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Cities: Skylines - 6 mods to give your city extra polish

Yesterday, Shacknews offered up some Cities: Skylines mods to help builders get their cities off the ground. Today, it's time to look at some mods to offer some visual flair, including a few mods based on Mirror's Edge and Stargate.


Would-be builders are continuing to construct their masterpiece metropolises with Paradox and Colossal Order's Cities: Skylines. For those that have yet to start building, Shacknews offered up a helpful guide for mods to get started. But for more experienced builders that are looking to give their cities a little bit of extra polish, there are some mods for that, too.

So join Shacknews as we highlight a handful of mods that will give your city a little bit of extra polish and panache.

Bordercities 2: Visual Overhaul Mod

This is a mod from user Hingo that introduces a familiar visual style to Cities. Bordercities 2: Visual Overhaul Mod introduces the Unity engine effect of "edge detection," a visual style that's used in games like Borderlands and XIII. An upcoming update to the mod will allow for Selective Edges that will let users implement different color patterns.

While Bordercities 2: Visual Overhaul Mod will open the door for interesting new graphic styles, one user has already used it to re-create the world of Tron. Check out Tron City and open up the final image to learn which settings will bring up this color scheme.

Mirror's Edge Red Menu

On the subject of whole new color schemes, here's one for DICE's action platformer. Mirror's Edge has garnered quite the cult audience, so much so that EA is planning to bring the series back for another round in the next couple of years. In the meantime, here's a mod from texasjakit that re-creates the visual aesthetic from the game's menu.

Mirror's Edge Red Menu not only put together the sky blue color scheme of Mirror's Edge, but also tosses in the sharp reds from the menu. Get a look at how your city can invoke Faith's world in the trailer above.

Stargate for Cities: Skylines

The Cities: Skylines user base has its share of science fiction fans, so here's a faithful re-creation of many of the set pieces from the Stargate series. These Stargates will function as Metro stations and will give your town a sleek sci-fi look.

Here's the Earth Stargate (active and inactive) from Stargate SG-1 and the Atlantis Stargate (active and inactive) from Stargate Atlantis. NPCs will now spawn in with a more otherworldly aesthetic. All of them, of course, can be used at once. Check out the full gallery here.

Ambient Occlusion and Sun Shafts

While extra skins and set pieces are fine and all, certain mods are designed to help give your cities some polish in a more practical sense. Shadow textures and lighting could stand to use some improvement and while Colossal Order looks to address this with future patches, modder Ulysius has already looked to insert this himself with this pair of mods.

Ambient Occlusion is a subtle, but noticeable fix for the shadow problem. Using Unity's SSAO shaders, dynamic shadows will appear along buildings and other structures. To help amplify this effect is the Sun Shafts mod. Sun Shafts lets there be light by amplifying the sunlight effect and creating a more natural lighting ambience that will bring true sunshine to any city. Combined, they up the lighting and shadow to help make cities look much more realistic. However, it should be noted that these mods may be too intense for some systems, so make sure to save before launching them.

Enhanced Zoom

Sometimes, a builder needs a good birds-eye view of his or her creation. The zooming options in Cities: Skylines aren't entirely ideal, so here's a mod from hyperdrive_engage to help fill that need.

Enhanced Zoom will increase the maximum zoom distance, so fully zooming out will offer a view of all the available tiles. Those looking for just the opposite can also fully zoom in for a first-person perspective. Players can take first-person tours of their town across all terrains, including through various objects.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

From The Chatty
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    March 25, 2015 12:00 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Cities: Skylines - 6 mods to give your city extra polish

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      March 25, 2015 12:11 PM

      Haha, I haven't seen the Stargates before.

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      March 25, 2015 12:14 PM


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        March 25, 2015 12:15 PM

        Put bus stops beside the metro stations. They'll transfer between the two when necessary to get where they're going.

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        March 25, 2015 12:15 PM

        That will be the resistances HQ.

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        March 25, 2015 3:00 PM

        Are the metros near both residential and work place (commercial, industrial, office)? I've had a lot of success with my metro. Plus I put tons of footpaths to them so people walk from all over to get to the metro.

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          March 25, 2015 3:02 PM

          Metro stations make a lot of noise, so I put them in commercial, office, and industrial areas. Then I use bus lines to connect residential areas to those metro stations.

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            March 25, 2015 3:18 PM

            Yeah true. I usually stick them in offices near residential so they are very walkable. Footpaths are OP though, just run them everywhere and people walk for miles.

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          March 25, 2015 3:03 PM


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            March 25, 2015 3:15 PM

            You built the tunnels and stations, but did you set up the lines themselves? Just building the stations/tunnels won't get trains running.

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      March 25, 2015 12:48 PM

      Holy shit, I'm totally putting Stargates in my city.

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        March 25, 2015 12:52 PM

        haha yah that's awesome! bonus they function like metro stations!!!

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        March 25, 2015 12:53 PM

        Until there is a real threat of interstellar invasion through the gates...meh.

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          March 25, 2015 1:27 PM

          Close the iris!

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          March 25, 2015 1:41 PM

          haha that would be pretty funny... wonder if they will expand the mod at all.

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            March 25, 2015 1:44 PM

            20% of the population just died from invading aliens. the other 80% are Goa'uld slaves. #Beautifuldayinthecity. #ihopewegetapyramid

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        March 25, 2015 1:42 PM

        I love Stargate! it would be kool to have different worlds though.

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        March 25, 2015 1:43 PM

        I want someone to add portals so I can teleport trains and traffic flows around the city (or into the ocean).

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