Cities: Skylines - After Dark
After Dark makes some big changes to the visual variety of Cities: Skylines, but does little to alter the underlying simulation.
It may seem ungrateful to be unenthusiastic about a content pack of miscellaneous upgrades, but the strongest reason to recommend this DLC is to say thank you to Colossal Order and Paradox for the great stuff we got for free in patches. There's plenty here, and some of it can give your city a little more regional flavor, but none of it stands out as a must-have feature that refreshes how Cities: Skylines plays. Instead, it serves as a reminder to return to this great city builder and see how it's improved since you played it last.
As a pure enhancement, though, After Dark does the job nicely. The new options for dedicated lanes in roads are great, the new buildings are enjoyable and useful, and the leisure and tourism areas give you some fun new things to focus on.
After Dark may not be a revolutionary addition to Cities: Skylines, but the number of impressive new features and enhancements offered here is more than good enough to get my vote again.
Cities: Skylines may have been a dark horse at first, but with After Dark it's now a formidable thoroughbred.
Cities: Skylines remains a fantastic city builder, and with After Dark it's getting even better, regardless of whether you buy the DLC or not. Just the gorgeous day-night cycle would have been a worthy addition, but Colossal Order have shown a degree of ingenuity in tying this to new gameplay mechanics, while also giving more options for players in how they want to run their city.
Although not revolutionary, After Dark still brings some great new features to the table.
After Dark is, I think, the best possible outcome for Skylines: successfully sticking its hand out for more cash but doing nothing to puncture goodwill in the process. Cue more swearing at EA HQ, perhaps.
Ultimately, After Dark doesn't rock the boat when it comes to game-changing expansions. In fact, it comes quietly – the new features are nice additions to the gameplay, but this flavor pack doesn't dramatically change how players will interact with Cities: Skylines. It introduces some great elements that compliment the free update, but only hardcore fans of the simulation genre will want to pay $15 to access the new features.
To some players it's going to feel like a handful of aesthetic features, but once you use the new mechanics After Dark draws you deeper into making your own little world.