The Cities: Skylines franchise continues going strong, with a brand new expansion entitled Natural Distasters. Here are our impressions on what’s new and improved.
As the name suggests, the latest addon for Skylines adds things like earthquakes, tornados, fires and sinkholes to the game. There are a few ways in which they change the gameplay, but it depends on how you approach them. You can temporarily pretend you’re not actually taking care of your city and unleash these natural disasters yourself, or you can continue to manage your metropolis and try to survive them as best as possible.
Of course, it’s fun to shake things up every now and then, and natural disasters are a great way to breathe new life into a city simulation that’s running smoothly. You’ll quickly discover how disaster-ready you were, and that’s where other new additions come into play. You can now disaster-proof your cities, to a degree, and prepare for the worst.
This is especially interesting when you don’t assume control of the ‘god of natural disasters’ and remain in your role as city manager. Being subject to some of nature’s worst takes a certain degree of control away from the player, and this is what makes this challenging even to seasoned Skylines players.
The downside to the Natural Disasters DLC is that, unless you pick a more active way to include them, you can feel like you’re playing the same old game. If you’re not actively triggering your own disasters, or playing a scenario that includes plenty of this, disasters are far and few between – as they luckily are in real life as well. To get the most enjoyment out of the expansion, however, we’d recommend setting the game up so that you actively engage with them. Once you master how to deal with them – as best you can, as results are still catastrophic in some cases – it’s good to let them become a natural part of the core game. Which, with Natural Disasters, is now once again a richer experience.