Cities: Skylines - Snowfall (PlayStation 4) Review

By Sam Turner 07.12.2017

Review for Cities: Skylines - Snowfall on PlayStation 4

'Tis the season to be jolly, and, along with general overconsumption, it is that time of year when the usual elements that make up the boring day-to-day are accompanied with a sprig of festive delights. Houses glow and trees swell inside. Shop windows simulate frost and some people even wear a smile underneath their newly adorned hat and bell. It's of no surprise that several games feel the need to nudge their way into this pantomime of seasonal suggestion, and so Cities: Skylines - Snowfall is an expansion to the popular city sim that adds some chill to the landscape.

Vanilla Cities: Skylines is nothing to be sniffed at. It's a game that excels at drawing the player into the problems, responsibilities and sheer joy of running a city. Seeing it expand, contract, heave and grow like a pair of ugly lungs with highways, skyscrapers and schools appearing like lesions.

The one thing that it did lack, however, was the absence of unpredictability and external threats. Once you got a city up and running and expanding at a rate that was manageable, the early struggles, hefty loan repayments and tumbling population roll away to leave a city happy to tick over rather than tick off the player.

Cities: Skylines - Snowfall therefore is another expansion for the title that offers players a sprinkle of unpredictability, and, more importantly, a dash of festive flare.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Snowfall on PlayStation 4

There is little in the expansion that will have an effect on any city that the player currently has in operation. Quite disappointingly, Snowfall doesn't mean that once the in-game calendar toddles round to December, Christmas lights start to appear and the temperate drops a few degrees. Instead, what Snowfall attempts to do is to challenge the player's abilities of city creation upon a frozen tundra rather than just tweaking some of the original gaming elements.

That is not to say that any of the original maps aren't affected by Snowfall; the expansion does add rain and fog to the maps that reside at the positive end of the thermometer.

To really experience all that the expansion has to offer is to step inside one of the new 'Winter' maps that transport the player to a frozen landscape and a new level of complexity to the already demanding Cities: Skylines experience.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Snowfall on PlayStation 4

Here, everything will appear much the same as it always did; however, just covered in snow. As the city building continues apace, there are some glaring differences. Firstly, as the city grows, so do the evident issues that having so much white fluffy stuff around can cause. Icy roads can dramatically slow down traffic, having an effect on power production, emergency services and commercial success. The temperature also becomes a strong consideration as the player has to drastically think of how best to provide constant heat and insulation to their buildings on an increasingly tiny budget.

The expansion, of course, brings with it new ways of dealing with all these new problems. Expensive heat pipes and snow dumps can help alleviate some of the ancient issues of icy weather. Largely, this means that Snowfall is a delicate add-on to what Cities: Skylines already has to offer. It is grateful that what it brings is not just snow-based subjugation, but also new public transport options with trams, as well as new sounds and music, which genuinely turn the game into a holiday experience with a soundtrack to a John Hughes movie.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Snowfall on PlayStation 4

Alongside all of this added complexity of gameplay there are also a slew of new Winter-themed locations and tourist traps. Ski slopes, hockey rinks and other snow sports come to the city scape, promising more demands on an ever increasingly fragile infrastructure. It's a delicate addition, but it continues the strong wealth and depth that this expansion has to offer.

Everything that Cities: Skylines - Snowfall has to offer can be found here. Though it might seem like a small package, in truth, what Snowfall offers is a delicate veneer on the already complex depth of the Cities: Skylines experience. The added detail is fed to the player at just the right speed and amount. Enough to allow for just enough enjoyment in the festive glare before the temperatures drop and the roads become impossible to pass.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Snowfall on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Cities: Skylines - Snowfall is a rare expansion that manages to bring holiday cheer to a game that could have easily exposed it for a cheap cash-in if it wasn't done right. However, there is just enough added challenge and detail to the expansion that makes it a welcome addition to the core experience. It is by no means essential, but it adds some twinkle to the transport and some ho-ho-ho to the heating. Cities: Skylines - Snowfall is a perfect expansion to welcome in the Christmas season.

Developer

Colossal Order

Publisher

Paradox Interactive

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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