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The new Cities Skylines 2 update might just rescue the whole game

The new Cities Skylines 2 patch, which overhauls the economy, is off to a quietly confident start, and could save the struggling sequel.

Cities Skylines 2 update economy: A huge downtown area from city building game Cities Skylines 2

I’ve been saying it for a while – I think most of the Cities Skylines 2 devout have been expressing the same thing. The base of Colossal Order’s city building sequel is strong. The foundations are there. Since launch, performance problems and various inconsistencies and issues with the simulation have spoiled CS2, but it has potential, especially if Colossal Order is given time to iterate and upgrade. Now, finally, it feels like a corner has been turned. The gigantic new Cities Skylines 2 update, which overhauls the economy, could be the beginning of a tangible comeback, and player responses so far seem to suggest that CS2 is on the up.

Cities Skylines 2 is going to be here for a while. Like its predecessor, this is a city building game that will grow, change, and improve over many years, courtesy of patches and mods. Until now, progress has felt a little slow and stymied – the transformative updates we’ve been hoping for haven’t materialized.

But the gigantic Cities Skylines 2 economy patch is different. It adds more challenge. It fixes problems with land and building values. It strips out subsidies. Cities Skylines 2 mods are still useful for tweaking other areas like traffic and pedestrian behavior, but with this new update, Colossal Order is finally taking meaningful steps to address the game’s central issues.

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And it seems to be working. “Finally ready to buy the game,” one Steam player, ‘surfinbum,’ writes on the game’s discussion board. “Started a new city and [it] seems much better after two hours of play,” another player, ‘BlackLion78,’ replies.

“The new update is great,” ‘mariosconsta’ says on Cities Skyline 2’s Reddit page. “After playing for a few hours I have to say that I actually enjoyed the game.” “Okay, I’m really liking what I’m seeing so far,” another user, ‘Impossumbear,’ writes. “The game is difficult now and you really have to watch your budgets carefully. So far, so good. Hoping that this trend continues, because I’m having fun now.”

On Monday June 24, the day that the new Cities Skylines 2 update was released, the game received 31 positive player reviews, the most in a single day since at least the end of May. The concurrent Steam player count also jumped. 8,790 people were playing Cities Skylines 2 simultaneously on the day of the update’s launch. According to SteamDB, this is the highest number since Sunday April 21.

These are positive signs, but there are still reasons to be cautious. As well as a spike in positive Steam user reviews, on June 24, there was a corresponding spike in negative responses. 46 negative reviews were posted on the update’s launch day, once again the highest number since the end of May. On the same platforms that Cities Skylines 2 players have shared favorable comments about the update, others note crashes following the patch’s arrival.

Cities Skylines 2 update economy: Player responses on the Cities Skylines 2 Steam page

Nevertheless, the economy update feels like a major step in the right direction for Cities Skylines 2. The original game was released in 2015 and was regularly updated for eight years. In less than 12 months, Colossal Order has made significant changes to CS2 – with a long lifespan ahead of it, it feels like the strategy game now has the chance to reach its potential.

If you’re a big Cities fan, you might also want to try some of the best management games, or maybe think a little bigger with the best 4X games on PC.

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