Cities: VR looks like a dangerously fun time sink


Quest 2 owners are getting the key to the city

It’s easy to lose track of your surroundings once you’re invested in a game like Cities: Skylines, and when we’re talking VR, the immersion factor is just that much more potent. Fast Travel Games is adapting Colossal Order’s popular city-builder for virtual reality with a new game called Cities: VR. It’s coming to the Meta Quest 2 in spring 2022.

Meta Quest 2? Yeah, I’m not used to saying that either. It’s weird to take a product that you might already have in your home at this very moment and suddenly start calling it something else. Something much more groan-worthy. The Oculus name was fine!

Tangent aside, I like the premise of towering over my city like some sort of all-seeing giant mayor and feeling a closer connection to my neatly laid-out neighborhoods by virtue of VR. The announcement trailer for Cities: VR is more about setting the mood, whereas the real meat and potatoes can be found in this separate alpha gameplay demonstration.

The use of a palette (and the more “hands-on” feel of the Meta Quest 2 controllers) gives the impression that you’re plopping down a world of miniatures, which I dig.

“The city-building genre has huge potential in the VR market and we couldn’t wait to work on this IP,” said Fast Travel Games creative director Erik Odeldahl. “We’ve spent a ton of time, research, and energy to translate Cities: Skylines to VR in a way that is both approachable for new players and a new challenge for Cities veterans.”

This game doesn’t replace the inevitable Cities: Skylines 2, and it isn’t trying to. If you’re unfamiliar with the studio behind Cities: VR, it also worked on Apex Construct, Budget Cuts 2, and Wraith: The Oblivion – Afterlife. If all goes as well as it should on this project, I can easily see this being the developer’s biggest — and best-received — VR release.

I’m already sweating the economic side, though. I can make a decent-looking city, but it’s probably held together by duct tape and about to collapse at any moment.