Think about the city you live in. If you could change something, what would it be? Maybe the roads to get to your destination quicker, maybe more schools and businesses, or maybe you would start from nothing and build your own city as you envisioned it. There are many things we would change about the city we live in and many things that we like how they are currently. But does developer Fast Travel Games AB allow us to live out our Mayor dreams? Let’s find out with Cities: VR – Enhanced Edition for the PlayStation VR2.
Cities VR: Enhanced Edition is a city-building simulator that lets you create and manage your own virtual city. Be the mayor in Cities: VR, the ultimate VR city-building and management simulator. Design neighborhoods, construct buildings, and direct the flow of traffic – all while you handle economics, emergency services, and more. Before you go in thinking you are going to rule the city of all cities, there are a few things that you should be aware of. First, learn the tutorial and embrace it. Second, make sure those Sense controllers are charged. And finally, just get ready to have some city-building fun.
For those that may not be aware, Cities: VR was originally released for Quest 2 back in April of 2022. Since then, there have been updates to make it the best it can be on that platform. But now, that the game has been released for PlayStation VR2, you might be wondering what is with the enhanced edition. With this edition, there are richer colors and sharper graphics, more plots for design, and added precision and immersive gameplay with the Sense controllers. Now that we are up to speed, let’s dig in a little bit deeper about the game.
If you have never played a Cities game before, I would suggest going through the Play Guide here first just so you can get the basics. Here you will learn about the different types of infrastructures that you will come across such as Electricity, Residential, Industrial, and Commercial Zones, different types of roads, and Water and Sewage. Every building needs electricity, water, and sewage, but also roads to get to different places. You also will have to manage things such as employment, adding decorations, and growing your city so you can get more transportation in and out of your city. But that means your economy for your city has to be right so you have enough money coming in instead of going out. So it really does take planning for your city in order for it to thrive. If it seems like it is overwhelming, well, it can be if you let it.
When you first start the game, you have some options. From starting a new game to the play guide. When you start a new game, by default, Play Tutorial and Use Day/Night Cycle are marked. You can select to have unlimited money and unlock all milestones as well as a selection from the variety of maps. So no matter how many times you start a new city, these options will always be there which I do like as you may have forgotten how to do something so the tutorial does come in handy.
Each city does start the same. You have a start and end point for the roads. Buildings are built by the roads. So your initial design of how your city will look is going to be all up to you. You also have control from different heights, teleporting to make it easier to get to different parts of your city, to even ease of moving around. Your Sense controller works as your palette where you can select parts for your city build. Of course, you can’t have businesses if you don’t have residents to work those businesses, so building enough residential is important for your city.
As I started to build and see my city come alive, I started to rethink my initial plans for building and tried to bulldoze some buildings and roads a family just moved into the house that was built, so I started to feel bad. On the controls, you also have the option for speed. It takes time to build a city, so why not increase the speed as much as possible to build as quickly as possible? When you are adding electricity to the mix, you have to be careful and make sure you don’t have too many electric poles or your city could become very busy looking and the citizens will let you know that they are not happy. But the one thing that I didn’t keep in mind at first is my budget. If you run out, then you have no funds to build and start giving the citizens the necessities like water and electricity.
As you build, you do have goals that you are trying to reach, such as a certain amount of people in your city. Reaching these goals does start to unlock more for your building pleasure. Early on, I started to notice that all my residents were not happy as there was trash piling up. Going to the street view, you can see where everyone put out their trash, but it wasn’t until I reached the next goal, that then I could build a landfill so that then the trash could be picked up. But being the Mayor, also means I have to worry about the budgets of different departments. One thing I will say is that no matter how much your city grows, don’t overbuild. When I was finally able to build the healthcare, my city was pretty big and I decided to build 3 healthcare facilities. Everyone was happy, but then you have to worry about that budget which includes the costs to run it. Buildings will become abandoned if there is no one there to occupy them, so again, just be careful about how you build.
Let’s talk about the graphics and sound. Cities: VR – Enhanced Edition looks great on PlayStation VR2. From the empty canvas to seeing your city come alive during the day and at night, it really is a visually appealing game thanks to the PlayStation VR2 display and the unique art style. The game’s environments are richly detailed and the character models are expressive and well-animated which just made me want to communicate with citizens. The sound is pleasant to the ears that also features an excellent sound design, with a catchy soundtrack and immersive sound effects that help add to the immersive experience.
There are some things I would love to see. First, the ability to have a selection of buildings that I would like to see built. What if I wanted a restaurant to be Ralph’s Mexi Dip, Chips, and Ice Cream or Frank’s Hot Dogs and Fish Sticks Cotton Candy? I am not saying any of those places would succeed, but who knows? Second, multiplayer. It would be amazing if we could visit other players’ cities to get some ideas or just hang out. And finally, I would love to see some lands from different parts of the world with different climates just to add to the fun of it all.
Cities: VR – Enhanced Edition brings the best version to PlayStation VR2 and allows us to build an immersive city the way we want and control every aspect the game has to offer. It introduces those who may just be starting out and adds to those that are familiar with the genre. The game can be challenging, but rewarding at the same time. It allows you to escape into a city of your wishes. We can look at our own lives and wish for things to change, but it is the hard work that we do in order for us to see the change that we wished for come true.
Cities: VR – Enhanced Edition is out now for PlayStation VR2. A review copy was provided.
Also, check out the Cities: VR – Enhanced Edition video review:
In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time,l I have more of my city to build.