challenge for would-be city managers and mayors in CITIES XL™.

The online component is very exciting, and has the potential to revolutionize the entire genre. City builders have always been a single player game, with Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom the only one I can think of with a significant multiplayer mode beyond trading rankings or competing in high score contests. And I don’t think Cities XL will change that emphasis much. It may, however, give designers another new way to think about how other user made objects can influence and alter how one gamer sees his own work.


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