User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 89
  2. Negative: 27 out of 89

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  1. Nov 6, 2011
    1
    I've played the original Cities XL, which had significant promise. So, when Cities XL 2011 came out, I bought it right away, soon realizing that there were a few minor additions, but no improvements to the game, and no bugfixes. Severely disappointed, I chucked it in the cabinet, never to play again.
    Cities XL 2012 is... exactly the same. Some minor additions, no improvements, and the
    I've played the original Cities XL, which had significant promise. So, when Cities XL 2011 came out, I bought it right away, soon realizing that there were a few minor additions, but no improvements to the game, and no bugfixes. Severely disappointed, I chucked it in the cabinet, never to play again.
    Cities XL 2012 is... exactly the same. Some minor additions, no improvements, and the original bugs are still there!

    For those unfamiliar with the problems, here's a personal summary in ascending order of annoyance:
    1) the game is badly balanced in terms of trading, making it ridiculously easy to come up with a profit. I.e.; no real challenge.
    2) the public transport-system is broken, resulting in no real value of busses or metro.
    3) the game suffers from a memory leak, making you restart the game every 30-odd minutes to keep on playing.
    4) and finally, the game DOES NOT SUPPORT MULTI-CORE ARCHITECTURES! I've got a pretty decent quad-core which can run anything from Theme Hospital to Crysis, but it struggles with Cities XL because it only utilizes a single core! This results in a very slow game, with seconds of delay between clicking a button and seeing a response. I find that to be a dealbreaker for a processor-heavy game.

    While the potential is clearly there, the bugs make the game unplayable, and as such I've applied for a refund (which I seem get, surprisingly).
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  2. Nov 3, 2011
    5
    After many expansions, this game is starting to look like a good buy. BUT, when we can't use our multi-core CPUs to have smooth gameplay and stable FPS rate then everything falls in the water. In this version we get new buildings, parts from SKI and Beach GEMs (mainly buildings) with which we can build nice resorts. Other news are new maps and the ability for users to make mods which areAfter many expansions, this game is starting to look like a good buy. BUT, when we can't use our multi-core CPUs to have smooth gameplay and stable FPS rate then everything falls in the water. In this version we get new buildings, parts from SKI and Beach GEMs (mainly buildings) with which we can build nice resorts. Other news are new maps and the ability for users to make mods which are now supported by the developer. The main problems still persists, memory leaks and one CPU core usage. If they fix this, then user made mods are going to propel this game to the stars! Expand
  3. Feb 29, 2012
    5
    Great strategy and graphic appealing city builder. However, the lagging that takes place in this game makes it almost unbearable to play. I will try and play it a few more times, but if it contiues to get worse. I will throw it out. Thanks Anyways. I have a major gaming system running Win7 64bit with 12 GiG RAM, CPU is Intel I7 extreme gaming edition running at 3.8 Ghz and Nvidia 295's inGreat strategy and graphic appealing city builder. However, the lagging that takes place in this game makes it almost unbearable to play. I will try and play it a few more times, but if it contiues to get worse. I will throw it out. Thanks Anyways. I have a major gaming system running Win7 64bit with 12 GiG RAM, CPU is Intel I7 extreme gaming edition running at 3.8 Ghz and Nvidia 295's in Quad SLI and both CPU and Video Card are liguid cooled. But still it lags to the point of almost locking up. Through reading some of the forums, this is a common problem with the game. And the only fix or workaround seems to be having to quit and restart the game to play another 30 or 40 mins. To bad they cannot develop a game like this without this type or problem. Expand
  4. Mar 7, 2013
    5
    The game is pretty good, it allows you to build really big cities and exchange resources between them. I wasted many hours in this game. The only big problem I have with it is small lags that happen after 30 minutes of game play, forcing me to go back to the city selection screen. Some people say its a memory leak happening, but I don't see any change in memory usage on my PC. I've beenThe game is pretty good, it allows you to build really big cities and exchange resources between them. I wasted many hours in this game. The only big problem I have with it is small lags that happen after 30 minutes of game play, forcing me to go back to the city selection screen. Some people say its a memory leak happening, but I don't see any change in memory usage on my PC. I've been playing this game for a year now and I still don't see a fix for it. Expand
  5. Apr 21, 2012
    5
    If you can get past the fact that the game is rather buggy, has periods of slow down when playing for long times, sometimes places buildings in the wrong direction to where you have to break and remake, and that it feels like the only real consequences you have to worry about is traffic and costs, this can be a pretty fun game. Though it feels more like a "how to make everyone happy"If you can get past the fact that the game is rather buggy, has periods of slow down when playing for long times, sometimes places buildings in the wrong direction to where you have to break and remake, and that it feels like the only real consequences you have to worry about is traffic and costs, this can be a pretty fun game. Though it feels more like a "how to make everyone happy" puzzle game then a city builder. Expand
  6. Mar 7, 2012
    6
    I've never played a Cities XL game before, saw this on sale and decided, why not? The learning curve was pretty gentle. I did the tutorials and even though everything wasn't really explained perfectly, I figured out enough of it to get started pretty quickly. Without having to work very hard, I managed to get a city to 50,000 population pretty easily. Unfortunately, that's where thingsI've never played a Cities XL game before, saw this on sale and decided, why not? The learning curve was pretty gentle. I did the tutorials and even though everything wasn't really explained perfectly, I figured out enough of it to get started pretty quickly. Without having to work very hard, I managed to get a city to 50,000 population pretty easily. Unfortunately, that's where things started going downhill. The main reason why this game doesn't get a higher score is that it only utilizes one core. I have a quad core and it seems ridiculous that they couldn't figure out how to at least attempt to use a 2nd core to lighten the load. I also have a good video card (GTX 460 which I upgraded to a GTX 570 with 1.2GB of RAM on it) and 4GB of RAM in my PC yet after 50,000 citizens the game still runs in the single digits on framerate?

    Also occasionally I'd run into situations where a house would report that it had no access to city hall even though it did, or that a bus line was broken (meaning it didn't make a complete loop back to the terminal) when nothing had changed. These little events hurt the game as well...

    I haven't really experienced all the game has to offer yet, but from what I can see it's great for casual players who just want to jump in and start making a city since it simplifies some things over Sim City (like not having to place water and electrical lines everywhere). It also allows you to connect one city to another to trade some resources between them, allowing one city to specialize in "holiday hotels" and another to be more of a farm city, or industrial or whatever. This is very nice, though if your cash flow is negative, the only city you can trade with is the NPC city that generally doesn't give you a very good deal in any trade. I'd say if you see this game on sale for cheap, give it a shot (unless you already have one of the earlier games in the series). Otherwise it's probably better to pass on it.
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  7. Feb 22, 2013
    7
    The best city builder on the market, even if not so immersive for 2012. Mods helps a lot to make the game deeper and have a better and more complete gameplay. But Focus Home Entertainment have done nothign to really improve the original Monte Cristo title and this is the worst problem of this title. Radically not completed, but still funny.
  8. Mar 6, 2013
    6
    A good game but marred with technical issues. Even the most recent gaming computers will issue some sort of problems and not due to the high end graphics, but due to the poor coding/programming. A thoroughly enjoyable game if it were to run properly.
  9. Feb 7, 2013
    3
    CitiesXL had some promise to be a half-way decent city builder. Things like outdated graphics, wonky interface and silly intros can be overlooked with the positives such as huge maps, multiple cities, and very intense management. Once the bugs become apparent such as the HUGE lag, you just want to click "uninstall" in the Steam client, which is exactly what I did. Now CitiesXL "Platinum"CitiesXL had some promise to be a half-way decent city builder. Things like outdated graphics, wonky interface and silly intros can be overlooked with the positives such as huge maps, multiple cities, and very intense management. Once the bugs become apparent such as the HUGE lag, you just want to click "uninstall" in the Steam client, which is exactly what I did. Now CitiesXL "Platinum" has been released. Instead of repackaging a mediocre game, why not address the severe bugs? it does not matter anyway; Sim City is due next month. I cannot wait. Expand
  10. Sep 20, 2012
    3
    Game value 7$;
    Played for 50 hours and can say this game is not at the level of Simcity (which came out a while ago). Although road can have any kind of shape, the system to built them is worst than Simcity. There are many type of road (too much) you can do, but each as it's own width so when you want to replace them you have to destroy the block or end with blank spaces. Regarding the
    Game value 7$;
    Played for 50 hours and can say this game is not at the level of Simcity (which came out a while ago). Although road can have any kind of shape, the system to built them is worst than Simcity. There are many type of road (too much) you can do, but each as it's own width so when you want to replace them you have to destroy the block or end with blank spaces. Regarding the highway (which you get only at 500 000 people), is useless!!! You can only make transition from Expressway to Highway and there is simply no freeway entrance (as they were in Simcity). In addition, no road can goes above or below an highway. So you'll end with a strip of highway that will divide your city, thus not helping your traffic problem. The transition support 80 car vs the highway at 320 cars, do the math.
    Something that could have been nice is that you have to specialize your cities but to achieve this, you have to create many cites (estimate to 10) and you'll have to spend little time in each since you'll share ressources. If one is growing too much, it won't be able to share. This will cause bankruptcy in the current city and the other that was using resources from the original city. They went too far in this specilization since a city cannot be self-sufficient even though it has all the ressource.

    Regarding the user interface, for unknown reason they limited the panel to 6 items, then you'll have to click to see the next 6 and so on. So, once most of the feature are unlock, you are expanding your menu all the time.
    A set the 7$ price because I don't see beyond 500 000 people the goal, it becomes frustrating to play. You better try to create another city from zero. Regarding bugs, they are a few and the one that is a killer (maybe just for me), if you press ESC while the autosaving is trigger, the game crash.
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  11. Oct 30, 2012
    6
    I give this game props for attempting to lure me in for hours of city building gameplay. Due to it's buggy nature the game will either freeze or shut my top of the line computer down. It's enjoyable to start, but doesn't bring me back for more as often times their user interface is late in telling you what you actually need to improve your city. Waiting for Sim City March 5th.
  12. Feb 9, 2013
    1
    This game shows so much promise, but it is hardly complete. Several features are unbalanced, and buggy. Bus routes tend to break down for no reason at all.

    The game itself gets super laggy after you reach higher population numbers. I run a watercooled i7@4GHz, with 24gigs of high speed ram, and an AMD 7970 GPU.
  13. Oct 25, 2011
    3
    Cities XL series is a really promising successor for SimCity but unfortunately it suffers from really bad memory leak problems which make the game unenjoyable for me. It is a shame as there are not many city builder game available. With the introduction of modding tools in Cities XL 2012, the game really has potential for a classic but Focus has to focus on fixing the technical problems first.
  14. Oct 22, 2011
    5
    its pretty much the same game. they didn't bother to change the icons and menu and the first impression you have is that maybe there has been a mistake regarding the content, the only thing different is the logo of cities xl 2012 instead of 2011. and the game of course has more bugs that you can imagine. despite all disappointments , you will have once or twice experience in playing theits pretty much the same game. they didn't bother to change the icons and menu and the first impression you have is that maybe there has been a mistake regarding the content, the only thing different is the logo of cities xl 2012 instead of 2011. and the game of course has more bugs that you can imagine. despite all disappointments , you will have once or twice experience in playing the game which brings back the old 2011 memories. Expand
  15. Dec 31, 2011
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is what happens when a shrinkwrap software business concept is applied to a game, except you rebuy the updates at full price, and all the bugs stay: think EA sports minus the initial golden age. It's making me rethink my life, so I give it an extra point for total of 1. Either this publisher sans developer has a monopoly on city builders or people that like city-builders are as dumb as gamers get. SPOILER ALERT! It's virtually identical to Cities XL (2010). Expand
  16. Oct 22, 2011
    3
    After playing for 20 hours now it seems like the game is the same thing as 2011 with some new textures and a good helping of bugs. Some of the new buildings are even bugged. If you play for more than an hour or so the game bogs down and a restart is needed, an issue that has stayed over from 2011. If you own a Cities XL or Sim City 4 already, don't bother.
  17. Dec 4, 2011
    7
    There's definitely some new material in this one, but it still has most of the same problems as always: It's slow, for one thing. My system specs well exceed the recommended specs for this game, but in larger cities I find it necessary to turn the graphical settings down as low as they will go in order to get a decent frame-rate. Trade is buggy and poorly optimized.

    At the same time,
    There's definitely some new material in this one, but it still has most of the same problems as always: It's slow, for one thing. My system specs well exceed the recommended specs for this game, but in larger cities I find it necessary to turn the graphical settings down as low as they will go in order to get a decent frame-rate. Trade is buggy and poorly optimized.

    At the same time, though, the game is actually fun. It's a great way to kill several hours, building unique cities and taking advantage of the new features in this version (which are mostly just new buildings, but it's still a fun addition). The game is consistently challenging, in all the right ways, and this falls well into line with the projected difficulties for each map type, so it's possible to play at exactly the level of difficulty you'd expect. Setting up bus routes and organizing cities to minimize traffic problems and environmental health is a satisfying task. And the difficulty grows organically as your city expands, requiring you to manage an ever-increasing set of variables in order to satisfy your citizens' needs.

    In short, the game is well-designed, and it is fun to play. It's just a shame that it's not better optimized. Perhaps once they slap next year's number on it, the game will have addressed those details.
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  18. Jun 9, 2012
    0
    It really saddens me to see releases of video games that is in a really bad state, released by publishers that don't care about anything just money, who don't care about there customers and lacks care to address problems. Focus Home Interactive is the leading example of a publisher that doesn't care about the quality of a game and fans. It baffles my mind that their is three games yetIt really saddens me to see releases of video games that is in a really bad state, released by publishers that don't care about anything just money, who don't care about there customers and lacks care to address problems. Focus Home Interactive is the leading example of a publisher that doesn't care about the quality of a game and fans. It baffles my mind that their is three games yet nothing is fixed from previous releases. So.. (poor+bias alert) general knowledge would suggest that their was ever be one player in the city-management sim genre which is obviously Simcity. Its been ages since Simcity 4 and the failure of that god-forsaken game. In that period between the glorious return of Simcity fans would really have one choice if they ever wanted teh 3D graphics and modern glamour for a City sim. Cities XL could be a nice alternative but the people behind it have borked it. As its broken in many places so yeah for the future its failure to address the issues that's been complained about many "times" should't go unpunished Simcity is 2013 apparantly how will they respond? Oh, let's release another game with minor additions! Just don't buy the game from these guys srsly until they learn the harshest of lessons... Expand
  19. Nov 8, 2011
    7
    Well its the old Sim City . So not much new ideas since i played sim city 10 years ago but the game Looks good and it kept me occupied for some .( played and realised it was 3 hours later which is a good sign)

    If you like the city development its pretty good buy actually
  20. Oct 23, 2011
    4
    As a city management system, I would expect more complex logic in the development of the city.
    As a game, there are bugs, the graphics are plain ugly. Even the caption of buttons are not propertly aligned. The text effects are horrible. I really wonder if they could not afford a descent graphic artist to make the game look like its been developed in the 2010's. Plain disapointment.
  21. Nov 10, 2011
    7
    Considering I haven't bought into the series early but being very curious I figured why not with the latest especially because of the modding tools. However, many people are frustrated because its like the earlier games, but luckily I don't have that problem, therefore no bias, and found that its a genuinely interesting and enjoyable game. Its not the best in its field, oh no, however ifConsidering I haven't bought into the series early but being very curious I figured why not with the latest especially because of the modding tools. However, many people are frustrated because its like the earlier games, but luckily I don't have that problem, therefore no bias, and found that its a genuinely interesting and enjoyable game. Its not the best in its field, oh no, however if this game is ever on sale, I would pick it up.

    A few bugs and glitches, as well as the audio is pretty dry and the camera controls could be a lot better, that knocks my score down to 7/10
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  22. Nov 25, 2012
    8
    As far as I understand, Cities XL 2012 is basically Cities XL 2011 with some extra fluff and models. That said, XL 2012 is the first game in the series Ive tried and I think its terrific. The graphics is good, and the depth is much greater than Sim City which is the only real competitor in the genre. The cities can be done very realistic because it doesn't use a limited grid system. TheresAs far as I understand, Cities XL 2012 is basically Cities XL 2011 with some extra fluff and models. That said, XL 2012 is the first game in the series Ive tried and I think its terrific. The graphics is good, and the depth is much greater than Sim City which is the only real competitor in the genre. The cities can be done very realistic because it doesn't use a limited grid system. Theres also quite a lot of mods available. I would probably give a 10/10 but theres one big problem: The game is poorly optimized and doesn't support multi-core cpus. In other words, good luck trying to build a metropolis. Expand
  23. Jun 16, 2012
    4
    The game does not support |HDMI cables... only single core utilisation, poor economy balance, badly optimised and horribly overhyped by its trailers. Behind all this however I can see a great game trying to break through of its poor developemnt. However don't be fooled by the look it's far worse than it seems.
  24. Mar 11, 2012
    7
    Cities XL 2012 is fairly polished game. Basically how original Cities should look like. There are only a little innovations in the genre and Cities are still here to preserve the genre itself. The game doesn't bring anything new. Nicely playable still and worth of trying if you like city building genre.
  25. Apr 9, 2012
    9
    Having never played any of the previous cities xl games I saw this game and thought I would give it a go.
    All I can say is brilliant! The graphics are such an improvement from Sim city. I have enjoyed the game for about 12 hours now and can say that there is a small memory leak but it only affects me after about every 1.5 hours. just a quick back to the menu and back into the game
    Having never played any of the previous cities xl games I saw this game and thought I would give it a go.
    All I can say is brilliant! The graphics are such an improvement from Sim city. I have enjoyed the game for about 12 hours now and can say that there is a small memory leak but it only affects me after about every 1.5 hours. just a quick back to the menu and back into the game solves the problem. If you have never played any of the XL titles, I recommend it. If you are upgrading from XL 2011 then I have read its not really worth it. A9/10 just because of the memory leak.
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  26. Oct 20, 2011
    5
    So they updated the graphics and added new buildings. However, they still couldn't be bothered to fix the traffic. Left lanes still make right turns in front of cars waiting at intersections. Every single lane still turns into every other game and it just ruins my day because I literally have traffic aspergers.. If they ever fix the traffic I'll consider Cities on the same level as SimSo they updated the graphics and added new buildings. However, they still couldn't be bothered to fix the traffic. Left lanes still make right turns in front of cars waiting at intersections. Every single lane still turns into every other game and it just ruins my day because I literally have traffic aspergers.. If they ever fix the traffic I'll consider Cities on the same level as Sim City 4 with NAM and I'll change my review score to a 9. Expand
  27. Mar 26, 2013
    2
    With a game so broken and pitifully unchallenging, I uninstalled it as fast as I installed it. By the way, this game only uses a single core (so your other one or three or nine hundred don't go to use, making the game lag severely and making alt+tabbing impossible without crashing) and has alot more technical problems than just that.
  28. Sep 7, 2012
    4
    Suffers from enough user interface issues that it just isn't fun. selection menu in bottom left corner is too small, hard to make precise placement for diligent designers who like games like this one. I gave it a 4 because I tried hard to like this game and to overcome the many interface issues. I was not successful, I have shelved the game for now, hopeing for a major update.
  29. Apr 26, 2013
    2
    Avoid this game, dont buy it. The entire game looks and works like that is not professional. Have a lot of bug and the producers do not give attention for you.
  30. Jan 1, 2015
    10
    Cities XL is far superior to SimCity, in that it has way more space. The graphics is good. Cities XL is the best city-builder game, in my opinion. There are a variety of buildings. My only complaint is the camera control; you cannot use AWSD. You only use the arrows, but the concept of this game makes up for that.
  31. Nov 16, 2014
    4
    it starts with good concept and fresh approach to city building genre but executes poorly
    firstly, i have to mention the game looks better than most of other sim games
    up close all things look very detailed and pleasant to look at but without no simulation part to it, it feels meaningless quickly. for simulation part, it has severe flaws. the most annoying thing is leisure satisfaction
    it starts with good concept and fresh approach to city building genre but executes poorly
    firstly, i have to mention the game looks better than most of other sim games
    up close all things look very detailed and pleasant to look at but without no simulation part to it, it feels meaningless quickly.
    for simulation part, it has severe flaws. the most annoying thing is leisure satisfaction level is always low even though i keep building parks and leisure building all around map.
    also city doesnt feel like its living world. even with 0.2 million people, my city feels like dead
    i think its from weak simulation. framemate problem is another minus of this game
    pro:
    -graphic is one of the best in city builders
    cons:
    - lack of variety of buildings
    - weak simulation part
    - huge lag after u hit decent popualtion
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  32. Mar 24, 2013
    6
    A great stopgap while simcity figures out how to be fun again, unfortunately glitches and technical problems plague the game. Each new "edition" is barely a small expansion on the last, you would have though with all the money they have made off it they could afford to model a few more buildings and hire a patching team. And multicore. seriously, its 2012. everyone has at-least 2, if not 4A great stopgap while simcity figures out how to be fun again, unfortunately glitches and technical problems plague the game. Each new "edition" is barely a small expansion on the last, you would have though with all the money they have made off it they could afford to model a few more buildings and hire a patching team. And multicore. seriously, its 2012. everyone has at-least 2, if not 4 as standard. Expand
  33. Oct 2, 2014
    7
    Decent graphics and simulation. Decent city and building scaling sizes. Plenty of road options though no freeway options. The ability of doing curved roads is a big plus. However plenty of empty spaces unless you do a perfect grid pattern.

    There are some options for resource trading that may make some players happy but personally not a big fan of them as they are unrealistic. Decent
    Decent graphics and simulation. Decent city and building scaling sizes. Plenty of road options though no freeway options. The ability of doing curved roads is a big plus. However plenty of empty spaces unless you do a perfect grid pattern.

    There are some options for resource trading that may make some players happy but personally not a big fan of them as they are unrealistic.

    Decent transit options.

    You can add mods and new maps but terraforming options are rather limited even with the former.

    A very annoying aspect with Cities XL is that you have to micromanage everything in order to make people's lives better. I can understand fire and policing, but hmm, entertainment? That is your responsibility too.

    Economically wise I found much harder (or slower) to make meets end (especially around middle game) than SC4 and much harder than the new SC and while there are mods and cheats available casual players who intend to build large cities may want to be aware of that before they jump in.

    The game's menu interface is not very intuitive and suffers from bugs so that you do lose saves from time to time. The game starts to suffer perfomance issues when cities start filling the map as well even on a decent PC.

    Overall decent game if you are new to the franchise, or if you are new to the city building genre altogether.
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Metascore
61

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
  1. 72
    If you haven't played any of the franchise games and are looking for a recent sim city game, this will keep you busy for a while. To the rest, Cities XL 2012 will probably feel more of an expansion (fully priced though), than a new, independent addition to your collection. [March 2012]
  2. 50
    Maybe it is the nicest city sim but unfortunately it's only the empty shell. Too many design mistakes and an user-unfriendly interface make Cities XL 2012 wasted opportunity. [Dec 2011]
  3. Dec 7, 2011
    50
    An entertaining balancing of a city budget and a flourishing metropolis resulting in a cheerful feeling is being destroyed by its need to build up several cities from the very beginning and by its not so user friendly road / whole city blocks construction.