I love simulation games, I’ve recently been playing Train Sim World, Fishing Sim World, Airport Simulator 2019 and a few others on my PSNow subscription. Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition reminds me a lot of Airport Simulator 2019 in that you must take control of every single vehicle as you aim to complete jobs around the town. Publisher astragon Entertainment advised me that this game isn’t a direct successor to Construction Simulator 2015, which came out on PC, this is a port of the Mobile Phone version which has recently been ported to PC and Consoles.
Even though it’s not officially the direct sequel, it does contain new vehicles, new missions and a rather large map for you to explore and work on. The port has been fully optimised to take advantage of hardware much more powerful than mobile devices and has been completely re-worked to be optimised for controllers. The question is, is Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition worth picking up if you’re into simulation games or is it simply a re-skin of every other simulator out there? Let’s find out.
Construction Simulator 2 (which is what I’ll call it from here on) isn’t going to be a game for everyone. Rather like my Airport Simulator 2019 review, there is a certain group of gamers who will love this game, like myself, and most likely the majority of people won’t give it a second glance as they see this as work, and who wants to work whilst having fun? That’s the difficult thing with ‘Simulation’ games – how much ‘simulation’ is too much? Construction Simulator 2 help reduce the impact of it being a full-on simulator by having you perform many different tasks with various vehicles, similar to Airport Simulator 2019. The difference here is you don’t seem to have hired staff who you can pay to do the other objectives for you as you are literally a one-man construction company.
Your goal is to take on various jobs, earn money, buy your own vehicles and then take on bigger jobs as you expand your business across the big map and open up new opportunities and goals. There is a story within Construction Simulator 2 but it’s quite generic – you have just become the owner of a construction company and your old tutor has agreed to come and lend a hand. However, all he’ll do is cheer you on from the sidelines, he never actually gets his hands dirty and helps out. I guess the saying is true, “those who can’t, teach”!
The first thing that will hit you, once you start playing, are the controls. Initially, they’re fine. It’s your standard car controls of the triggers to go forwards and backwards and the sticks to move the camera and manoeuvre. However, Construction Simulator 2 is one of those simulation games which goes quite in-depth with its simulations. As such, you can’t honestly expect to control everything with the mear 14 buttons present on the DS4 controller! There are two main control modes, with a few per-vehicle modes as well. So, initially, you have control of the camera and the vehicle as standard. The secondary mode locks the camera and the right stick now controls something in regards to your machine. For example, the digger will let you rotate and lift the front arm whilst driving around – something I spent a long time doing in order to try and flip a car!
The Left stick changes what it does on certain machines when you choose to swap over to the function mode. An example of this will be the truck with a crane attached to it. Once in function mode, the stabilisers come out, lock themselves on the floor and now the Left and Right stick both control the rear crane in order to pick up items and move them about or load/unload them. If I said to you right now that “it gets easier and after a while, you remember everything you have to press in order to operate all the various vehicles”, I would be lying. Even after 12 hours, I was still pressing the wrong button, spinning things the wrong way, and not lining things up correctly.
Thankfully, you can tap L3 at any point and have the controls and various button prompts appear on screen for you to look at and follow. What’s interesting is that when you do this, you see a few ‘circle controls’ appear at the bottom of the screen – these are, I imagine, the on-screen controls you would usually see if you play the game on the mobile devices. I would say that I have got better at remembering what does what and how things move, but there are so many vehicles you can unlock in the game with different modes and functions, it’s nice to have a helping hand every now and again.
The task at hand:
What makes a good simulation game is the tasks you are given, the ease at which you can perform them and the realism of the various mechanics. We’ve already looked at the controls, so what about the actual jobs you’ll be undertaking? This is where the game gets interesting as it begins to ease up on the hand-holding and lets you get on with it yourself (after a tutorial mission and a few initial pointers). You have the choice of three tasks – these are rotated upon completing one of them – they can range from digging a hole in someone’s garden to lay pipes, all the way to putting the finishing touches on a full house build. The issue I had with the mission select was that there was no way to manually refresh it and I would regularly get three really big jobs – like 30-45 minutes worth each – rather than smaller ones. I would have liked it if you always had the choice of a small, medium and large job – all of which rotated, instead.
Saying that, the big jobs were the most fun, the most rewarding, and the most expensive to pull off. I only own a few vehicles, as they are pretty expensive if you are to buy them out-right. You can, however, rent specific vehicles for the job which charges you an up-front fee as well as an hourly rate which you pay back upon returning the vehicle. I found myself renting a lot of different machinery, which led to me losing out on a lot of money. Thankfully, the jobs I had to rent for were offering stupid amounts of cash, so I still ended up with a decent profit.
“But what do you do?!” I hear you scream! Well, let’s take the construction of a house for example, as that was one of the longer jobs I’ve done recently. We were tasked with first of all laying concrete on the pavement to create a driveway. To do this, you can either use a mixer truck and literally spill it all over the area (which is what I did) or you can hire a crane and cement holder and use that as a ‘tap’ like device to pour the cement into the designated section. Also, when you hire the cement mixer it doesn’t come pre-loaded with cement, you have to go get that from an out-of-town dispenser.
Next, I had to go and pick up some building supplies from another store and bring them to the building site. This was straightforward, drive your truck directly there, bashing all the cars you encounter out of the way, and then load it up so you can drop them off.
Finally, I was asked to help place some archways and window frames for the upper floors. Now, at this point, I could have used the crane I hired but I had already returned it as I didn’t think I needed it and I was being charged by the hour to rent it. Instead, I used my truck with a crane on the back and swung the pieces around until they locked into place – it did the job perfectly! After doing about six of these and also laying down some roof foundations, I had successfully built a house!
This whole process took me about an hour to complete, it was fun as I had the chance to use various different machines, travel to different places and even bash around a few cars. Once you complete the whole mission, you’re given a summary and a wad of cash! So, it’s back to your base to obtain a new job – rinse and repeat.
Okay, I’ve said this many times in my simulator and management reviews, this game isn’t for everyone. I find it calm and relaxing – I put it on when I have a spare 30 minutes or so and just work my way through a few jobs. After a while, it does become a little monotonous if you keep picking the same job so I’d recommend picking some of the more adventurous ones, even if it means you have to rent most of the machinery – you’ll still end up with a decent profit. I installed this for my dad on his PS4 and he really enjoys it. It took him a while to get used to the controls, just like me, but he plays it often now as a pastime as he likes games which you can take at your own pace without worrying about time limits or dying.
Also, as I’ve stated above a few times (you may have noticed), I didn’t really take this game that seriously at times. I would get in my truck and go as fast as I could and then ram the other passenger cars off the road. Sadly, the physics in the game are pretty good, so the cars bump and move as you would expect, no pinging off into space here! However, I did manage to ping myself into space, but that was an accident when I reset my vehicle (with the option to reset – which was very handy), it accidentally placed me half inside a building and… ping – off I went! Gotta love these simulation games!
On a very sad side-note though, you can’t bump into people. I know, it’s very disheartening and I know a lot of people like to ‘boop’ people as you drive around, but it isn’t an option within Construction Simulator 2 as they fade out of existence if you get close to them. To counter that, you can use your digger to speed towards cars and then flip them with your digger attachment like a dinosaur, or as if you’re in Robot Wars. Again – this isn’t what the game is intended for, but I like to make my own amusement.
Visually, Construction Simulator 2 isn’t bad at all. There are a lot of dynamic shadows, you occasionally even see birds which casts shadows as they fly off when you move your truck near them. The attention to detail on all of the vehicles you can operate is also very good. Construction Simulator 2 contains a lot of licenced machinery, so I imagine all of them have been fully modelled on their real-life counterparts in order to keep the authenticity up there. The rest of the world is hit or miss. It’s quite an empty town with the odd materialising person here and there but there are quite a few vehicles on the road and you can see them as far as you can see. I’ve not noticed any pop in with the cars. The house textures are kinda basic, but they aren’t what you’re playing this game for – you’re playing it for the trucks, machines and the very nice dirt-digging physics!
Soundwise, as with any simulator, Construction Simulator 2 doesn’t disappoint. The sound effects from each of the various machines sound authentic and the soundtrack has a ‘cowboy’ feel about it. It’s rather smooth and pleasant though, which really helps in games like this where you’re doing a lot of the same things over and over – it makes the game more relaxing and enjoyable.
Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition is very relaxing and fun to play. I know not everyone will share my opinion, but I really like games like this which you can just pick up, play for a short while, then move onto something else. There are over 60 jobs to perform, a multitude of new vehicles, all with their own tutorials and designated jobs, new areas to unlock, and skills to apply in order to increase your income. The main difference between this and Airport Simulator 2019 is that in that game you can hire people and then sit back and watch everything complete on its own. In Construction Simulator 2, you have to take over all the vehicles, perform all the jobs, and manage all the renting and purchasing – it’s a true one-man simulator.
Sure, there are a few things I didn’t like at first such as the confusing controls, the very little help you get outside of the tutorials, the confusion over what vehicle does what, and the basic map layout. But, after I had been playing it for a few hours, I knew what all my machines could do, which ones I needed for each job, where the various locations were, and the controls were alright – with the help of L3. As I stated at the very beginning, I love simulation games, I’m not quite sure why, but I find it really easy to relax with a game like this and stick on a movie, TV show or YouTube on my iPad and just perform the motions whilst also listening/watching the other media. It really calms me down and relaxes me.
Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition is a content-rich one-man construction simulator. Touted as the mobile version of the original PC game but with more tasks and vehicles (as we await a true sequel), there is plenty to do and lots of items/machines to unlock through progression. If you enjoy relaxing with a game which doesn’t require you to think too hard, or a game which you can just go at your own pace and perform various tasks, then why not try out Construction Simulator 2? Graphically, the map is quite generic but it’s populated well with a decent amount of town buildings and various stores you can visit.
If you like your simulators as much as me, add Construction Simulator 2 US – Console Edition to your library today.
Construction Simulator 2 US - Console Edition£11.99
- Lots of machines to drive/unlock and tasks to perform
- Quite a lot of variety as you get further into the game
- Realistic physics (aside from the odd anomaly)
- Nice and relaxing music which makes playing it more enjoyable in long stretches
- If you're going for the platinum, expect many hours of gameplay
- The lack of help is nice, but sometimes some tasks can be confusing
- You can occasionally get three big jobs to pick between and no smaller ones
- The controls take a while to get used to
- Not a negative as such, but this genre of game won't appeal to everyone