I’ve taken a break from Cities: Skylines 2 to give Colossal Order time to address its many issues, from performance problems to bugs to critical systems not working as intended. There’s a lot of work still to do. I’ve also been waiting for editor tools, which is essential in a series that places such significance on mods. We’ve now been given a glimpse of the tools in action, which will be released “soon”, though no specific date has been given.
One of the big differences in the sequel’s tool set compared to the original is that they’re now in a unified editor, allowing you to create custom assets and new maps without jumping between different editors. It also just looks surprisingly accessible, so when you’re creating a new map you’ll be using a lot of the same tools as you’ll already be using in-game.
Maps are the focus of this first look video, which suits me fine, since Cities: Skylines 2’s launch maps really haven’t been doing it for me. There’s a lot less space for building than in its predecessor’s maps, at least in terms of the percentage of space available, even though the maps are significantly larger. Cities: Skylines 2 also makes it impossible to make an aesthetically pleasing city if you don’t have a completely flat area—even a tiny hill creates all sorts of visual anomalies—which is extra frustrating when all of the maps are so bumpy.
We do get a quick look at some asset editing, though, with props being added to existing buildings. It all looks manageable enough that I’m thinking of taking a crack at making some stuff myself, though just like with the original game I’ll be relying on modders to make much cooler assets and tools so that I can make my perfect city.
Obviously, though, it’s a shame that the editor didn’t arrive at launch. One of the best things about the original game’s launch was the vast number of mods and user-created assets already available in the Steam Workshop, thanks to Colossal Order giving modders early access. Straight away, there were pages and pages of mods to download, which made a great first impression.
That we’re still waiting for the Cities: Skylines 2 editor just adds to the feeling that we’re really playing an early access version. Paradox and Colossal Order even acknowledged that the game was not where they wanted it to be at launch, and I suspect that if Paradox wasn’t a public company it would have risked another delay to make sure it was actually ready for prime time. But shareholders aren’t known for their patience or understanding.
When the editor does arrive—and again, a date isn’t known—you’ll be able to start building your library of mods over on the Paradox Mods website. The lack of Steam Workshop support is due to Colossal Order and Paradox wanting parity between the console and PC versions, which is understandable, I guess, but harder to accept when the console version won’t even be out until 2024. Steam Workshop is a mess, granted, but I’m a lazy man and don’t want to have to leave Steam to download some new mods.