Colossal Order brought the news that Cities: Skylines would be getting its first expansion pack last week, but only delivered a tentative 2015 release date. One week later, the studio has now announced the official release date for the game, revealing that gamers will only have one more month of waiting before launch. The After Dark expansion will introduce the oft-requested feature of a day and night cycle, as well as transporation methods, time-based hotspots, and a substantial visual overhaul to the game itself.
The first expansion pack for Cities: Skylines will release on September 24th, and Paradox Interactive has also released a new batch of screenshots to give fans a better look at the night-time imagery. The initial gameplay trailer showed mostly daytime footage, so this is the first real look at the game’s night-time graphics.
Each building within the game has received a texture layer overhaul so that its windows and signs will light up bright during the night (where appropriate), and Paradox promises a visually pleasing aesthetic as sunrise, sunset, and stars all permeate in the skyline.
The studio also put forth more details the night-time cycle and how it impacts gameplay. For example, citizens that opt to travel during night time will typically be going to entertainment destinations, along with a few night-time shift workers heading out for retail and office spaces. This will create a new need for night-only bus routes, which should see a focus on more direct routes to entertainment hotspots that otherwise might not make sense during the day. After dark will also be the best time to make changes to road designs and routes, as demolishing roads at night will have a lesser impact on citizen’s work routines.
Interested gamers can take a look at the aforementioned screenshots, which show various times of the new visual cycle within the game:
It’s not just all neon signs and fun times during the night, though; criminals will use the cover of darkness to their advantage, and players will have to counteract this with an all-new ‘night time budget’ system, allowing police departments to push out patrol cars for the night shift.
Those interested in picking up the expansion from their favorite digital-download provider will have to set aside $14.99 for the package, which seems like a reasonable price to pay for the content included within it. The studio already put out a free European content update, and vowed only to charge consumers for expansion packs that offered new gameplay mechanics and substantial improvements. Hopefully, After Dark will live up to those words.
What do you think about After Dark, Ranters? Do you think it’ll do justice to a game that has been hailed the ‘Sim City Killer‘?
Cities: Skylines After Dark is slated for a September 24th release on PC, Mac and Linux.