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Construction Simulator Review

Construction Electrician Simulator is general contracting type of practical job simulation. It simulates a wide variety of construction jobs, from building assembly/construction to concrete pouring. The jobs that the player undertakes in the beginning leads to taking over a small construction business and growing it. Notably, Construction Simulator doesn’t simulate the actual business side of contracting, which is estimation. The jobs appear to be a fixed set with a fixed cost/profit; some in order, and some in the order that the player decides execute in. It isn’t clear what happens after several fixed sets of jobs are completed, it may be that there is nothing more to do. However, there is a European and a USA environment, and these are totally different sets of jobs and companies (DLC maybe the future for additional areas). There is also a multiplayer mode, allowing the player to join existing servers, or host a server (if the opening set of campaign jobs has been completed).

There are many, many options in Construction Simulator. Graphics, controls, and gameplay contain large numbers of toggles and settings. Controls are numerous; some repetitive as they are separated by vehicle type. The repetition makes resetting the controls a tedious operation, for example changing the WASD for every vehicle; the player will have to do it 7 or 8 times. Awkwardly, some controls are fixed and can’t be remapped, like G, which is the action key for vehicles and machines. There are a set of camera controls, the camera can be fiddly to deal with during the gameplay as third person is in use most of the time. The point of view can be changed to first person, but for most situations first person would be too difficult to practically play the game. The graphics are a mixed bag. They are not terrible, but there are some severe lighting issues, as the game is too bright, like an over exposed picture. Night looks like a cloudy day, and full daylight is like being on a world with two suns. Even with several video options, none of them have a material impact on the lighting. In the gameplay menu there are several options; a few are really important: Traffic and Pedestrian density, and critically, Traffic Offences. Turning off Traffic Offences is important since the player will be fined for every infraction and this can very quickly drain all of the player’s money unless the player is very careful.

Driving big vehicles around the city streets and highways is a large part of Construction Simulator. There are pedestrians to avoid running over, stop signs, traffic lights, and cars that move like they are driving through streets made of molasses. If the traffic density is not turned down to low and the fines turned off, the player can’t run through red lights or hit anything without a big fine, which is immediately and automatically taken from the player. There are no cops in the game, it’s all automated. The USA map design was over-engineered with ridiculous Grand Theft Auto style long winding roads and hairpin turns. It’s hard enough driving a tractor-trailer up one of these roads without long lines of slow-moving cars to navigate through. There is also a pop-in problem, the game will spawn vehicles very abruptly; so, some intersections will look clear, but then a car pops-in and makes a left turn right in front of the player.

The variety of vehicles and equipment available in the game is pretty impressive. There are several name brands and they model real life construction vehicle makes and models. The beginning of a campaign introduces the player to several different vehicles and a variety of jobs that are all different. In this regard, Construction Simulator has done a really good job of being engaging. The jobs are tied together with a backstory led by a guy named “Hape” (a strange name to be sure). Hape guides the player through some beginning jobs, then turns the business over to the player. Most of the jobs are fairly simple to understand, however sometimes they are not easily understood and the game makes some assumptions that the player may not understand about specific tasks in a job. The developers decided to make a game out of discovering local businesses, which really doesn’t fit. So, the player has to drive all over the city to find various locations for things like prefabricated walls, vehicle dealers, concrete and other suppliers. Once discovered, the player can use a quick travel option to get to the various locations immediately.

So, is Construction Simulator a fun game? Yes. Does it have some problems? Yes. The problems are quality of life issues like the controls that can’t be remapped, awkward map design, slow moving AI vehicles, and some of the tasks in jobs that are a bit ambiguous. The graphics, especially the lighting, need some work. The fun in the game is the playing around with the big variety of heavy equipment, cranes, big rigs, cement mixers, etc. The developer has posted a roadmap of fixes and improvements currently being worked on and planned for next year. Construction Simulator is a good game as it is now for the price; with fixes and improvements (and probably DLC) in the future, it could become a great game.

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