Cities: Skylines - Industries is perhaps the biggest new addition the game has seen yet, and one of the countless additions that can be slapped onto the base game regardless of prior expansion pack purchases Previous add-ons and expansions have been reprimanded in the past for being little more than glorified item packs commanding a bit too high a price tag, but the general consensus with Industries thus far is that it offers far more for the same asking price.
If you’re clicking on a review of a Cities: Skylines expansion pack, it’s safe to assume you already have a good idea of what to expect from Cities: Skylines Industries from the title alone. Industries in Cities: Skylines have always been one of the three major ‘zones’ available to players, with the game essentially boiling down to how you manage and balance the constantly growing need for each alongside residential (homes) and commercial (shops) locations.
Each of the three can be built upon with variants like high-rise residential buildings, larger stores, and shopping centers, and more high-tech industrial zones like offices as a city grows, but how they act and perform has been largely out of city builders control since the beginning.
Now, one of those three core attributes has taken an evolutionary next step. Cities: Skylines - Industries ushers in the necessary changes needed to spice up the simple idea of balancing the scales by essentially making industry management and decision-making part a far more in-depth and rewarding experience.
Unlike past Cities: Skylines expansions, you won’t have to wait long to put these new tools into practice. Almost as soon as you can build classic industry zones like factories and warehouses, you can place down the unique buildings that will decide how the zone in question conducts its business.
To get the ball rolling, all you need to do is paint a zone on the map, mark it as an industry spot, and use the toll to identify the kinds of materials you want your eventual workforce to focus on. Have a sprawling forest on your city outskirts and don’t care much for the environment? Set up a logging industry. Notice rich oil deposits? Get drilling.
Placing down an industry specialist building kicks things into gear, unlocking a bunch more placeable structures to compliment your chosen specialty. There’s nothing stopping you from running one of each specialized industry if you have the land to properly support it, but a plethora of new policies can bring in a lot of extra cash for a city willing to make a name for itself in a certain field.
Identifying a viable industry specialization based on the geography of your chosen map is a challenge in and of itself, but putting in the work to level up and optimize your eventual exports is a whole other beast that will take some serious micro-management as you get to grips with just how much this expansion has changed things up. And that’s before we even get into the more traditional expansion offerings.
Available to owners of even just the base game following the free update, Toll Booths have been added to help further manage traffic and hopefully bring in the extra cash often needed to replace roads as a cities carbon footprint starts to grow. But that doesn’t mean those who buy into the new expansion have nothing more to toy around with.
Between learning the ropes of the new industrial system, players can now plot and optimize mail routes through their cities with the new Postal Service feature. Another placeable building similar to a Bus Depot, the added extra of warehouses means it’s only a matter of time before Amazon solidifies its hold on even our virtual cities.
Cities: Skylines - Industries is arguably the game’s first real expansion, with past offerings feeling like glorified item packs by comparison. For those who picked up the Parklife expansion released a few months back, it’s easy to think Colossal Order used that to test the waters for what would ultimately make up this new release. If you played that one, you’ll latch onto Industries no problem. If not, well… let’s just say you’ll feel like you’ve been pushed into the deep end for a while.
Cities: Skylines is already a monumental achievement in the city-building genre, but the addition of complex and intricate industry specializations adds an even deeper level of strategy that might overwhelm all but the most experienced players.
CITIES: SKYLINES VERDICT
Running meaningful industries in your city is like playing a game within a game. Suddenly feeling like an entire county builder, it’s safe to say that the unstoppable force of Cities: Skylines just got a whole lot bigger.
TOP GAME MOMENT
The realization that there’s far more to tackle here than previous expansions would have you believe. It’s big.
Solid amount of new content makes this feel like a true expansion
Good pricing given past releases
New assets and models will drastically diversify the look of bigger cities
Multiple info windows overlap and overwhelm when diving into industry specializations