Cities: Skylines Industries DLC Review -- A Fantastic Addition
Every so often, a great game gets a great expansion DLC. In even fewer instances, that DLC improves so well upon the promise of the original release that from that point onward, it's hard to recommend new players buy the game without immediately including the DLC in their order.
Think Modern Times in Tropico 4, the downtown nightlife expansions in the Sims series, or Brave New World for Civilization V. They're indispensable parts of the games they add to because of the new mechanics they introduce.
Industries, the latest DLC for Cities: Skylines, joins Mass Transit on that must-have list.
As the name implies, this DLC completely overhauls the game's industrial system, taking mechanics that will be familiar to anyone who's already familiar with the game's districting system and using them to finally bring some real value to the four natural resources that have been part of Skylines maps since the game launched in 2015.
What's New in Industries?
Before, you could put down an industrial district on fertile land and rely on the game to create farming industries. The same was true of trees and forestry, ores and mining, and oil and...well...oil.
With the expansion installed? You'll have a far greater level of control over the production chains those resources previously handled offscreen.
For example, if you build a forestry district, you'll first have specialized buildings -- and they're not standard industrial zones; they're actual buildings like the venues in Parklife, Skylines' previous DLC -- that create “forestry products”, which is to say logs.
Once your forestry district levels up -- and this, too, is a direct pull from the way the parks level up in Parklife, dependent on resource production and profitability -- you can start producing “planed lumber”, otherwise known as boards.
Those boards can then be transported within your city, influencing the classic zoned industry.
And Colossal Order has built a complete tycoon game into this new supply-chain mechanic. It's reminiscent of the resources in the Cities XL series or even the production chains in the classic Capitalism 2.
There are also plenty of other industry buildings -- warehouses, cargo airports, and even a post office system to turn mail into an industry unto itself -- to completely change the way the industries work in the game.
And because of the way these systems level up over the course of the game, they're not only usable out of the box, but it's actually better to plan your entire city's growth around just that eventuality. This is a DLC that scales from early- to late-game and can have a place in a variety of different city plans from the moment you're choosing a map and looking at what resources are available on it -- all before ever putting down your first building.
Another plus? Where in the past industry was something players tended to (typically) evolve away from in terms of employment options for their citizens as soon as office zones unlocked, you can now create actual prosperous industrial cities that aren't polluted disaster areas.
The high-tech production chains have profit potential that puts even the best office-and-education strategy to shame, but it comes at a cost of the game expecting players to put a lot of effort into the building and maintenance of their industrial production.
If you are any kind of Skylines enthusiast, you're going to enjoy what this DLC has to offer. Your cities will have more variety since those resources on the map will finally be worth something in terms of actual interesting gameplay options.
In addition, managing those production chains is a game within a game that makes Skylines an even deeper and richer experience than it's ever been before.
If you're the kind of person who turns off the advanced options because Skylines is already a little too complex for you out of the box, this isn't going to be your cup of tea. It will break your brain if you're not careful, and if you just don't want to have manufacturing be part of your city's economy, you can still play without it.
This is an absolute must-have DLC for Cities: Skylines enthusiasts. It's one of the best expansion packs to come into gaming itself in years, and it brings Skylines closer to being the ultimate only city-builder you'll ever need.
The way industrial zones will change the way your cities function and serve as the focus of a powerhouse economy turns one of the biggest albatrosses of the late-game into an integrated part of the game's overall strategy from small town to metropolis.
If you own Skylines, get Industries. It's that good.
You can pick up the Industries DLC on Steam for $14.99.
[Note: A review copy of this DLC was provided by the publisher.]