There are those days when all you want to do is sit down and play a nice city building simulator. None of the stress of an action game, none of the violence of combat, nothing but you, your city and the interface you use to craft your perfect place to live. The only real way to improve this experience is to give the player the ability to completely destroy their perfect creation by exploding the innocent lives of your citizenry in a hail of fire and brimstone. Enter the Natural Disasters DLC.
As is pretty obvious from the name, Natural Disasters features a variety of devastating natural events that can be brought down on your city either by accident or by design, as well as the buildings that your people will need to deal with the resulting fallout. On display here are many things you can use to maim your people, from giant meteorites, to earthquakes to huge tornadoes. You also are given different detectors that can be used to give you advanced warning of each different disaster type so you can send your citizens into evacuation shelters.
It goes without saying that there is something quite cathartic about building up the perfect city, only to ravage it with a huge meteorite while your people scream and run for their lives (I swear to God, I’m not a sociopath); however, sometimes you’ll actually want to not deal with the constant threat of deadly tornadoes. Luckily, when you first install the DLC, you are able to turn the natural disasters on or off, meaning that if you only want to have disasters that you have hand selected, then this is entirely possible.
One of the main problems, should you decide to turn the random disasters on, is the difficulty in unlocking the buildings required to deal with disasters. You need to reach a population of 2,600 people before you can place either the Disaster Response unit or any shelters or detectors. This is an issue because the disasters have a tendency to decimate your population, which can leave you in a constantly repeating loop. While trying to build up your population, you are hit with a disaster because you don’t have the response unit you need to demolish all of the broken buildings and lose a lot of your population, then before you have built up enough to acquire the correct buildings, another disaster hits and your population goes down again. So continues the ever spiraling vicious cycle.
Thanks to the natural disasters, you have to be extra careful when managing your budget tabs to ensure that your infrastructure is capable of surviving another hit. You really have to micro-manage your budgets and loans, as well as the amount of taxation you can get away with without losing a lot of citizens or businesses. This does add another layer of tension to the game’s experience, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing. At least not if you actually want the constant threat of total destruction looming over you.
Fortunately, above anything else, it is entirely possible to turn off the natural disasters in individual games, as well as turn the frequency up or down. So if you want to take a break from the torment for a while or simply keep the disasters turned off until you’re ready for them, then that is totally possible. Aside from the disasters themselves, you also get some new scenarios to play through, as well as a few new skins for the in-game Twitter rip-off. None of that extra content is a real deal-breaker, but at the end of the day, it is nice to have.
Developer: Colossal Order
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Platforms: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Release Date: 15th May 2018