Everybody loves snow – Except Colossal Order.
I don’t think Colossal Order actually like snow, but they’ve given Cities Skylines snow DLC because everyone else loves snow. You see, in Cities Skylines, snow is a dick move. It builds up on the roads and slows down all the traffic. It lowers the temperature; forcing homeowners to turn up their heating which eats heavily into energy supplies, leading to shortages and outages.
Lastly, yellow snow. Who at Colossal Order thought natural yellow snow was a good idea? Snow is meant to be a blanket of pure pillowed softness, it’s meant to be the brilliant white of frozen angel tears. Not ice piss. The whole idea of snow DLC is to make your city look like a winter wonderland; a modern picture postcard – think New York, but in the Alps. So why are there patches of yellow snow?
I’m being a little unfair. The energy drain is part of the fun of Snowfall, as is managing snowfall on the roads and organising tram networks. Then there are the hot water pipes – though these manage themselves once placed, and there are a couple of new winter-specific policies with which you can alter the workings of your city.
Oh! And then there’s the… well… and then it’s all basically aesthetic add-ons.
It’s pretty. It really is very pretty (despite the yellow snow), and the shifting electricity levels caused during periods of heavy snowfall do change the way you map out your city. Will you upgrade the pipes early, so people can warm their homes more efficiently? Or will you put it to one side and hope that when winter comes, you’ll have a spare oil field to fuel your citizens heating habits? It changes the experience, but only initially. You’ll get used to building winter cities in no time, and once you’ve learnt the tactic there’s not a lot left that can surprise you.
Snow only falls on winter-themed maps, which is a bit of a shame. This means that the winter buildings aren’t a gamble but are an investment. If snow fell infrequently on European maps it would change the gameplay rather dramatically. Lets say you built a hospital instead of a plow, and then winter comes and screws your roads. Everything. Slows. To. A. Stop. Like the UK when any amount of snow falls – it would make for an interesting natural event and thus make Cities feel more dynamic.
Sadly, that’s not the case.
Snowfall is a wonderful add on for one of the best city builders ever made – but I can’t say it’s good value. Parks and sauna’s are all very pretty, but they don’t really do anything. They don’t change the nature of the game – they’re just skins. The bulk of the new DLC is just this – aesthetics. If there were more active features in Snowfall, then I’d give it a solid strong thumbs up – but it’s simply not enough for the hefty price tag.
A great DLC for snow lovers, but not for those wanting bang for their buck.