It had seemed that the DLC train for Cities: Skylines might have finally calmed down. After multiple season passes and more additional radio stations than you will ever likely need, it felt like things were finally finished. But wait, there’s more! Alongside another two radio stations – Calm the Mind and On Air – and new content creator packs is a big expansion. So big in fact, that I was honestly already convinced that Airports should have been in the game from the very beginning.
Almost seven years since Cities: Skylines first released, and nearly five years after the Xbox One release, we finally have airports in there. It may seem like a small addition, but in true Cities: Skylines form, you can really go into the granular detail to create your dream airport.
A highly requested addition from fans, Airports have their own unique tab at the bottom of the screen. Rather than lumping it in with other transport modes it can be found on the far-right hand side of the options. If nothing else this gives you the impression that this DLC is a substantial addition.
From there, you can select your preferred concourse type. These range from classic looking designs with lots of straight lines, right through to ultra-modern and all their curves. Of course, if you don’t like the look of any of them, you can build your own by creating an airport area and then crafting your own. It is something that should come naturally to returning players as they will have already done this process numerous times.
The classic designs are very high on concrete content and really uninspiring. Hence the cheaper price I guess, but they are what would be considered drab. But then the modern and ultra-modern designs are not much better, however at least the ultra-modern terminal has a bit of uniqueness about it. But the large ultra-modern large terminal sets you back $280000. For my passenger’s sake, I hope the insides are a bit more entertaining.
Next, you need runways and aircraft stands. Runways and taxiways work identically to standard roads so again shouldn’t cause any issues. You should probably also build an air traffic control tower. These, along with aircraft stands, all bolt onto your concourse. It goes without saying the bigger the concourse the more room you have for passengers and planes, but it isn’t a cheap investment. The smallest terminal will set you back $75000 so for those working fledgling cities, adding an airport is a long-term goal.
But it can also be turned into a real money maker for the city with the facilities you can add to it. Hotels, lounges and museums can all be added to recoup that money back a little bit quicker. And as your airport reputation improves and progresses, new options will become available. The airports adopt the same three-star rating system found everywhere else in Cities: Skylines.
It doesn’t have to be a passenger airport either. There are options available to create cargo airports or terminals and start importing and exporting your city goods further afield.
It is always recommended to build your airport a little bit out of the way of residential areas to reduce the amount of air and noise pollution that they will be subjected to. To counteract that however, your airport can be connected to the public transport terminals. Build airport stations for buses, metro and trains to all come to bring passengers to and from.
This being a larger expansion, Airports does also bring six new achievements with it. If you’ve got the funds for it, these should come through natural play and expansion; there isn’t anything too demanding of your Cities skills unlike some of the other DLC achievements.
As welcome as this DLC is, it feels a bit lacking. What would have been good was for those players with multiple cityscapes to use their airports to connect their cities together somehow. I don’t necessarily mean a Cities Skylines metaverse but maybe have Chirper announce that a family from another of your cities has moved in to this one via the airport, or come for a vacation.
And then there is the issue of fitting an airport into an existing city. These can take up a lot of room when you consider the runways as well as the size of the building and if you are already at maximum room then you may struggle.
That said, any time my city turns to night-time, and everything lights up, things just become a very calming experience. Add to that illuminated airports and aeroplanes and a game I typically play to unwind has just become even more relaxing.
Any new Cities: Skylines content is a good thing, and whilst this Airports DLC may not be the biggest content pack released for the game, it includes a lot of worthwhile additions. Arguments could be made as to why this pack wasn’t included from the beginning of the game, but seven years late is still better than never.
You can add Cities: Skylines – Airports to your game by visiting the Xbox Store