Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters (PlayStation 4) Review

By Sam Turner 30.05.2018

Review for Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters on PlayStation 4

Creation can be a beautiful thing, but it sure takes a lot of time. Managing the micro to perfect the micro is an all-consuming and detailed fare. It’s often fulfilling but also it can lead to boredom and tedium when realising a vision. Destruction, on the other hand, is quick, versatile, and immediately satisfying but courts such devastation and the beauty in creation can be burnt, withered, and killed. It's a fine line to draw between the slow and delicate-but-rewarding elements of design with the appeal of seeing it all go up in flames. Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters attempts to tow that line, bringing true challenge to the city building sim.

In the newest DLC to be ported from the PC to the PlayStation 4, Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters is an intriguing prospect for any enthusiastic city planner. The content here is more than a skin or a veneer on the visual overlay; instead it's an opportunity to put the detail to the test as the devil comes to visit.

In its basic state, Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters works in harmony with many of the other city creation tools. It's a dangerous neighbour that sits alongside 'zoning areas' and building a 'primary school.' Move one tab along and there is a sudden glut of different doomsday delights to throw at your city. Unleash an earthquake, set forth a tsunami, or direct a comet to land on the self-elected red target the hovers over the city.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters on PlayStation 4

For those who have dedicated hours to the minute to minute perfection of a well-run city, it might seem counter intuitive to hurl such devastation upon it. However, there's a childish delight to what Paradox Interactive has brought to the Cities: Skylines experience. It has seen the delight in the eyes of that one child who brings their hammered fists to a LEGO party, or their angry foot to a sandcastle. There is some perverse delight in pulling out that brick or slowly picking at the scab and Natural Disasters provides all the tools to do this.

It helps that it all looks appealing to the eye, also. Comets materialise from the unknown but make a reasonably spectacular arrival on the city. Water effects are also tested, with rain and tsunamis not looking too out of place next the cartoonish style of Cities: Skylines. Just like with all destructive tendencies, however, the delight at such graphical designs quickly fades as it slowly dawns on the player that there is suddenly one heck of a big hole in their city.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters on PlayStation 4

It is with this realisation that Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters really shines. It's the chance everyone has been waiting for, to role-play as Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson if he was head of the town council planning committee. Dealing with the fallout of disaster is a true challenge in this DLC and preparing for such devastation will bring the prepared and skilled planners floating to the top.

Along with the disasters included in the DLC, Paradox has also thrown in the ability to create canals in the city, and also mess with topographical areas of land; effectively giving the player the tools needed to divert excess water, landscape areas, and essentially turn that mountain of a problem into a molehill. Like every addition that Paradox has added into Cities: Skylines, this DLC is well thought out and so well implemented that it doesn't feel like a cheap toy but instead a destructive tool that demands attention and respect.

Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters isn't an entirely masochistic affair; after all, hurling rocks and rain at a city that's been self-curated might be too irksome for some to even contemplate. That doesn't mean that this DLC doesn't invite everyone to have a shot at the alluring challenge it presents. The addition, therefore, of specific disaster scenarios here gives all the thrill of dealing with doomsday without ever letting one's own creation come to blows with rocks from space.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters on PlayStation 4

It's another deft move from Paradox and one that actually provides a twist on what Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters offers in the base game. Each scenario gives you a city that is dangerously susceptible to a certain type of disaster. The opening situation, for example, gives the player a small village that might crumble under a sink hole or be drowned by a tsunami at any time. This dramatically changes the style of gameplay and ratchets up the tension no end.

Knowing that the city could be destroyed at any point makes decision-making critical, and adds a level of strain to city design that is otherwise missing from the vanilla gameplay experience. The scenarios are certainly where Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters shines as a crafted gaming challenge. Building can go from feeling fulfilling to futile in moments and the most delicate of plans can be so swiftly changed that the player will be tested like never before.

Screenshot for Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

It's a delight to see that Paradox Interactive is still supporting the PlayStation 4 port of Cities: Skylines and this latest DLC is an essential for any player who thinks they have city building down to a tee. For casual players there is not much beyond childish delight but in the scenario sandbox of destruction and design, Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters makes a gameplay experience that is tense, trying, and terrifically satisfying.

Developer

Colossal Order

Publisher

Paradox Interactive

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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