Cities in Motion 2 review

Reviews Joe Lavery May 13, 2013

Become a transport magnate with Cities In Motion 2

I have to admit Cities In Motion was a game that I missed completely, so I’m approaching this latest release from a different perspective to fans of the original game. If you’re in the same boat, this is basically a transport system builder; where you construct the transportation networks for different cities in response to the demands of the population. The idea being to create a functioning infrastructure, with buses, trams, metros and river boats running to realistic timetables. Your planning skills and the decisions you make, will determine the growth and prosperity of the city and ultimately your transport system. The developers are at pains to point out that Cities in Motion 2 is not a clone of Sim City, which is more real estate based. While it’s true that you can design your own layouts and build your own cities with the map editor, the goals of the games are quite different.

There are two modes of gameplay, campaign or sandbox. In campaign mode you’ll find predetermined goals to work towards, whereas sandbox gives you free reign to decide on the region, city and the overall strategy to employ. You can also play it in multiplayer mode, either in a cooperative or competitive manner.

Naturally a game like this depends heavily on the graphics, and I have to say the they are amazing. Even on fairly modest equipment navigating through the maps (cities), or zooming down to pavement level is smooth and seamless. There are no signs of stutter or poorly defined objects, in fact the 3D modelling and effects are outstanding. For example, as you construct roads they will follow a natural line, even adding very realistic underpasses and tunnels where needed.

However, I initially found the controls quite confusing, even the tutorial city, with its blow by blow instructions, does not fully explain the best way to proceed; or how to correctly interpret the considerable variety of menus. So the point of creating a bus route in a particular way is not immediately apparent. I concede that the manual is fairly good, but even its quick start guide is too brief - and again doesn’t explain the concept more fully. While I appreciate that players of the previous version will probably howl derision and wonder what I'm on about, I can only describe the bewilderment I felt during the first few hours of play.

I found that forums and YouTube provide a much clearer picture of the way the game should be played. To give you an example, when you place a bus stop, a transparent ring forms around it. Once you realise that this signifies the catchment area that the stop covers, it’s obvious that the next stop should be sited to coincide with the last area. The same thing applies to timetables, vehicle capacities and routes, which These all affect how profitable your company will be. This is where the planning and constant tweaking of the system becomes important.

Because everything you do has an impact, combined with the facility to design your own really complex cities; Cities In Motion 2 has great longevity. If this type of game appeals to you, it has the capacity to keep you occupied for a very long time.

Details:

• Price: £14.99 direct from Steam
• Manufacturer: Paradox Interactive
• Website: forum.paradoxplaza.com
• Min Required Spec: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7/8, 2 GHz Dual core, 3 GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce 8800, 512 MB RAM or ATI Radeon HD 3850 or better

Scores:

Quality: 7/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 8/10