Cities XXL suffers from one very big problem: It's virtually the same game previously released, only with bigger maps to build on. Although there's diversity in the environments, it's a bit on the bland side and overly easy to control. Cities can become beasts with a development mind of their own if players don't pay attention, and the game seems to drive players to create super-size cities instead of more manageable smaller ones. The tutorial works in giving the basic overview of play mechanics, but generally Cities XXL is rather intuitive and not very challenging. The graphics are decent unless you zoom in too tight, and then they lose some of the detail that could have been in place with a new graphics engine.
The game has added five new maps, pedestrians on the city streets (which are cloned everywhere), and a few buildings, but this isn't enough to attract gamers, especially if they own previous incarnations of the title. But honestly, if this is an introduction to the city-building genre, then Cities XXL is a nice, almost too-easy foray into the category. Money solves all the problems, and there seems to be lots of it rolling in. That's a problem, because with a few disasters, zoning restrictions, or catastrophes that spin the city into free fall, this could have been a decent game. There are no rocks or sharp objects in this sandbox, though, leaving a game that might suit younger players but will hardly hold the attention of a veteran city-building gamer for long.