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Brutal new Cities Skylines 2 mod is like a huge, realistic hard mode

Cities Skylines 2 mods usually make the Colossal Order sequel easier, but a new community creation serves as an ultra punishing hard mode.

Cities Skylines 2 mods: A little downtown area from city building game Cities Skylines 2

Whether it’s improving traffic AI, adding new readouts for buildings and income, or the vital Move It, Cities Skylines 2 mods are almost always designed to make the Colossal Order sequel easier and friendlier. The city building and strategy game has plenty of challenges to throw at you, especially if you want to build a functional road network and keep the garbage backlog down, but it doesn’t sweat you too hard. Well, until now. An ambitious new CS2 mod with a brutal edge, this is like an unofficial hard mode – Cities Skylines 2: Glutton For Punishment Edition.

Cities Skylines 2 mods are finally integrated into the base game thanks to the Paradox modding platform and the launch of official editing tools. It’s been a rough road for the Colossal Order city building game so far, but personally, I remain hopeful. Cities Skylines 2 has many years still ahead of it, and its developer and its community seem committed to making it as good as it can be. Enter ‘TDW,’ a CS2 mod maker determined to add hours onto your playtime by making every aspect of municipal management harder.

The suitably named ‘Hard Mode’ hits you right in the most sensitive spot – your money. Various aspects of the Cities Skylines 2 economy are upended and reworked to make building, fiscal planning, and maintenance considerably more challenging. First of all, the subsidies are less generous, and vanish completely as your city swells in size. There are four difficulty settings, and milestone rewards are static based on what you choose – they don’t scale up anymore.

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Depending on your difficulty level, citizens might be less tolerant of otherwise moderate tax rates, public services like garbage removal might cost more, and you might earn less for exports. Bulldozing now comes with a cost and if you demolish a building, you have to wait for the space to be cleared before you can construct anything new. Similarly, if you dezone an area, everything needs to be knocked down first. This won’t cost any money, but you’ll have to wait until the space is completely free of rubble.

So imagine Cities Skylines 2, but with a more punishing economy and a realistic overhaul to the demolition system. If you think you’ve got what it takes, you can download Hard Mode right here.

Otherwise, you might want to take a break from CS2 with some of the other best strategy games, or maybe go a little smaller scale with the best management games on PC.

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