Cities: Skylines 2 looks amazing

Paradox brought a new Cities Skylines 2 trailer to the Xbox Games Showcase today, and my goodness is it ever looking cool. We got a release date, too: October 24, 2023.

The city builder's tagline is "if you can dream it, you can build it," and the trailer serenely shows us its possibilities, like Koyaanisqatsi but fun instead of scary. Perhaps we should be interrogating the cost of all those roads and freeways and not just enjoying their aesthetic qualities, but I really do enjoy seeing complex, twisty interchanges. And I don't know if I'm just being steered by social stereotypes, but the older I get the more excited I am by little trains, and the glimpses we get here suggest a lot of complex ways to configure transportation infrastructure. Light rail intersecting a roundabout? Mad.

The panoramic city views look pretty great, too. It's not blisteringly high-tech-looking rendering, but in a game like this it's all about expressing scale and mood, and Skylines 2 delivers in those respects. And if you compare it to Cities: Skylines, there are obvious, significant technical improvements here, even compared to the remastered version. Great trees.

When it was announced, Paradox called Skylines 2 "the most realistic city simulation ever created." We'll see about that (and I hope there's lots of room to be unrealistic, too), but this trailer certainly hasn't dampened my faith in the game to deliver like the first one did. 

Cities: Skylines 2 will have more competition that the first game, which released in the void left by the failure of the SimCity reboot. The city building genre has been having a great few years, and there are lots of other ones coming out in 2023.

Cities: Skylines 2 will be $50 when it releases on October 24. You can find it on Steam.

Tyler Wilde
Executive Editor

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley during the '80s and '90s, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on early PCs. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now, and PS1 classic Bushido Blade (that's right: he had Bleem!). Tyler joined PC Gamer in 2011, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. His hobbies include amateur boxing and adding to his 1,200-plus hours in Rocket League.