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Hey a new pack for Cities Skylines, I'm always happy when one of these comes along.
Reminds me that this game exists and I like it. This is Parklife, the sixth
expansion to Cities Skylines coming at you for an asking price of 15
US dollars. As you might expect from the title it adds parks, full of life, down
amongst the skylines of your cities! More specifically it introduces park
districts, each of which can be customized according to four different
themes: city parks, nature reserves, amusement parks, and zoos. This means that
you're no longer limited to plopping buildings on the side of the road to
appease citizens' entertainment requirements. Now you can just paint a
district on top of any part of the map and claim it as a park. And yes, you can
overlap park districts with the other, more traditional ones so all that empty
space in between zones and structures can finally be filled up with something
more useful. As long as your new park has an entryway the area will attract
citizens and tourists alike and can even generate revenue if you decide to charge
an entrance fee. And personally speaking this is something I've wanted in
Skylines ever since it first launched in 2015. Or at least, it's a lot of what I've
wanted while still leaving a little bit to be desired, but we'll get to that in a bit.
Overall though I'm quite happy with Parklife
because, in my opinion, one of the biggest appeals of freeform city
builders like this is the opportunity to create an aesthetically-pleasing
metropolis. And until now anytime you built a city with fewer grids and more
winding roads it meant that you were left with a lot of unused space due to
the limitations of the zoning grid. Sure you could build pedestrian pathways and
plop down a bunch of trees to cover things up without this pack, but that was
about it. So the fact that Parklife allows you to designate those areas as a
proper park that more fully appeases localized desires is just awesome. And to
do this you're provided hundreds of new assets with this pack to plop down just
about anywhere you want. Placement restrictions have been lifted with these
new pack items so you're not limited to sticking them right up against roads or
pathways for them to work, meaning that you can create much more believable
parks with stuff just kind of scattered around everywhere and people can explore
as they wish. While you can mix and match the new assets any way you like, the four
main park designations are logically split up to provide their own unique
experiences. First up are city parks and they're the most generic ones on offer,
providing a basic but pleasant urban refuge letting you provide your citizens
with things like cafes, restaurants, gazebos, piers, food trucks, playgrounds,
and giant trampolines. Nature reserves are more serene and woodsy with a focus
on camping, walking trails, cabins, viewing platforms, and lookout towers. And even
when placed inside of a bustling center of commerce, nature reserves are all
quiet and serene and I find the dichotomy downright pleasant. Amusement
parks are pretty self-explanatory and these make Skylines feel more like a
business management sim than ever, with carnival games, haunted houses,
merry-go-rounds, roller coasters, and even mascots wandering the premises. Granted,
you don't have nearly the amount of customization over little tiny details
as you do in, say, Planet Coaster or RollerCoaster Tycoon, and you can't zoom
in nearly as close as I would prefer to really get the details just right. Maybe
that doesn't matter to everyone but for me I felt like I wanted to be closer. The
same goes for the zoos, which come together a lot like amusement parks but
feature notably more flora and fauna. You get exhibits with all sorts of creatures:
elephants and flamingos, giraffes, rhinos. Yeah man, the Zoo Tycoon memories are
flooding back and I am all for it. I'm also down with the new policies on
offer, both for your city at large and those that apply to each individual park.
So yeah if you want one park to be heavily advertised and feature more
pampered animals you can do that, while another park might receive night tours
and fireworks shows to keep the party going 24/7. Although be careful with
those fireworks, since they not only last the entire night long and get old
fast with their single repeating animation, but they're quite the fire
hazard it seems. And if you don't have firefighting helicopters then that's
unfortunate since, as it is now, fire trucks can't always reach inside the
park to extinguish the flames. So my first park ended up a little bit
more post-apocalyptic than I planned... On second thought, I meant for it to look
like that! Now it's a theme park, problem solved. But whenever
your parks aren't burning down it's a good idea to make use of the new park
maintenance city service building. It's not exactly required but it's nice to
have. A lot like the road maintenance building, it'll send out vehicles that go
around and improve efficiency and attractiveness. And to keep track of
attractiveness and other such things you can refer to the park menu. It gives you
a nice little overview of all the stuff you've got going on in the city, how much
people enjoy it, how much money it's making or losing, all sorts of good stuff.
And this also ties into the tourism overhaul, with a new more detailed user
interface and a menu system that's also part of the free patch that launched
alongside this pack. A very welcome addition
that makes tourism make a bit more sense. Speaking of which you can now create
sightseeing tours as well, which works a lot like creating public transport and
airship paths, except here you're controlling sightseeing buses and groups
of tourists on foot. You just click around the map and plan out routes for
tourists and vehicles to follow, and place stops in the form of points of
interest with the idea being that it will increase the appeal of any
attractions at those stops. And you also get hot air balloon tours, and yeah,
I find these far more visually appealing than blimps so this is something I am
definitely happy to have in the game without mods. However, all this extra
stuff means that you're gonna be faced with a lot more busy work, because with
every single one of these park districts it is an entirely freeform process to
design them and nothing populates automatically like with the other
existing districts. You know, so like, if you placed an 'organic and local produce'
district on top of a commercial zone, it'll grow a bunch of buildings and
props automatically that fit into the category from that point onwards. But
with park districts, nothing shows up inside of it unless you specifically
place it there: every entrance, every path, every rock, tree, bench, every single
building and every single piece of decoration has to be placed one at a
time. Don't get me wrong, this isn't necessarily a complaint, it's just more
of an FYI. I myself love how involved park-building is here since I'm all
about this kind of granular design and detail, and find myself getting lost in
it for hours trying to level up each park to the
fullest. But I do also wish there were some form of automatic park generation,
or at the very least a tool to fill in a park district with trees or terrain
coverage. As an example, in the confusingly unrelated 'Cities' series by
Focus Home Interactive, I always appreciated this tool that let you fill
in an empty space with a single click. It's a quick and dirty way of creating
parks but it works in a pinch when you'd rather put your time into building
something else, so having something similar would have
been nice to have in Skylines Parklife. And also, while this pack does come with
a ton of buildings, props, and other assets to place in your parks, I'm a bit
irked at how you can't freely place any of the previous park buildings anywhere
you want into park districts in the same way you can the new ones. Things like
basketball courts and bouncy castles would fit right into these new park
districts, as would the new unique buildings like the Old Market Street and
this rather impressive castle. But nope, you're restricted to placing them
roadside as always. And naturally, there's already a mod to make this happen, so you know,
whatever man, it's kind of a moot point I guess if you're willing to mod
your game. But it still seems like it should be an option already. Again though,
these aren't real major complaints so much as they are things that I think you
should be aware of if you want to buy this pack. As for whether or not I
recommend buying it? Well, 15 bucks is what Parklife costs and what it provides
is not exactly necessary to the Skylines experience. So you know, make that buying
calculation for yourself. As for me though, I still think this pack is
awesome and I'm glad to have it in the game. It just adds a bunch of things that
I wanted and I can't see myself playing without from this point forward. And even
if you don't buy the pack, the free updates that launched alongside it have
only made the game better. Like the improvements to tourism, the build menu
filters to help categorize things, the new cinematic camera option, the
extensions to custom content creation, the ploppable terrain props and
decorative items, and how trees now significantly reduce noise pollution.
So yeah Parklife! I like it a lot and you might like it too, so check it out if
you want. Either way though I hope that you enjoyed this brief look at the pack.
I always enjoy covering Skylines whenever a new thing comes along,
and beyond that I talk about all sorts of things every Monday
Friday right here on LGR, so stick around if you'd like. And as always thank you
very much for watching!
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LGR - Cities: Skylines Parklife Review

5 Folder Collection
林宜悉 published on March 7, 2020
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