Simulator games are in abundance in the gaming world at the moment, from power washing to tank mechanic. Anything you can think of, there is probably a simulator game for it! So Astragon have released Construction Simulator, but what exactly does this game do to make you separate with your hard earned cash. Lets find out!
Construction Simulator – All The Toys
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Construction Simulator, is as you might have guessed, one of the many simulators to come to the gaming world. This time concentrating on all aspects of “construction”. Having worked in the construction industry for a number of years, I was very keen to get to grips and to see what fun was to be had.
When you start up the game, best option is to dive into the main game and a lovely introduction to the game is ahead of you. Choosing between one of two maps, you can either choose a European or American town to work in. You will have to complete contracts to gain money, buy machines and to build your construction company. How you get there is entirely up to you!
The tutorial takes you through the large number of different vehicles, guided by your boss Hape. All the way from repairing a broken drainage pipe to delivering materials to repair a roof.
In terms of machines, there are more than 70 included, from manufacturers such as Caterpiller, Bell and DAF to name a few. The full list of machines is great, need a steam roller, check, need an excavator, we got you covered as well.
Next is the map, opening either map, you are greeted with a large playground for you to get stuck into. The maps are pretty good, however, they felt a little empty. This is pretty standard with simulator games though, with the game concentrating on the actual experience at hand. Be warned, the cars in Construction Simulator are as solid as granite! Crash into them and they go nowhere, well until they mysteriously vanish into thin air.
So what’s next? How about the controls? There is a mixed bag to be fair. As you would expect, when controlling the machinery you are going to have multiple different inputs, but I wholly recommend playing this on a controller, purely because the thumbsticks come are incredibly more suited to the controls of the big machines. For example, controlling an excavator, you position yourself where you need to be, enter the alternative mode, and then use the thumbsticks to manoeuvre the basket and boom arm into positions. Sounds simple enough, however, there will be a large number of times when you will either get your basket stuck or just simply press the wrong input. It’s okay though because a quick press of the X button (on an Xbox controller) and you are given the option to reset your machine. Instantly saving your blushes. I didn’t realise this at first, and it took me around 15 minutes to dig a simple hole and get rid of some dirt. Remember… reset.
Each machine has its own control scheme to get used to, but if you long press on the down button on a controller it gives you a great control guide right there on the screen. The game really does try and make things as enjoyable as possible. Its a sim game, but you are definitely helped out, especially when moving between vehicles. You don’t have to get move to each machine, you can press up on the D-pad and then quickly select which machine you want to drive.
So once you have got use to the different machines, you then start taking on contracts, these all have a different level of construction phases. Essentially one phase may well be taking away a broken item, disposing of it, and then picking up and delivering the new item. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that the lower number phases are the quicker contracts to complete. Make sure you read into each step you are going to have to carry out. Also, loan the vehicles as and when you need them, it works out less expensive in the long run, especially if its a quick job to do.
Graphics and Audio
One thing that stood out for me with Construction Simulator, was the machine models. They are intricately detailed and beautifully rendered. The actual maps themselves are so so. With, what felt like, pretty generic buildings and other assets. This didn’t detract from the fun that was to be had though. Especially when battling the elements in the dynamic weather system on the game. Character models are pretty good though, and quite impressively, the lip syncing was pretty spot on when you are talking to different people in the world.
The audio on the game is much of a muchness. You expect the game to have accurate vehicle noises, and it does. From the low revs when idle, to the elevated revs when you activate the many machines, it’s all there. Then what did you expect?
This will all depend at how much Construction Simulator sucks you into it’s world. Personally I can see me sinking hundreds of hours into it, purely to keep building my empire. It makes it even more appealing that you can have up to three friends join you in your construction firm. Making this definitely one that would be more fun with friends.
Overall Construction Simulator is a great game to play. It isn’t perfect, there are a few strange camera angles, but what it does well, it does really well. The construction side of the game, is absolutely perfect, and for that reason I award Construction Simulator with the Thumb Culture Gold Award
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.