We’ve all been in that horribly stereotypical situation of waiting for a bus in the pouring rain for what seems like hours, and then along come three at once. Perhaps you’ve been waiting for a train, only to find out it’s been delayed for hours due to a shoddily handled signal light somewhere along the line. It’s a moments like these you curse the awful transport network – at least you do if you’re in Britain – and then begin to think “it can’t be that hard, I could do that myself”. Well, thanks to Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive you can do just that with the sequel to their incredibly popular management simulation Cities in Motion.
The aim in Cities in Motion 2 is to create a transport network that really functions and can deal with the stresses and strains of your cities needs and demands. You’ll have to adapt to what gets thrown your way; if your city grows so it has a thriving business centre, then transport will be needed to ease the rush hour traffic be it via bus, metro or train. You’ll also have to ease off on the traffic overnight, so you can not only save money, but also because the demand won’t be there for as heavy transport flow.
So, what sets Cities in Motion 2 apart from its predecessor? Well, first things first, this one is set in the modern day. Previously CiM spanned 100 years of automotive management from the 1920s until the 2020s, now though we’re told it’ll focus much more on the modern day – however we weren’t informed of exact dates. Other rather significant changes include the alteration of the game clock to show an hour as a minute, meaning a day passes every 24 minutes – thus creating more realistic traffic flow situations for you to deal with.
For this iteration, you now only have to control three modes of transport, but each one has its own pros and cons to deal with. Now busses need to have depots at the start and finish of their routes, meaning they wont span for ages and they’ll always be complete – it also stops them from popping in and out like they used to. The metro system can also be built underground, overground or suspended to create some character to your city. Another tweak is the addition of curvier roads, meaning you no longer have to build on the grid based system that the original used.
For me, the most interesting part came from the self building city. You lay out the streets and the houses build, the larger you make your city the bigger it becomes – if you then can keep transport infrastructure up then the city grows even more; thus requiring you to keep on top of your various transportation methods, but giving you more money to use too. This means that the challenge to create a networked city is constant as it’ll continually grow naturally. As the game maps are also absolutely massive, you could build a separate city and infrastructure elsewhere on the map, and over time they’ll slowly begin to meld together – meaning you’ll be sending inter city trains and busses and even metro lines if you fancied it. Frankly, the thought of an ever adapting city is just incredible.
Multiplayer mode is also going to be included, allowing you to work competitively and cooperatively, but for the time being Colossal Order didn’t fancy giving away to many details about what we can expect. They are also including a map editor into their Sandbox mode, so you can sculpt the world that your city will inhabit. You’ll also be able to share your terraformed worlds with others for them to create cities on.
Slated to launch in Q2 of 2013 with a simultaneous release on PC and Mac, Cities in Motion 2 ticks all those boxes I have for management games, as well as satisfying that peculiar urge I have for order and planning. It may not be everyones cup of tea, but for those who get enjoyment from such situations – i.e. me – this looks like it’s shaping up to become an utterly fantastic sequel to the popular Cities in Motion.