Cities: Skylines 2 has city builder fans in awe of a super-simple quality-of-life feature

Cities: Skylines 2
(Image credit: Colossal Order/Paradox Interactive)

We got our first proper look at Cities: Skylines 2 at the Xbox Games Showcase, and now that city builder fans have had a chance to pore over the new trailer and screenshots, they're in awe of one particular quality-of-life feature: utilities are now directly tied to the roads you lay down.

At least, that's how one official screenshot showcasing the road-building tool makes it look. If you look real close at the various road icons at the bottom of the screen, you'll see that they each show three pipes underneath, color-coded just as you'd expect for water, power, and sewage. It sure looks like Cities: Skylines 2 will save us from the fiddly management of power and water lines that has plagued the genre for years.

"I didn't think it was possible to feel hype over something this fucking dumb, this mundane, and utterly meaningless," as Reddit user Messyfingers says. "But that's just such a huge quality-of-life improvement."

Cities: Skylines 2 isn't the first city-building game to offer this exact convenience - it was exactly how the 2013 SimCity reboot handled utility delivery, too. While that game was widely maligned for a variety of reasons, genre fans are more than happy to see this particular feature make a comeback a decade later.

That's not the only cue Cities: Skylines 2 is taking from SimCity 2013, either, as it also appears to be picking up modular buildings too. One shot in the trailer shows an info screen for a coal power plant, promising that you can upgraded it with features like "an additional turbine, enlarged coal storage, exhaust filter, and an advanced furnace," so you can funnel your resources into exactly the sort of upgrades you actually need.

"It's feeling like the game SimCity 2013 should have been," Matduka comments. "Taking all the good elements from that and giving us the space to use them properly."

It looks like there's about to be some serious competition among the best city-building games. 

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.