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 has arrived to alleviate some of your traffic woes.
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
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.
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
What's more awesome is the current promotion for Cities: Skylines on Green Man Gaming, which sees a massive 68 percent savings. 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.
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Rich Edmonds was formerly a 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 on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.