User Score
5.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 62 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 62
  2. Negative: 21 out of 62

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  1. Feb 14, 2013
    0
    I am brand new to the Cities XL franchise. I was interested in the prior iterations but had seen there were some kinks, but when I saw this on Steam I was quite interested and figured that this new version must be a good update.
    This game has SOOOO much potential, but it is broken. i know people have "work arounds" but they don't always help. Sometimes the building descriptions are just a
    code, often times special buildings don't do anything. And it lags up super bad (probably the notorious memory leak). It appears that the new revisions are essentially expansion packs on the old game (i.e. new buildings). To sum it up: great idea, missed potential, broken game. Expand
  2. Jun 21, 2013
    10
    i increased my score a couple point to try to offset the trolls and griefers that wrongfully malign this otherwise great game. and while its not worth a 10 its definitively not a 0!. i would say about a 7 and with all the stuff on xlnation.net perhaps an 8!

    please understand that this game has a bit of history. over 4 years ago a small company named monte cristo developed and released
    it as massively multiuser online game. unfortunately less than a year after they went broke due to low subscription rate and were unable to finish the game. soon after focus acquired the writes and reworked it as a single player offline game and released it. since then making minor fixes and about once a year they have been releasing new content dlcs.

    as you can imagine the people who originally purchased and subscribed to cities xl unlimited edition, the mmo version from the now bankrupt developer, are pissed off that they got stuck with a dead game after only being able to play with it for such a short time.

    so they troll steam forums and even this site complaining about the long defunct developers and about long ago fixed bugs and basically spooking people away from buying the game.

    many do not even own or play this game, they just own the other game and since the servers have all been shutdown for that game long ago can't no longer play it. yet they refuse to upgrade to this game, basically wanting the new developers to basically give them the new game.

    here check out the facts for yourself
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cities_XL

    i own and play just about every city sims/builders that is out there

    this is great game, loads of fun, runs great, have played it for hundreds of hours.

    even better if you go to xlnation.net you will find hundreds of mods for it, everything imaginable and a very active community over 40,000 members!

    i also want to say that there is no serious memory leak or programming issue like some people are posting. what issue that people are having is that the game allows you to build huge i mean huge cities, ive seen some with population over 90M and basically they do not set limits other than the hardware you have. so as you add more and more buildings and roads and the cities get larger and more complex sure its going to use more and more memory until you run out of memory and until your cpu/gpu cant handle the size of the cities and complexity and the framerate goes down. It's hard to put in words just how large and complex your cities can get, they can look so real that you can't distinguish screenshots from real world images of some of the worlds largest cities. in fact i cant think of a real world single city that has a population of over 90M. so what you have a people with low end hardware trying to build cities they can't support. and since its a 32-bit application, like most games, the cities can only get so large and complex before you hit the 2-3gb limit that windows imposes. the trick is to balance city size and complexity and not try to build cities that don't make sense and would not be practical even in real life.

    so yes the game is a 32-bit game with the game logic running in a single thread, but most other games out there have the same limitations. the only difference between those games and this game is that this game does not impose limits on you like simcity or tropico or anno does. also this games lets u pack the density of the cities to real world levels and beyond. in this way its more a city builder than a sim i would say.

    having said that the game, like all other games and software, does have bugs and issues, but luckily they are for minor and can easily be ignore of worked around.
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  3. Feb 11, 2013
    8
    It is all true that cities Xl have memory leaks and only use a single core. However, I have to disagree with negative opinions posted here. Despite the problems the game has almost cult-like following and there are many reasons for that. Pros:
    - Vibrant online community (XlNation.net) provides hundreds of add-ons, mods and fixes
    - Memory leak issue is simply circumvented by periodic
    restarts of the game (go back to the menu and load the city again)
    - I have built cities of up to 2.5 million using this simple trick.
    - While it only uses a single core, my Athlon II X4 635, 4gb RAM, HD 7750, which is an economy rig handles it just fine with medium-high details.
    - nice and complex simulation of traffic, quality of life and transport
    - you can build truly beautiful stuff:
    http://xlnation.net/content/new-coast-city
    http://xlnation.net/content/tayra
    http://xlnation.net/content/seaside-city
    http://xlnation.net/content/scalabis

    Here is an example of a city with 15,000,000 inhabitants built despite the memory leak issue:
    http://xlnation.net/content/empire-jet-city

    Cons:
    - memory leak
    - uses a single core
    - no feature of filling a zone with single type of a building
    Expand
  4. Jul 15, 2013
    8
    Cities XL has been running for quite a while longer than its 'Platinum' update. This review will focus on the game itself, and less on the issues surrounding the actual Platinum release. There is one simple reason for this: many issues have been solved, and the game has been improved, by an active mod community.

    To start, Cities XL Platinum should not be played without mods. The mod
    community found at XLnation.net has created workarounds and additions to the game that help it overcome its flaws.

    CitiesXL had every potential to be the greatest and most detailed City Sim on the market. It offers a staggering range of build options and a build menu that seems to expand to infinity. With all that, the game still has a pleasant learning curve and introduces the new options slowly as cities grow. This is a major achievement, something similar games like Sim City have not managed to do on a similar scale.

    The freedom in terms of construction is stunning the placement grid is so incredibly fine, that everything can be placed pretty much anywhere on the map. And the map, in general, is massive, allowing for cities with millions of inhabitants. As the game progresses further, world monuments and other iconic buildings (called 'Megastructures') enter the arena, and prove to be massive, cost-intensive projects that force you to open trade with neighbouring cities. This trade system is slightly sub-par, but usable and has been modded so that it no longer poses a serious strain on gameplay.

    All this freedom in placement and construction also comes with some drawbacks. One major issue the game has, is that it suffers from serious performance drops when games last for longer than a few hours. Large cities require some pretty serious PC horsepower, too. But even on high-end machines, this game will slow down to a crawl in terms of FPS after a while. A game restart will alleviate the issue, but the framedrop will return. This issue has not been solved, but one can still play the game fine if an occasional restart is not seen as a problem.

    Overall, CitiesXL offers the largest scale City Sim you can find. It is very healthy to treat CitiesXL like an Alpha of a game that you play with the knowledge not everything works perfectly well. Save at regular intervals, and mod the game to your liking, and CitiesXL becomes brilliant.
    Expand
  5. Feb 9, 2013
    1
    The release a new version of XL Cities every year, they done so since it was an MMO and when it failed to take off they turned it in to a single player game and it looks good.. Trouble is it has a serious memory leak which has existed for many years now. It causes the game to crash just as your city starts to grow, often taking your saved games with it so you lose everything. This issue has been in the last 3 versions of the game, probably more and it has never been fixed but affects everybody who owns the game. Typically each new version comes with a few new buildings, which is good, existing users typically get a 50% discount on the upgrade which is also good. But what is the point if you cannot actually build the sort of cities you see in the videos because of an unfixed memory leak...

    This game is only playable for a short time so it gets a 1 from me. I have owned very version of this game since it was first released... but enough is enough.
    Expand
  6. Feb 9, 2013
    0
    It's the same game as XL2012. A couple new addons, hardly worth the money.
    It features the same horrible lag issues as the previous versions.

    I would stay away from this, and treat it like the plague!
  7. Oct 27, 2013
    8
    This isn't bad at all, if you enjoy city builders and think there's not enough sim cities in the world then you can do a lot worse than pick this up. I haven't seen the "broken" elements myself but it's possible I just haven't reached them at this point.
  8. X0R
    Feb 14, 2013
    4
    Cities XL Platinum (bought via Steam) is a tough game for me to rate, I don't have any of the crashing or errors I've seen mentioned here at other sites. However, I'm not really impressed with it as a sim-game. Lot of neat details, things to do that improve on SimCity4 yet, it feels half-baked, not very deep, and/or at least kind of indie-ish, despite this being 2nd/3rd iteration of the line. Only played 8-hours so far, but keeps you busy until the next SimCity release Expand
  9. Feb 16, 2013
    0
    This game is a crap! The mechanics of the cities does not work. The trade system between cities does not work either. It seems that the game was released unfinished.
  10. Mar 31, 2013
    7
    This can very well be the new SimCity if the performance issues are addressed. A bit disappointing to see the electric boogaloo (ie a sequel with minimal new features). However, this game still beats SimCity, there's a lot of things to do and traffic problems can actually be resolved. The performance is an ongoing issue, even with high end machines you will end up with super low frame rate after 30 mins of playing. Overall, the contents are good, the performance are bad. Would be good if this game can use IRISZOOM like Wargame:European Esclation Expand
  11. Dec 1, 2013
    10
    This game is a strong successor to the old SimCity games. It's considerably better than the current SimCity reboot. It's pretty much what you are looking for if you liked those games. It allows you to build beautiful cities that function well. The one caution I would give people is that there is less customization than some city simulation games. You zone areas instead of building most buildings, but the results are still very detailed. It feels like your city is a real city. Expand
  12. Mar 17, 2013
    8
    It isn't all that bad. You can buy it 85% off on steam if you own and old version (2011 or 2012), so you can quickly catch up on new developments. What's good in it: you get much bigger maps than in SimCity (huge, at 50,0000 citizens you have barely covered 10% of the map, so there is a potential to grow). Nice zoom you can get to street level and look up at your city. Plenty of maps. Living economy (specialize your cities and trade). Very good zoning tool
    What it is bad/missing: it is a memory hog, does crash from time to time, lack of self developing zones (density growth, but on the other hand you have control over the city and the looks of it).
    Expand
  13. Mar 17, 2013
    7
    I have 10 years of experience playing city simulation games, Simcity 2000, Simcity 3000, Simcity 4, Simcity Societies, City Life, and Now Cities XL Platinum. During the time period and technologically era, Sim City 4 had to be my favorite. I was planning on getting the new SimcIty (2013 Version) but I heard it was completely f**ked up, It was going to be a great game but EA ruined it. Cities XL platinum, does have a ton of space to make your city very large, it's easy to manage a city in a small size but get harder as you increase its size but then that creates more gpu usage. After about 13 hours of game play it crashed twice. The game has decent graphics, can be addicting and see your whole city that the size of New York,, the game automatically saves and you have a low chance of losing your progress. When i play the game, it sounds average to me. Basically I think the game is better than Simcity as of now but still Cities XL Platinum still has some issues but I can recommend this game to anyone that are fans of City Simulation Games that quit Simcity from all the problems it's having. Not as fun as the old simcity where it had it's disasters but still good with it. Expand
  14. Oct 22, 2013
    6
    Found this game to have a lot of potential and some great features, especially the progression of unlocking different building and zones which stop your from getting over whelmed and over stretched at the start.

    However it has some funny quirks and weird problems which do stop the game from flowing the right direction.

    Still any fans of city building games will likely get a lot of
    time from this and is enjoyable for the most part. Expand
  15. Feb 18, 2013
    0
    Piece of crap. The sad thing is that the bugs present in this version HAVE NOT BEEN FIXED in 3 different versions 2011, 2012 and Platinum (I owned 2011 and upgraded to platinum for $5 with the hope they made the game more stable). I got it on Steam and their forums for this game are full of complaints about crashes instability. There is also a petition to ban the developer for repeatedly releasing "new" crap versions of this game with the same bugs. For example: Game crashes frequently during saves; game crashes if 'Escape' or other keys are pressed when certain cub-menus are open; many buildings don't have a title or description, but instead will say something like &123_title or &123_desc as if they forgot to replace string placeholders with actual text (wow... QC anyone?); and lots of small issues, like buildings getting randomly disconnected from roads (and having to be rebuilt), road junctions getting messed up completely when new branches are added, and decorations that flatten large sections of the terrain when placed. Collapse
  16. Feb 20, 2013
    5
    Graphically excellent. Easy to learn. Manual is appalling for a game where you need to understand what's going on inside the system to do well. Game soon becomes repetitive and limited. The problem is that the internal systems are fairly basic. This is NOT Sim City. If Sim City is champagne, this is beer in a pretty package. Fun for an evening or two, but no more than that.
  17. Mar 13, 2013
    8
    Cities XL is a very good game. A game that have been worked and improved sistematically over the years. Of course it have flaws (and some very serious ones!) but the game is showing progress. Since the death of Simcity franchise, this game becomes the corner stone of city building/simulation avaiable, and I trusting in his improvement.
    Its not perfect, but is getting better and better.
    And most important, the producer has respect for his clients. Expand
  18. Dec 26, 2013
    7
    This is really the highest score I can give to the Cities XL.Because there are many unrealistic elements about the city.In a city builder game.Sounds kind of weird eh?Anyway game is enjoyable with all the nice mods.Still even in a high performance PC(because of its optimization problems I guess.It lags a lot.Buy it when it's on sale and if you got bored of the new Sim city.
  19. Jan 7, 2014
    9
    I suppose I'm pretty late in joining with the Cities XL crowd, but I recently purchased it, hoping for the best. I will say that I was pleasantly surprised. Now of course this game isn't Simcity, so if you are looking for a larger scale Simcity-like game, Cities XL may not necessarily be for you. The game is much more in-depth than many of the Simcity games were, and features many unique challenges (such as resource management and advanced trading) as well. Unlike Simcity 4, when you don't zone farms, the food doesn't just pop up out of nowhere. The unique challenge is to balance everything as much as possible so that all of your residents and businesses alike will thrive. The game does certainly have its flaws, but for those who are looking for a large-scale, virtually limitless (to a reasonable extent) sandbox city simulator, Cities XL is a fantastic game.

    First, Cities XL has a much wider variety of content than many similar "city-builder" games do. The platinum version has over 1,000 buildings, and so far, I haven't seen a whole lot of repeats of the same building in my cities yet. Cities XL's large set of content makes for very diverse cities, which is a unique advantage to the game. It also has a large array of options as far as transportation is concerned. It is a bit lacking in terms of mass transit, but the included bus and metro lines are usefull, and there is a mod that adds additional options as well. I actually think there are probably a few too many road options in the game, so there is definitely a lot of room for creativity in the system.

    The gigantic maps are also a huge advantage to Cities XL. Unless you happen to have a one-of-a-kind machine, you will likely experience quite a bit of lag as you begin to pave over the entire map, but one of the nice things about Cities XL is that it doesn't place a whole lot of hardware related restrictions on the game. Simcity 2013 limits city sizes in order to improve performance on low end machines, whereas Cities XL gives you a giant map, and lets you build it up as much as your machine can handle. The lag with larger cities is partly due to the single-core architecture, but I haven't really noticed much lag yet, despite my relatively low end machine. To be fair, I haven't built a "big-city" yet, but the performance problems really aren't as bad as many people make them out to be, and they don't detract much from the enjoyment of the game.

    One disappointment is how the memory leak issue (among other bugs) still exists in the game after several revisions. This was apparently a bug that was discovered in the early beta versions of Cities XL, and why exactly it hasn't been fixed confuses me to this day. However, simply exiting out to planet mode and reloading the city every 30 minutes or so seems to solve the issue. While it is an inconvenience, it isn't that difficult to reload a city every 30 minutes, so I don't think I can complain too much. In fact, the easiest way to save a city is to exit out to planet mode anyway, so it's really not that inconvenient as a workaround.

    Platinum doesn't add very much to the existing 2012 version, and 2012 basically is the 2011 version with modding compatibility and 300+ extra buildings, plus a few maps. It is basically the same game as 2011, so if you didn't particularly enjoy 2011, Platinum probably isn't going to win you over. However, for what it is, despite the game's flaws and its rather small (and somewhat disappointing) revisions, I have enjoyed it quite thoroughly, and its advantages certainly outweigh its disadvantages. Anyone with a fairly robust PC who is looking for a powerful, in-depth sandbox city simulation game should definitely give Cities XL a spin.
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  20. Aug 8, 2014
    5
    I can't recommend Platinum version to anyone who already has any previous versions of this game. They haven't implemented any performance improvements so the game still suffers from lag when you have a huge city. The only extras in the platinum version are a couple of new buildings.

    I've spent a lot of hours with this game but the performance issues eventually makes playing it a chore.
  21. Sep 8, 2013
    7
    first,without mod and xlnation.net ,i will rate it at most 5.0,it is just playable,the game default setting of placing the building is just brainless and useless.
    of course the biggest problem is the lag,Game optimization is like ****
    also,without mod,the plaza to build on the road side too few,and the fountain in the plaza is like paper
    also,the retail need of the game setting is very
    unreal,u think whole 20 buildings of residents can depend on one small shop to live?

    but ,thanks for it that can be modded ,and thank for that net ,this game become playable,of course,the lag problem is still here.
    but,with the mod,this game become much more playable and fit the real world.
    such as the basic mods :increase the retail needs,and one cheat building to make money(each one make 1 000 000(in real world i do not think city is just making money for Goverment)
    and also with the tree mods,u can put plaza or put trees by urself one by one.
    so it is not a bad game indeed,but because the game itself with the mod is bad,so it is only worthy to buy when 75% off.
    u also need some basics on city design if u want make the city perfect.
    Expand
  22. Oct 20, 2013
    10
    Cities xl is actually the most AWESOME city builder yet! but the thing is, people don't know there is MODS to make the game more awesome, they just go like: oh wow, the game's highway is boring, there isn't a lot of buildings in it, blah,blah,blah like that. Well did you know there was actually mods to make things better?
    are you just too lazy to Google" does cities xl have mods?" But
    yes, I have to admit, the memory leak is really annoying, but once you get a PC with a better Graphics card, it shouldn't be a problem Expand
  23. Nov 19, 2013
    5
    If I could divide my rating for this game between two different aspects, I'd give the core gameplay 10, while what I define as "delivery", for the lack of a better word, gets a mere 1. Just to clarify I'm not a troll, I don't tend to go around bashing games I don't like. I'm writing this review only because I feel the game could've been a true masterpiece, if it wasn't for the bugs and technical problems.

    As far as gameplay is concerned, this game is a gem. It's the best city planner I've ever played. It's balanced, deep, complex, yet graphic and easy to get into.

    So what's my problem? My problem is that the game is buggy on the verge of being broken. I won't go into the small and meaningless bugs, like missing building names and stuff like that. What I'm really talking about is the performance when managing larger cities. As long as your city is small and low on population, the game runs very well. The problem starts when your city grows and gains population, which is one of the goals in this game, I suppose. :P

    As soon as the city becomes large enough, the game starts to stutter like crazy, with the frame-rate dropping drastically, and I do mean *drastically*! To make it clear, I've been running the game on a fairly decent hardware, to say the least, that is a computer with an Intel i7 Quad-Core CPU, 16GB RAM and a Geforce GTX 465 graphics adapter. Such hardware can easily deal with much newer, heavier and resource-thirsty games. According to research I've been doing online, the games has major memory leak problems, and doesn't support multi-core CPUs, which apparently, nobody cares to fix. Regardless of the reasons, the fact remains, that this game doesn't play well, even on today's high end gaming configurations.

    All in all, I can't do anything but express my disappointment, since I'm sure I would've really enjoyed that game if it played smoothly.
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  24. Dec 1, 2013
    4
    It's a very fun addicting game am to addicted To it the 4 out 10 was for the HUGE PROBLEM of overheating causing my computer to shut off 2 time due to overheating when I put my hand on the bottom if my PC damn that thing is hot unacceptable
  25. May 15, 2014
    10
    This is the best city builder on the market right now, it offers a lot of verity of buildings, super massive maps and is a lot of fun to play and highly addicting.

    I highly recommend this.
  26. May 17, 2014
    5
    A city building game. Yet another? This game is part of a class that normally belongs to SimCity, and it does not stand out compared to other games in its class, which is a shame because it could have been a good game developers have therefore contented to a construction game like all the others, without distinction. It will be a 5.
  27. Feb 18, 2013
    0
    Piece of crap. The sad thing is that the bugs present in this version HAVE NOT BEEN FIXED in 3 different versions 2011, 2012 and Platinum (I owned 2011 and upgraded to platinum for $5 with the hope they made the game more stable). I got it on Steam and their forums for this game are full of complaints about crashes instability. There is also a petition to ban the developer for repeatedly releasing "new" crap versions of this game with the same bugs. For example: Game crashes frequently during saves; game crashes if 'Escape' or other keys are pressed when certain cub-menus are open; many buildings don't have a title or description, but instead will say something like &123_title or &123_desc as if they forgot to replace string placeholders with actual text (wow... QC anyone?); and lots of small issues, like buildings getting randomly disconnected from roads (and having to be rebuilt), road junctions getting messed up completely when new branches are added, and decorations that flatten large sections of the terrain when placed. Collapse

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