Monday, April 08, 2013

Cities in Motion 2 Gameplay Review

I'm playing Cities in Motion 2, a mass transit planning game by Colossal Order and Paradox Interactive.

Campaign and sandbox modes return, and both include a series of objectives to assist your transit development. This sequel does not feature any real cities like its predecessor, although cities do change over time based on the efficiency of your transit system. New cities can be created using the included map editor, however. Multiplayer, including cooperative, competitive, and team-based modes, a major new addition to the game. The interface is notably less efficient this time around: it takes one or two more clicks to perform the same actions as before. While customer feedback is more direct and useful, the map data is less clear, the minimap is too small, the stop and vehicle icons are too tiny, and screen-edge scrolling has been removed. All transit lines now must start and end at a depot, adding a more realistic but less flexible rule into the game. Purchased vehicles are automatically assigned to a line emanating from its depot (a nice touch), and lines can be given custom time tables to determine when and how often vehicles leave the depot for passengers. You can also place roads to alleviate congestion (although most of the cities are too tightly packed to allow for their placement), and assign a range of ticket prices to different parts of the city. However, placing tram track and trolley wires is a tedious exercise done one block at a time. Overall, the shortcomings of the interface and new features that add little meaningful substance result in a less enjoyable sequel.