Planet Coaster Console Edition is a construction and management simulation video game developed and published by Frontier Developments for consoles. Planet Coaster Console Edition is a fresh experience and rebranding of the much-loved rollercoaster management series. It offers witty banter and allows you to enjoy the lighter side of running theme parks. Many of you may have enjoyed this game on PC for the last few years. However, the console version brings the love of theme park management to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, including next-gen upgrades.
‘Originally named Coaster Park Tycoon, the game was renamed before E3 2015, Planet Coaster Console Edition is Frontier’s second self-published title with Elite Dangerous being their first. Frontier are also well known for the Rollercoaster Tycoon series with Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 being their best, however, decided the name change would be best due to negative opinions and impact of Tycoon titled games in recent years.’
How Visually Stunning Is Planet Coaster Console Edition?
As a fan of simulation games, I was excited to give this new coaster game a go. If like me you enjoy management/simulation games we would love to hear from you. Please write in the comments your thoughts on the game and maybe share your theme park masterpieces with us on our Twitter account.
Planet Coaster Console Edition offers loads of features in such a compact game. If I could choose one of these features, its the ability to create my dream theme park.
Planet Coaster Console Edition offers 3 main modes including Career, Sandbox and challenge modes. Unlike previous coaster management games, Planet Coaster offers new gameplay mechanics bringing new difficulties to the franchise. These include deterioration of ride popularity and crash mode, which allows you to plough your paying visitors with incomplete rollercoasters. You can hire staff can to maintain the park including janitors, mechanic, security, vendors and entertainers.
The career is bulk of the game offering a tutorial as well as 8 other career themes. Each with varying difficulties that require more stars to progress further. Career scenarios offer a unique set of challenges that need to be met. These include getting a set number of visitors, maintaining happiness ratings on roller coasters and even just earning a set amount of income. This is a great way of understanding how the game works and the challenges you may face in other modes. While you do these scenarios your advisors will set the story for you. I highly recommend playing some of the scenarios first before progressing.
The sandbox mode allows you to imagine your park with unlimited money. There are 7 environment themes to start in, these include Tropical, Desert, Grassland, Alpine, Deciduous, Artic and city. Also, you can choose a custom theme and create your own with a mixture of themes offered. So let your imagination go wild and create your dream park with all the tools at your fingertips to create your dream Theme Park and limitations to the possibilities.
Similar to sandbox mode, Challenge mode allows you to test your skills to create a park from scratch. While also trying to overcome challenges; including Profit, Ride Rating and many other targets. You choose the theme and difficulty. Each difficulty offers many unique challenges to overcome including ride popularity decline. These challenges allow you to test all you know about the game and try to master the mechanics of the game.
Overall the experience of all these modes brings hours of endless fun. However, some mechanics felt a bit too complicated on a controller. Rotating and placement of assets using a controller felt harder than it should have been; limiting the precision placement of assets within the game.
Graphics & Audio
I was delighted to play this title on Xbox Series X, allowing me to experience the game in the all-new enhanced update version for next-gen. Planet Coaster Console Edition is visually stunning in 4k at 60 frames, giving you both beauty and performance with no sacrifices. Being a next-gen console game the experience was better than I expected, both graphically and from a performance standpoint. The Xbox Series X version offers amazing reflections in the water; thanks to the ray tracing technology the console offers. It brings surreal environments and a sense of realism to this coaster management game.
The assets from paths, coaster rides and scenery have been captured in full 4k. With the ability to zoom right down to ground level and experience all the textures as if you were holding them. Although visitors still keep the same visual appeal as shown above, with a simple model with variations to simulate adults, teens, children and gender. All models offer the iconic smile with limited variations of outfits.
Like all theme parks, Planet Coaster Console Edition offers the same immersive sounds of a busy theme park and natural elements of being outside. Every ride, rollercoaster and speaker asset can all have their own music from a large selection included within the game. The immersion as you approach new areas allows you to immerse into the theme park itself. Background noises from the weather and wildlife bring the outdoors into your room. All the sound effects recorded immerse yourself into the game, bringing the ultimate experience to you.
Planet Coaster Console Edition may only offer 3 game modes, but the career mode alone offers a large chunk of hours to sink into and help with becoming an expert. The other game modes offer an infinite amount of hours too. I could easily find myself spending hours upon hours each session creating parks in challenge and sandbox modes. This game can offer more than you could want to those interested in simulation management games, bringing endless fun to the gamer.
Overall all the game modes offered much enjoyment and were structured in a way that made the game easy to decide the mode. The number of features that make the game are immersive and bring the whole simulation franchise to a whole new level of enjoyment. Although there are controller issues, the experience isn’t affected. Music and sound effects were above my expectations and adds to the immersion of the game.
Although there was plenty of content (which I want to experience), I still want more career scenarios to fulfil my love and enjoyment for the game. Planet Coaster Console Edition is great value for money and a great addition to Xbox Game Pass.
It is, therefore, my honour to offer a Thumb Culture Gold Award. Here’s hoping Frontier bring out more instalments in the new planet coaster series.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.