READER WARNING: this post will not be easy especially if you really love Cities Skylines or have some other vested interest in the game.
Disclaimer: The perspective I share here is as an American who lives in and has visited (Truck driver) and seen many towns and cities across the United States.
I like Cities Skylines and I play Cities Skylines (over 300 hours on steam)….but I only play it with mods and that brings up one of my biggest problems or frustrations with the game. (By the way, Simcity 5 was good without mods. The maps where just too small.)
Mods not always enough
In City Skylines, sometimes the mods are still not enough to “fix” the game’s “look” or there isn’t one that will do what you really want. For example, I believe most default buildings in Cities Skylines are ugly or just plain unrealistic. Generally the color palette in my opinion is extreme with many being drab and depressing or unnatural pink, bright green, orange, blue or some similar variation. Oftentimes the colors simply don’t even work well together such as white with a dark moss colored green roof. And you won’t find many bright pink houses with a blue or black roof where I live. In fact, I don’t know of any.
Anti Aliasing and atmospheric irritations
Secondly, the vanilla anti aliasing is bad in Cities Skylines. The game has been out for many years now but the anti aliasing and edges of bridges and buildings still haven’t been smoothed out. Thirdly, the general color tone of the atmosphere and maps in Cities Skylines always look mostly wrong to me no matter what LUT or mod (including daylight classic) I use. Simcity 5 in general looked welcoming and more aesthetically pleasing to the eye..at least my eyes. Transport Fever and Transport Fever 2 also has the “look” of beauty in it’s map color and atmosphere that Cities Skylines lacks.
What’s up with the unrealistic and brightly colored vehicles?
Finally, let’s talk about the vehicles in Cities Skylines. Why are many of vehicles not real or outdated vehicles and the colors so obnoxiously bright and unnatural? I don’t know about you but I have never seen a bright neon pink, orange or green car. If you live in America, you will find that City Skylines doesn’t look American much at all which is probably why I have some much frustration with CS. Heading off to the mod workshop for Cities Skylines can help with this but American housing options are severely limited as well. I would love to have access to all the building styles from Simcity 5 (2013) and Simcity 4 and I would be much happier with Cities Skylines. Sure I’m probably in the minority about how I feel about Cities Skylines but at least I feel better telling you. If you have had similar feelings or frustrations with Cities Skylines, let me know in the comments.