“Parklife gives fans the one thing the other DLC packs were lacking; freedom.”
Cities: Skylines is a city builder which, graciously, is still going strong. A healthy community of avid players is frequently sustained by regular content updates and themed DLC packs. This regular evolution of the game has been coupled with the impressive feat of keeping it consistently accessible to players, both new and old. This has, in part, been due to a working, user-friendly UI and house style which has never changed, largely borne from references such as the Sim City games of old.
On the flipside however, despite offering fresh additions to the game on a regular basis, Cities: Skylines has always been something of a rigid game. Even with the inclusion of Steam Workshop support, players have still had to work within particular parameters and restraints when constructing their cityscapes. The game has always offered creativity, but within limits…
Parklife gives fans the one thing the other DLC packs were lacking; freedom. It is the most open, choice-filled DLC to date, and it changes EVERYTHING about how you play this game. Don’t take that as a bad thing; in this instance change is overwhelmingly positive. You see, Parklife’s main benefits are twofold; it fixes the munadnity of placing predetermined parks around your city, and it lets you place them however and wherever you want.
The premise of Parklife can be summed up as someone’s attempt to cram simplified versions of Zoo Tycoon and Rollercoaster Tycoon into Cities: Skylines, making it more powerful than you can possibly imagine. The package offers you a series of themed parks, placed in your city like districts, which you can modify, manipulate and charge through the nose for at will. Players can choose from city parks, nature reserves, amusement parks and zoos, or even combine themes should they wish, constructing the ultimate paid tourist trap to reel in the pennies.
Parklife offers much more than just a money grab through these options, however, allowing the player creative freedom and development of these spaces. The zoning-style placement allows you to develop your parks wherever you like, meaning you can finally fill in those nasty, oddly-shaped gaps around your city that nothing wants to fit in. From here, provided you service your park with good maintenance and management, you can work your attractions upwards from humble beginnings to epic amusements, attracting more visitors and, yes, raking in the cash.
So what’s the catch? Well, with great power comes great responsibility. You shouldn’t shoot for the moon to quickly with Parklife, as you may find yourself overwhelmed. Manual placement of objects can make for a messy experience if you aim too big, too soon. Going in whole hog could ultimately be to your detriment, no matter how exciting or good an idea a gargantuan amusement park might sound. It is better to start of small, find success and grow from here. Don’t take your new-found freedom in the game for granted!
In exploring the abilities which Parklife has bestowed upon you, you will find that everything is, happily, as you remember it. The intuitive UI for creating parks fits in with the familiar systems of the game, making the process quick and easy to get to grips with. The usual suspects come alongside the main content too, including new maps and, naturally, chirper hats. This DLC is more of a quiet evolution than a rampant revolution, but it does feel as though Cities: Skylines is heading towards its final form…
*At times; free placement of objects can be time consuming, going too big, too soon can create problems, and a lack of discernible rules and restraints on your park creation may cause confusion and unfortunate dismay… These factors are, at least in part, however, at least partially attributed to the player rather than the game. They are therefore not intrinsically negative aspect of the game.