Metascore
69

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Cities XL is a fresh and innovative game. It is graphically beautiful and full of interesting features that set it to the top of the genre. Unfortunately there are some issues with the online.
  2. 81
    Its friendlier learning curve as compared to the SimCity series will rope in new players, while its greater city design freedom will keep vets interested. However, even with multiplayer trading and resource balance and management, Cities XL is still not as hardcore as the SimCity series, and the subscription cost is questionably worth the arguably shallow multiplayer content.
  3. Cities XL fills in the void left by SimCity, since it turned more attention towards human interaction. Its building and management systems are incredibly varied and complex, giving the player complete control over the city’s growth. And the possibility to share online the whole town with other players in an interactive manner guarantees longevity to the gameplay.
  4. Finally a worthy city building successor to SimCity 4! The prices for playing online are quite high, though.
  5. 80
    And while I found the avatars to be quite hideous looking (I opted for a red-afroed freak in grey boots and a red mini skirt), they have little actual bearing on the rest of the game, which looks and feels excellent.
  6. Cities XL is the spiritual sequel of Sim City. In the city builder's scene is the real dominator with it's well balanced gameplay and a full 3D graphics.
  7. A technically competent city builder that lacks any kind of real depth of gameplay mechanics. There's not much left of a city builder when it's missing many crucial components like a public transport network and infrastructure design. [Jan 2010]
  8. Monte Cristo made nearly everything right what you can expect from a city simulation. A lot of different buildings and styles will entertain you and many other people in the world for hours!
  9. A bewilderingly detailed city-building simulator. [Winter 2009, p.86]
  10. The city-building simulation Cities XL in solo mode certainly makes a lot of fun and motivates to build even larger and more sophisticated cities. The announced features for the online mode are sometimes not available, and also do not always work as they should. A solid game for solo players, fans of the multiplayer mode should still wait for improvements.
  11. Enjoyable city planning but a timid foray into MMO territory. [Christmas 2009, p.100]
  12. On the one hand, it’s a fun, addictive little game that’s a good homage to a classic genre. On the other hand, as of publication there are still quite a few bugs and entire features that just haven’t been implemented yet. Coupled with the lack of a truly competitive element this game will probably only entertain hardcore fans of the genre.
  13. Cities XL suffers from too many preventable faults to be considered a success. It's a shame, since under the surface hides a powerful and creative beast.
  14. Although enjoyable and graphically superb, Cities XL is a derivative, bug-flawed, expensive construction site of a game.
  15. There's work that clearly needs to be done, and if Monte Cristo pull out all the stops over the next few weeks Cities XL might approach something closer to it's true potential than what is currently on offer. As it stands, in it's current state, there's still not enough that justifies repeated visits once the free 7 day trail expires.
  16. If you've got plenty of time to dig in the virtual earth, Cities XL will reward you. [Issue#26, p.52]
  17. 70
    Cities XL lacks any notable innovations, though, and those additions it does have are under-developed and certainly over-priced, insufficient to differentiate itself or to make its mark on the genre made by SimCity. Yikes - someone hold her hair, would they?
  18. Cities XL may appear at the outset to be a detailed and engaging new Sim title, however scratch the surface and you'll discover that it lacks the type of addictive gameplay so necessary in this genre. It might be wise to wait for a content patch before investing too much time in this one.
  19. This game has amazing potential, but sadly at the moment all that they have offered is a shell of what could be, I hope they finish what they started.
  20. A competent, if soulless, city builder with delusions of grandeur. [Christmas 2009, p.90]
  21. More medium than XL. [Christmas 2009, p.77]
  22. Kudos for Monte Cristo for aiming high, however unfortunately they missed that elusive mark with their latest city building game. It does feature some cool micromanagement and even some online features, however it feels like this game should have been something more.
  23. Cities XL plays like Sim City from 1988 of City Life from 2006: Building streets and industrial, residential and commercial areas. But once you start building, you realize that a lot of things don't seem to work - because they only will after you've bought playtime. And only then you will be able to buy extra packages. To be fair, one month is included already.
  24. I've enjoyed myself here, but Cities XL does not live up to its ambitions. The solo city-builder is a well-paced project for those who like to plot boulevards, but the appeal of the larger game remains unresolved.
  25. The main success of Cities XL is that it has the basics right. The developer has created a solid city builder that's addictive and enjoyable. It's only hampered by the numerous bugs/crashes and the over-priced planet offer that mainly promises more than it delivers.
  26. What if Maxis and Valusoft companies created a game together? Partly brilliant, partly unfinished product pushes you too showily to pay for online features. [Dec 2009]
  27. Intriguing idea but in terms of execution: this ain't no SimCity! [Christmas 2009, p.60]
  28. City XL have some problems, especially the lack of vision and challenge make this game look somewhat unfinished.
  29. Cities XL isn’t SimCity, nor is it a revolution for the city building sub-genre, despite Monte Cristo's efforts with the online feature. But Cities XL is a good game for everyone who enjoy these kind of strategy games. Nothing more and nothing less.
  30. At the present time Cities XL is an ambitious but incomplete product that will surely need further work from Monte Cristo to reach proper quality standards. The game experience is in fact fun and challenging but also limited in many ways, proving unable to create real commitment from the players.
  31. Cities XL tries to expand the city-building genre with new ideas, but the solo game is generic, and the online features aren't ready for a ground-breaking ceremony.
  32. New content including some game changing modules are promised for future release, but at this point Cities XL is more an intriguing concept than a revolutionary title.
  33. 58
    If city simming is something that appeals to your obsessive-compulsive tendencies, well, Cities won't disappoint. If, however, you're more interested in creating something that's very much your own and making it part of a world full of similarly unique creations, I'm sorry, but I don't think that'll be happening here.
  34. The in-game instructions also leave you dizzy, so Cities XL is really quite impenetrable if you haven’t played something else in the genre. After suffering through the cheesy “inept mayor/smart assistant” shtick of the tutorials I was still left horribly confused regarding basic game principles. Worse, I was bored.
  35. This is a solid city builder in the SimCity line with a clean interface and good underlying mechanics. The online parts, which the developer hopes to use to set it apart, require more work and thought.
User Score
4.0

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 120 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 40
  2. Negative: 32 out of 40
  1. sth
    Oct 15, 2009
    4
    Very little transit options, has a lot of bugs. The company forces you to pay their dollar per month fee to use such basic features as mass transit, etc. The cities built online cannot be accessed without an internet connection and active Planet Offer account, neither can the features you paid for. I short, you pay for, let's say, busses. But you are not allowed to keep them! You can only use them as long as you pay the monthly fee. The economic system is flawed, city services unrealistically expensive. Entertainment too expensive and not offset by patronage (like, say, in Tropico, where you can profit from your entertainment venues). Lots come in only two sizes, making your zones look more like something that came from the Borg than a human designer. Graphics are awesome, though riddled with bugs. I enjoy laying out the roads, though you cannot adjust the height and width of them as promised. Roads can curve, though the practice is rendered moot by the strictly rectangular lot shapes. To sum it up...they made much the same errors as Societies - focusing too much on "realistic water" and adding features no one really asked for or wanted. Focus needs to be on city design elements. Period. Full Review »
  2. GabeFaye
    Oct 10, 2009
    10
    An awesome citybuilder that, im sure, ill play for years. Its less complicated than SC4, while still being a challenge as opposed to plop-games like City Life. The MMO part is cool and adds a new feeling to the overall game experience, while not having too big of an impact. The only real downside is the monthly fee, but me and my friends are more than willing to pay the 7 bucks a month. Full Review »
  3. AaronS
    Nov 2, 2009
    4
    Graphics fairly nice, though items seem a bit place without SC4-like props. Only a few tile sizes, all square and mostly 2x2ish. NO ambient sound at all, just UI/music. Can't find any GEMs. UI seems a bit clumsy compared to SC4/SC3. Seems fairly unfinished :/ Full Review »