Do not buy Cities XXL if you already own Cities XL and desire a new experience. The newly released Cities XXL from Focus Home Interactive is the same game with the same bugs and even displays “Cities XL” in the taskbar, funnily enough.
When the original developers, Monte Cristo, went bankrupt, they left Focus Home Interactive with little to work with besides making aesthetic changes to the game—like altering its logo. The devs went bankrupt because they wanted to add microtransactions in addition to a subscription fee for the game—plans, which weren’t very well received (as you can imagine) by the game’s burgeoning community at the time.
Since owners of Cities XXL discovered the publisher’s ruse in selling them the same game, many threads have sprung up on the game’s official forums, on reddit, and even on Kotaku, where game journalist Nathan Grayson flat out calls the game a rip-off. The game’s community has even started threads to encourage owners of the game to request refunds from Steam, several of which have since been locked by the forum’s moderators.
While releasing the same game twice provided that the existing bugs were fixed for a new and ‘improved’ version wouldn’t be too much of a travesty, the game still retains its issues relating to a lack of multi-core support and all the other bugs that plagued the original Cities XL.
The original description for Cities XXL read (via Steam forums):
"Create and manage enormous cities on the latest version of the 'Cities' engine with multi-core support. With a smooth FPS no matter the size and complexity, there are no longer any limits on the richness and diversity of your sprawling metropolis."
It now reads as follows:
“Design, build, and manage the world’s largest and most diverse cities in Cities XXL. Bigger and better than ever before with a more powerful game engine and new interface, become the mayor of your very own sprawling metropolis.”
You’re better off playing EA’s SimCity now that they’ve removed the online requirement—or better yet, just wait for Cities: Skylines to come out.