Cities in Motion 2 already felt like a finished and polished transport-management sim, so when I first loaded up it up with Marvelous Monorails installed, I was worried that it might upset the delicate balance of the game’s mechanics. I was happily surprised then by what I found.
Marvelous Monorails manages to fit into the current game without feeling like it was shoehorned in for money after the initial release of the base game. There are only 5 types of transport in the base game, so while a new mode of transport might not seem like much to an outsider, it does actually feel like a lot has been added.
The monorails add a new dimension to the gameplay with a free-form placement method that vehicle types such as buses doesn’t have. Your monorails aren’t confined to roads, so you can place the track wherever you want and create lines that you normally wouldn’t have been able to. You can’t make tight turns with the tracks, so don’t expect to easily go through the city streets without knocking anything down, but it isn’t so bad that you’re going to destroy your entire city by placing monorails everywhere.
Cities in Motion 2 was already an extremely nice game to look at, with buses moving up and down the streets and ferries moving across the water. The monorails are pleasantly attractive too, traveling around your city extremely quickly ferrying your little computer people about the place. The free-form placement will mean that for someone playing in sandbox mode it’s now easier to make an attractive city that looks exactly how you want it to. One of the best parts about this game is sitting back and just watching things ticking along, and Marvelous Monorails really adds to that look and feel.
In the original game, each transport system had its own strengths and weaknesses, so you always knew which one to use in certain circumstances. Monorails are no exception; they have an obvious use in managing your business and don’t take away from the roles that the other transport systems already fill. It feels like being given a toy for Christmas that you didn’t know you wanted until you have it.
The obvious question we have to ask though is whether this expansion offers value for money, as that is often what makes or breaks DLC in the eyes of many. While this definitely isn’t on the same level as Oblivion’s infamous Horse Armor, some might find it too expensive for what it adds to the game. Monorails slots nicely into the existing mechanics, but it definitely don’t add a whole new experience – this is still Cities in Motion 2, just a version with a couple of added options. Players who spend a lot of time with the game will definitely get their money’s worth, but if you only play it every now and again, then there are better purchases that can be made for $10.
That said if you really enjoy the original game and want something to help make a return more enjoyable, definitely give this a look.