Cities: Skylines Sunset Harbor review — Omega-3, new transport hubs, and more!

Cities: Skylines Sunset Harbor
Cities: Skylines Sunset Harbor (Image credit: Windows Central)

Cities: Skylines has come a long way since the city management sim was released in 2016. We've had transport upgrades, natural disasters, eco-friendly policies, and the white stuff, just to name but a few DLCs. The latest to hit PC and console is Sunset Harbor, and as the name suggests, it's mostly about fishing.

I'm not talking hobbyists either. Colossal Order implemented a fully functional fishing industry, requiring the construction of a fishing wharf to send out budding fishermen looking for the next big catch. Other notable improvements are also included as part of the rather large update, including impressive new transport hubs.

What you'll love about the Sunset Harbor DLC

Cities: Skylines Sunset Harbor

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The new Sunset Harbor DLC could be mistaken for simply including the fishing industry, but this would be a severe disservice as there's so much more included. The new fishing industry covers different parts of the overall process between catching fish and selling it to the populace.

Fishing is a unique addition to Cities: Skylines, teasing the possibilities of what other industries could be added.

You've got fishing harbors and farms, boats, the ability to create routes, a fish factory to process it all, and finally a fish market. A wharf needs to be placed water-side and comes with road connections pre-fabricated. A fishing route then needs to be established in a loop, covering specific areas where certain fish reside. The first wharf available is one that catches all fish, but more specialized wharves become available as you catch more water creatures.

On the menu for your city is anchovy, salmon, shellfish, and tuna. A new overlay shows where the fish can be located, be it in rivers or out in the ocean. These wharves then transport catches to a market for selling to the general public or to a factory for processing to commercial zones. Just don't set up your new fishing dock in an area full of water pollution!

Like previous DLCs - and other expansion content released by Paradox for other games - you've got free updates for everyone and then exclusive new content as part of the DLC.

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CategorySunset Harbor DLCFree update 1.13.0-f7
FeaturesFishing industryIntercity bus serviceTrollybusPassenger helicopter service5 new transport hubsWaste transfer serviceInland water treatmentLarge water tower5 new mapsAviation Club unique building6 new policiesChild and elderly careOverground metro + 2 new stations

As well as the fishing industry, Paradox Interactive added some new features in the DLC that make this an overall recommendation from us. Five new transport hubs are available, including one for:

  • Metro and intercity bus.
  • Bus and intercity bus.
  • Train and metro.
  • Metropolitan airport.
  • Bus and metro.

These hubs are a great way of connecting various transport links for a more efficient system. To deal with all the excess waste generated from the city, there are some new tools added to the base game, including a waste transfer facility, processing complex, and inland treatment planet.

These are excellent additions that make for a more realistic setup for a small town or bustling city, allowing mayors and city planners to incorporate the new buildings. And finally, there's a new large water tower. Desert maps are now a more viable option. And speaking of maps, five new ones are available, including Azure Gulf, Crater Falls, Desert Oasis, Fisher Enclave, and Swamplands.

And if all that wasn't enough, there's a new aviation club unique building, six more policies, more Chirps, and seven Steam achievements.

Those who don't particularly want to shell out the $15 for the DLC won't be missing out on everything. The free 1.13.0-f7 update comes with some notable improvements. The revamped metro public transport system is included, so too are the new healthcare services for children and the elderly. You do miss out on the new transport hubs, which is a slight pain.

What you'll dislike about Sunset Harbor

Cities: Skylines Sunset Harbor

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

The fishing industry is a welcomed addition, and I thoroughly enjoyed implementing the process into my city. Still, the whole addition felt a little tacked on, especially where it's all located within the main navigation. To access fishing, you need to go into the newly formed waste and industry tab, which houses both the fishing stuff and ... well, trash.

Would love to see more industry and better drivers.

We could see additional industries added at a later date, which would help flesh out this new section of the navigation, but for now, it all feels a little bolted together with superglue. While I enjoy watching the fishing boats go and do their thing, as well as the new lorries, but after it's all configured and making a little money, you can forget about it.

I guess you could say the same about most additions to the game, but it just felt like more could be added to this pack. Those who were calling out for additional use of rivers will love the DLC, but for others, it may not be quite as enticing. As well as the fishing, I would like to see the dev team address the issue with traffic and lane use.

This has been a sore point since release and would be an incredible boost to mayor morale if we could have the highway code updated in-game, so vehicle owners understood how to drive. These are but minor complaints if you're like me and use a collection of mods from the incredible Cities: Skylines community.

So, should you buy Cities: Skylines Sunset Harbor?

Cities: Skylines Sunset Harbor

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Cities: Skylines is one of the best city-management games around, and Sunset Harbor is a solid DLC overall. The new fishing industry is a great addition that will add plenty of support to your city and will surely fill up the gaping holes on your waterways, but it feels like more could have been done with the feature. That, or it's simply making me want more to be added.

The rest of the DLC is still worth it, even if you don't want to go fishing. The new transport hubs, waste management services, and additional inland water supply make it possible to build a thriving desert metropolis, all while providing a more connected public transport system. If you want more transport, this is another good DLC for you.

Just be sure to keep track of all the mods that no longer work to ensure compatibility.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

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.