REVIEW – The big machines, the loud noises, the houses and factories being built: the kind of thing you’ve only seen in action titles in video games. Now, the latest version of Construction Simulator lets you experience the beauty of the construction industry first-hand.
Construction Simulator 2022 is a realistic simulation title developed by Weltenbauer and published by Astragon Entertainment GmbH. This version of Construction Simulator is much bigger than its predecessors and includes a wide range of real-life brands. In addition, it uses financial and corporate management mechanics and offers a rich and exciting storyline.
Do you have time?
Back in the day, when I had more time to play almost anything, I loved simulation games – classic titles like Sim City, the very first Civilization and countless others nailed me to the screen on my Commodore Amiga. These days, unfortunately, I have less time for them, mainly because they are too time-consuming to learn their often convoluted systems. Fortunately, Construction Simulator does not fall into this trap. Instead, the in-depth gameplay is always manageable and exciting, but it still takes time, so it’s not a casual experience!
With two unique locations, each with two different stories, there is plenty to see and do. You can visit a German-inspired village or a stereotypical American town. In both locations, you’ll have a variety of tasks to complete, fantastic sights to discover and exciting characters to help.
The aim of the game is simple; run your company, make a profit and help each city flourish. All the while, you can rent or buy new equipment, learn new skills, upgrade your hero and create some fantastic buildings.
Easy to learn
Construction Simulator puts fans of the genre right before the screen with its simple gameplay, easy-to-learn mechanics and awesome machines. I particularly liked how it’s realistic and balanced; while never overwhelming the barrage of information thrown at you in a title like this, it doesn’t leave you frustrated. Instead, I just progressed through the game, not getting bogged down in some over-complicated nonsense but completing each task gradually as I developed my business.
Your career in the construction industry revolves around the contracts you have to complete. Although these jobs are often lengthy and complex, they will test your skills. However, they are also extremely rewarding if you complete them on time. If you do, more tasks will open up for you, and you’ll be rewarded with XP and cash to buy goods and new machines.
So many things to buy
No construction game would be complete without some big brands and big machines. With over 90 vehicles on offer, we are spoilt for choice. You can tamp loose soil, bulldoze the ground, dig giant holes, lift heavy goods, build new roads and much more. Plus, you can use the best brands on offer – Bobcat, BELL, Kensworth, Caterpillar and many more.
For those who are fans of these brands, it’s incredible to be able to get their hands on some of the best machines. What’s really smart about the game, however, is that the developers don’t focus on the time-consuming elements, but you decide how much time you spend on each part of the game. If you want, you can drive to each job site in person or pay a small fee for a quick trip. It’s phenomenal, as you don’t have to waste time moving machinery around. This is especially important if you’re taking on complex jobs. You’ll be using a lot of equipment, and it can get tiring quickly if you have to fiddle with all the machines yourself. Fortunately, the ability to travel soon keeps things moving and spices up the gameplay.
The same approach applies to all building materials. You can lift all the elements by hand onto trailers and transport them to each construction site if you want. However, if you don’t like this, you can get the construction yard to deliver all the items, saving you time. All simulation titles should work this way, as it maintains realism without unnecessary and tedious elements.
Nice, but not for 2022
Unlike other similar simulations (such as the many Farming Simulators), Construction Simulator is not a simulation with a detailed design. That’s not to say it’s terrible to look at because it’s not. However, in places, the graphics are a little dated or unpretentious, the transitions lack polish, and the backgrounds aren’t as realistic as I’d hoped. Still, overall the presentation is pleasing while being colourful and fun to explore. I particularly liked the familiar building locations and the variety of buildings and backgrounds.
Oddly enough, the sound effects of the background music selection are the point that didn’t really fit the game. It’s like listening to an action game soundtrack, and it doesn’t work well here. I would have much preferred an essential song selection on the radio in the control booth.
Speaking of realism, the sound effects are fantastic. The roar of the engines, the screech of metal on the ground and the crunch of wheels on the tarmac were impressive. That part of the sound was incredible, and I never got bored of it.
Complex machines but simple controls
I was expecting Construction Simulator to be an over-complicated, overly complex simulation. There are so many machines to use that I doubt I could master any of them. Still, fortunately, an excellent tutorial guides you through the basics. Plus, a fantastic user interface and well-labelled submenus ensure that you never choose the wrong equipment.
Simulation games are famous for their replay value. Fortunately, this is no different. This game will draw you into its virtual world with two huge maps to explore, more than 90 vehicles to test, 90 contracts to fulfil, and much more. On top of all this, you’ll also have a considerable achievement list and enjoy multiplayer action for up to 4 players.
If you love this genre, this game will not disappoint. The amount to do, the number of machines to master and the deep management model to explore are incredible. I have a few complaints, so I can safely recommend you buy it here! Can you run a perfect construction business? Grab your tools, hire some machines and become a construction magnate yourself!
+ Lots to see and do in a fluid simulation
+ The involvement of real brands is a big plus point
+ The sound effects are fantastic
– The graphics could have been more polished
– The music did not fit the theme
– Not very impressive transition films
Publisher: astragon Entertainment
Developer: weltenbauer. Software Entwicklun
Release: September 20, 2022.