Cities: Skylines 2 leaves out goofy stuff like pink vans with giant donuts on them, and I miss it

Delivery van in a city
(Image credit: Colossal Order)

Cities: Skylines 2 could be headed for a rocky launch. As I said in my review, there are a lot of performance issues in the city builder sequel, and other reviews I've read mention a similar experience. That's disappointing, and the fact that Colossal Order is actually warning players of performance issues ahead of launch suggests that even a big honkin' day one patch on October 24 won't set everything right.

I'm hopeful it will all get sorted out, but since I assume the devs will mostly be focusing on optimization for the first few weeks (maybe even months) after launch, that means modders could point their talents in other directions. And aside from performance, there's another major problem with Cities: Skylines 2:

Donut vans. Specifically, the complete lack of donut vans.

OK, maybe donut vans missing from Cities: Skylines 2 isn't a major issue, but on the other hand—yes, it definitely is. Zooming in close on your miniature city after hours of zoning, planning, road-laying, and bulldozing all the zoning, planning, and road-laying mistakes you made should be rewarding, and there's nothing more rewarding than seeing a pink novelty vehicle with a huge plastic donut mounted on the roof speeding its way up and down your city's boulevards and thoroughfares.

I spent quite a while staring at traffic in Cities: Skylines 2, hoping to see some bright pink donut-mobiles, but I slowly came to the realization that they're simply not there. Delivery vans, no matter what they're hauling, just look like plain, standard, delivery vans. Trust me, I clicked on and inspected several dozen of them. If my citizens are receiving donut deliveries, they're happening in regular vans that don't have a comically large ornamental representation of their contents mounted on the roof. What a letdown!

Is this the sanitized future you want? Is it? (Image credit: Colossal Order)

Donut vans in the original game added the little bit of whimsy any good city builder should have, and while I understand the adjustment to a more realistic looking sim with the sequel, it's hard not feel wistful for a few flashes of that old cartoony style. 

And it's not just donut vans I miss but also hot dog trucks (yes, they sported giant hot dogs) and even those bright green pest control vans with the comically huge cans of bug spray on the roof. What can I say? I'm a fan of a little cartoonishness even in a realistic sim.

Hot dog, that's a cool van! (Image credit: Colossal Order)

Granted, the spawn frequency of donut vans and hot dog trucks in the original game was probably a touch high—you'd see them everywhere, on every street in your city. Some modders created more realistic delivery vans to replace them, and one modder created an advanced vehicle settings mod so you could toggle them not to appear. This reaction might explain why there are no donut vans in the sequel, actually. But trust me, even if you found them a bit much in the original games, you're gonna miss them when Cities: Skylines 2 launches next week.

Maybe we can meet in the middle. Instead of fleets of pink donut vans clogging the streets, how about just a single modded-in donut van. Someone clever could create a donut shop that acts as a signature building (you only get one) and the shop in turn could spawn but a single pink donut van. Then you wouldn't constantly see donut vans everywhere you look, but very occasionally you'd spy the unique pink van zipping around your city delivering its delicious unhealthy treats. It would add just a little touch of fun and excitement that the new drab and realistic vans can't. Deal?

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.