by Ben Petchey
reviewed on PC
Into the walls
Cityconomy - a game that places you in the boots of the hard working, unheard heroes; trash collectors, drain cleaners, lawn mowers, and also places you into walls - a lot.
The madness begins with the game's optimization - or lack thereof. At first, the game was utterly unplayable for me and had to fight with various settings before it would stop crashing. When it does run, it runs very poorly. 15 fps, 20 if you're lucky, even when running on an admittedly older - but way above the minimum required specs - Intel i5 processor and a GTX 970. The game struggles to push itself over 25 frames per second, and spends most of the time below 20. Oddly enough, the game doesn't support 32 bit systems. You’d think it would be a performance issue but I’d hate to think how much slower it would be then. And worse, with the exception of the halfway realistic trucks, the game looks like it was made a decade ago.
A mammoth in a harnass
When the game does run at a somewhat stable frame rate, Cityconomy offers questionable, often laughable gameplay. You start off the game as a trash collector: driving around, dragging wheelie bins to your truck, emptying, and dragging them back to where you found it. It's repetitive and tedious, but could perhaps have been forgiven if the gameplay wasn't a clunky mess.
Trying to control the garbage truck is like attempting to put a harness on a mammoth while simultaneously trying to get it to do a successful U-turn in a narrow back alley - impossible. The truck turns not at all, then all at once; causing you to crash into just about every low-textured lamp post, bush and tree in your vicinity. Meanwhile, the AI traffic is good for a chuckle as it edges forward and abruptly halts during the time it takes you to reverse out of the bush.
The sound design fits right in with the rest of the game. Trucks sound like they are driving circles on the inside of a tin can, there is no radio, and the city just feels so lifeless - it's rather creepy at times. Other drivers sit silently waiting for you to move. No irritated honking of horns. Just silence.
Cityconomy: Service for your City is a game that runs far worse than it should considering its looks. The gameplay offers no justification for how it runs. Despite my best efforts, the game ran so badly that I spent more time trying to get it to work properly than actually playing the game. In fact, this may well be our shortest review ever - it would have been three times its current length if our reviews were about setting up games instead of playing them. And while the developers are actively updating the game, it seems unlikely that Cityconomy will ever become the fully realised open-world city economy simulator it set out to be.
Realistic looking trucks
Poor gameplay and optimisation and repetitive missions