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Cities: Skylines 'Mass Transit' is the game's best DLC to date

Cities: Skylines is already a huge game. The city builder has seen a number of DLC packages released that added night and day cycles, natural disasters, and more. Unofficially, the Steam Workshop for Cities: Skylines is absolutely terrifying for new players, due to the sheer amount of additional content created by the community. It's possible to run your PC into the ground by installing too much, but Mass Transit (opens in new tab) has arrived to alleviate some of your traffic woes.

Faster connections

Cities: Skylines

The new transport types may appear to be rather strange for some city builders who don't wish to venture too far out from the norm. As well as blimps, you now have access to monorails, cable cars, and ferries. This allows mayors to make better use of available sky and water around the city. It's well-known just how clogged up the road network can become in Cities: Skylines, especially when the AI refuses to use lanes efficiently. Mass Transit does a good job masking this issue in established cities.

What's even better with these new transport methods is how Colossal brought it all together. There are now hub stations (much like some of the options on the Workshop) that combine monorail, metro, trains and other types into a single building. This is a great addition to better manage connections and have your population quickly hop between networks to get to their destinations without having to cross roads, walk along paths, and more.

An issue I found after installing the DLC was the lack of consistency with the implementation of the new transport types within the established menu system. It can be rather difficult to locate the one you're after, but you get accustomed to where everything is once you've you deployed them a few times. This is the same when trying to fit in the new transport types into an existing city, which may lead to frustration and the destruction of neighborhoods to fit everything in.

Free road improvements

Cities: Skylines

As was the case with previous DLC, Colossal Order rolled out a big patch alongside Mass Transit that introduced a bunch of improvements for managing traffic and manipulating how vehicles navigate your road network. It's this free update that mayors will notice immediately. The developer added the ability to analyze traffic in more depth with new info-panel overlays. These are more advanced than the usual traffic road colors, allowing you to more effectively see why bottlenecks are occurring.

It's also possible to select a vehicle, pedestrian or service to view their journey and see what routes they feel are best. This then provides enough information for you to introduce changes to roundabouts, highways, junctions, and more. Speaking of which, junctions can be edited to add or remove traffic signals, as well as yield signs. It's not quite as comprehensive as some mods available on the Workshop, but it's a great addition for those who don't have that extra content installed.

Cities: Skylines

Other DLC-only improvements to the game include three new scenarios, landmarks, Chirper hats, policies, achievements, and road types. For everyone else, there's the ability to name roads, which is done automatically by the game. While it's possible to edit how the game sees a road, this can be rather clunky and I've found it more efficient (and less stressful) to simply alter the name of different segments. These names can be toggled on and off, so the game doesn't turn into Google Maps.

A one-way train track is now included for those pesky loops within a freight terminal, and there are two new bridges for the gravel road type. Finally, and this is quite a major improvement, Colossal altered the road building guides to provide more information and hints when laying the foundations of new neighborhoods. If all that weren't enough, here are some more changes:

  • Adjust vehicle count slider for public transport lines.
  • Emergency vehicles choose a free lane when available. (FINALLY!)
  • Bulldozer for underground structures.
  • Public transport info view additions.
  • Unlimited soil — built-in mod added.
  • Unlimited oil and ore — built-in mod added.
  • Option to mark railway stations to accept or not accept intercity traffic.

One could argue that what's available for free makes the DLC slipshod, but if you want to take advantage of new transport hubs and make better use of available space in the sky and water, and make the city feel more alive, you really can't go wrong with Mass Transit. When I say this is the best DLC released for the game, I'm also including the free update. That aside, it's still a fantastic piece of kit.

Buy it for the blimps

Cities: Skylines

What's more awesome is the current promotion for Cities: Skylines on Green Man Gaming, which sees a massive 68 percent savings (opens in new tab). Most DLC is also discounted. There's really no reason why you shouldn't pick up the game, which will set you back $12.99.

See at GMG (opens in new tab)

Rich Edmonds
Rich Edmonds

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

21 Comments
  • I hope the updates come to the Xbox version, even if the DLCs don't.
  • Wait until the game is sold with all DLC to buy at a better price.  The hooks for DLC (and the DLC itself) is programmed before the base games are ever released.
  • More people buying dlc's = more incentive to continue supporting the game. Your way of thinking is why some games end up dead even though they still have potential.
  • You mean to tell me that I, one individual human being, is responsible for games dying because fewer people are allowing developers to get over with the "DLC == support" propaganda?
    "More people buying dlc's = more incentive to continue supporting the game. Your way of thinking is why some games end up dead even though they still have potential."
    CORRECTION:  The "DLC = support" way of thinking is why some games end up dead even though the DLC, was already finished with the original game and specific parts held back for DLC as ransom to sell a complete game for more than its worth.   Let's try thinking beyond this "if it succeeds, hail the technocrats, but if it fails, it's the audience's fault for not submitting to the technocrats" ideology.
  • No, but the group of people that thinks like this _WILL_ shorten the life of a game as their money can't be used for further development.
  • The "further" development has already been done. Do you really believe these people, most of whom have worked for multiple development houses, don't map out DLC in the same way that OS developers map out OS updates? Have you ever programmed an application before?  You'd be an idiot to black box it and not plan the code to receive updates. But when it comes to gaming, you'd be an even bigger, greedier idiot to abuse that principle by parsing the games and continuing to sell them piecemeal even though they're already completed in-house while also alienating potential gaming customers who actually think before they invest time, will, energy, and money.
    "Giddora : No, but the group of people that thinks like this _WILL_ shorten the life of a game as their money can't be used for further development."
    Whether it's a group of people that "think like this" or unique individuals who simply stop to think (sagacity) instead of swallowing what is being shoved down their throats, the "DLC == support" has been a lie going back at least to when EA did it with The Sims.  DLC is planned as a part of the overall vision of games with a few skunkworks and one-off DLC packages planned for niche gamers, all the DLC of which could be programmed into one complete game installation.  It's called strategy, not [randomly benevolent support from the techno-demogogues who somehow repeatedly create bright ideas at the 11th hour to sell to people who think "DLC == support"].
  • Uh, no... Development continues as long as it is profitable.
  • False. The "development" is already done. More of it gets released if prior DLC releases go well or there's reason to believe that there is pent up demand for more content by current players of a particluar game that hasn't seen any recent DLC.  DLC is not some random development.  It's part of the conception of the entirety of a game.
  • Okay. I only work with development.
  • So do I.  "I only work with development" does not qualify nor make true anything you're stating as fact.  It's purely belief that DLC == support.  It does not.  DLC == staggered release of an already completed game.
  • I know we continue to support software as long as the revenue is ticking.
  • DLC is released before the revenue, not because of it.
  • DLC's and future updates are being controlled by the revenue. Otherwise... You are not very lean.
  • Destiny landlocked anyone from a complete game who didn't buy the DLC. That's not being controlled by the revenue - that's making the customer pay extra money to "complete" a seemingly unfinished game (like the developer didn't already have the solution to that ready and held it back before release of the core game).   Being lean is a concern only in terms of SG&A.  The costs of marketing DLC is more than hitting the on switch for the DLC to be downloaded.  You are still conflating DLC with support.  You are not buying a complete core game anymore.  You are buying an advertisement to the complete game.  The DLC that completes the game is mostly the same code that is being embargoed for ransom.  The DLC has already been developed.   To add even more insult to first-world injury, publishers are even offering DLC (at no extra charge) in pre-orders of core games but charging you for that same DLC if you buy the core game after it was released. The. Same. DLC. What constitutes that as "support" and what considerations of being lean does the revenue from that cover?
  • Can you build a road course in this? I always wanted to build a mini city with the confines of a racetrack.
  • I think that they included a business in the game that is just that, kinda like kart racing without the racing part. Otherwise, you could create closed loop course within the city. You may need a mod like Traffic President in order to block traffic you'd want to keep off the course.
  • Compare to simcity, how good is this game?
  • SimCity was the prerelease alpha of this game in comparison.
  • Are you reffering to sim city before or after EA ruined it?
  • This game is a time sink.  Steam has me at 542 hours.  Critically thinking, though, there are fewer consequences for poor planning in both [Cities: Skylines] and the newer Sim City games when compared to Sim City 4, except for when you position a sewage pipe upstream from a water pump in [Cities: Skylines].
  • awesome love this game on steam :D