One thing that SimCity had done better than Cities:Skylines is disasters – until now.
In SimCity, the metropolis you’ve been working on for so long could be devastated by a meteor or giant lizard at any moment. In Cities:Skylines, the only really bad thing that could happen was poor planning.
This has changed. A few weeks ago, I bought the Natural Disasters expansion for Cities:Skylines. Bad things have been happening to the city of Edgewood, and the game has become even more exciting.
Like everything that the developers of Cities:Skylines seem to do, they have taken what SimCity has already done and come up with something even better.
This new expansion isn’t just about natural disasters – it’s about disaster planning. With SimCity, it was about sending a tornado through your city and then rebuilding the damage. With Natural Disasters, it’s about setting up early warning systems – meteor detection systems, earthquake sensors, tsunami warning buoys, and so on. It’s about stocking shelters with food and water, and planning out emergency bus routes to get your citizens to the shelters.
When a tsunami flattens your nice beach-front community, rescue teams search through the rubble for survivors before things get rebuilt. Or, you can just bulldoze everything before the rescue teams get there, and let the community rebuild on its own. (I haven’t yet figured out if one option has an advantage over the other.)
If a meteor lands in the middle of a lake, and the resulting waves flood the surrounding areas, rescue teams show up with tanker trucks to vacuum up the flood waters. Or, you can just wait for the water to dry up on its own.
With SimCity, all you can do is bulldoze, rebuild, and hope you didn’t lose too many citizens.
As with SimCity, in the Natural Disasters expansion, disasters can happen randomly, or you can send that meteor into the middle of the lake just to see what will happen. There is also something entirely new – “scenarios” – in which you can plan an event, or events, and then set a goal of “winning” or “losing” (for instance, rebuilding the population to a certain level within a certain amount of time). You can also upload your scenario to the Workshop for other players to play.
I haven’t tried out scenarios, and I don’t know much about them. I’m not interested in playing City:Skylines with the idea of “winning”. But I love that the game developers came up with this option.
I am very pleased with Natural Disasters, and the new elements it has brought to the game – even though there are no giant lizards.