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Cities XL was a city builder patterned after SimCity and developed by now-defunct French studio Monte Cristo. The game was positioned as the first online city builder, and though it offered a single player mode, the subscription-based multiplayer mode called "Planet Offer" was necessary to unlock most of the gameplay.
After poor sales and customer reaction, the game's servers were shut down on March 8, 2010. Monte Cristo itself went under in May of the same year. The game's code and IP were bought by fellow French publisher Focus Home Interactive, who went on to try to patch some of the game's online features out and rerelease the game, with some added art assets, as Cities XL 2011 and Cities XL 2012.
Garnering an unimpressive 69 at Metacritic, Cities XL was taken to task for its bland graphics, uninspiring gameplay, poor UI, incomplete features, and the inescapable online subscription fee. Giant Bomb itself did not give the game a review.
The subscription service included:
- Trading resources with other live players,
- Cooperating with other players to build huge "Mega Structures" from Blueprints won in lotteries
- A web-based city and player profile page with messaging and trade contract management.
- 1 month - 7 Euros (approximately $10 USD)
- 3 months - 5 Euros (approximately $7 USD per month)
- 6 months - 4.5 Euros (approximately $6 USD per month)
- OS: Windows XP SP3 or Windows Vista SP1
- Processor: Intel Pentium IV 2.5Ghz or AMD equivalent or better
- RAM Memory: 1GB (XP), 1.5GB (Vista)
- Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT/ ATI Radeon X1600 or better, 256 MB RAM
- Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible