Platform: Nintendo Switch (eShop)
Version Reviewed: Digital
No. of Players: 1 Player
Release Date: November 6, 2019 (EU & NA)
Construction Simulator games have graced multiple consoles over the years, as well as tablets and smartphones in their recent iterations. Construction Simulator 2 has done well in building an audience and now finds itself on the Switch. The game boasts a large array of construction contracts and licensed real-world vehicles to use.
The game opens up with you starting out on your own as the owner of a new construction company where you take on a foreman and pick up some small contract jobs. Early on, you don’t have a lot of money after your first lease on a home base. Vehicles can be rented or purchased if you have the money for them. The main story missions require you to complete contracts for people around the town as you gain experience and unlock new equipment to do bigger and higher-paying jobs.
Early tasks that you can take on vary from digging and hauling jobs and making your way up through the ranks. As you take on jobs of varying complexity, the number of steps each job requires increases. Some jobs that you take on may require you picking up products at the hardware store, running a dump truck to pick up soil, stone, or concrete, and more.
One unique aspect of Construction Simulator 2 is how the world around you begins to change as you complete the various jobs. As you dig ditches and plant trees, build houses and sheds, fix roads and bridges, or pour concrete for swimming pools, the towns and cities will begin to grow and expand as you complete contracts.
There are four main areas in Construction Simulator 2 starting off from a desert town, a small municipality, a town, and a large city. The areas open up once you have met certain level requirements and can rent or purchase larger equipment. To open up the first new area you need to complete a large paving job, opening up the road that connects the outlying area. Another special task has you removing debris and rebuilding a bridge that collapsed which when completed, opens up the game’s last area. Using construction contracts to lock out the player is a creative way to require you to work on smaller jobs to gain money to rent or buy better equipment.
You can only hold one active contract at a time in Construction Simulator 2, which makes sense since the game is a single-player game and aside from some AI drivers, you will need to do most of the jobs all by yourself. There are opportunities to skip tasks, but then you do not receive full payment for the finished contract. After taking on jobs, you can see what equipment type you need as well as setting a marker on the map so you know which direction to head.
As I mentioned earlier, you may need to go to the hardware store first, to purchase and pick up supplies. When you order supplies you can autoload the supplies or choose to load in manually using your crane on your truck. Once you arrive at the construction site, you may see blue shadows of where you need to place the items. They will turn green when you are close enough to the drop zone.
Other tasks for you at construction sites may be digging out a yellow outlined area, use a crane to place window casing, floorboards, and roof frames to the second floor of a house. There are over 60 contracts that you can work on in Construction Simulator, while there is variety, the tasks you will be completing fall into the categories of hauling, digging, paving, lifting/placing, pouring concrete and a few others. The tasks do get repetitive, though I feel like the nature of the game is to build and construct in small doses as Construction Simulator 2 is not a rush through the story kind of game.
CONTENT & FEATURES:
Throughout your campaign, you will drive over 40 vehicles from dump trucks, diggers, cranes, concrete mixers, tractor-trailers, pavers and more. The variety of vehicles you get to use consists of various secondary abilities. Before using a crane you may need to stabilize your truck or use a dump truck to fill a paver machine with asphalt. You do have the ability to fast travel to key locations, though doing so does use money.
Construction Simulator 2 has a variety of rules you can apply to your game to make things more challenging, like following driving rules and having to refuel your equipment at gas stations. Each of the four locations in the game world has its own home base, hardware store, vehicle dealership, and warehouse. Finding these locations allow you to fast travel to them, and also unlock better equipment types as you play.
Construction Simulator 2 has some background tracks, but they are mostly throwaway and annoying. Vehicle audio is appropriate and the sounds fit the various equipment as you drive, maneuver, dig and pour concrete. NPCs will honk their horns at you if you drive in their lane or cause an accident. Aside from that there’s not much in terms of interesting or noteworthy audio.
VISUALS & PERFORMANCE:
The visuals of Construction Simulator 2 are a bit of a mixed bag. The equipment items all look good and are rendered well to look like their real-world counterparts. Some equipment has safety lights that you can turn on and off, functioning pieces turn and rotate, helping you to complete your contracts.
The game world is a bit sparse and bland, especially in the early areas. Houses look similar, pedestrians and cars pop in and out of view even when you are close up. In the last city, billboards pop up all the time, taking you out of the full immersion of driving through a real city.
I never noticed any frame rate stuttering, except when loading into a new area of the game. I played almost entirely in docked mode and the same, in between, loading/stutter would happen each time. The game does have a couple areas of performance loading which could be remedied in a patch.
When you go in and out of the map the game has to reload the landscape and vehicle you were in. I noticed this more when I was working on jobs that required me going into the contract instructions and over to the map often. Loading issues aren’t a deal-breaker, but it does slow down the pace of the already slow-paced game that Construction Simulator 2 is.
I will be the first to admit that Construction Simulator 2 was not a game that I thought I would enjoy as much as I did. The way the world around you gets built up as you complete contracts are fulfilled as locations begin to spring up and the landscape changes.
I had a lot of fun playing Construction Simulator. The variety of contracts and varied equipment that you get to use in the game was a welcomed change of pace. I know Construction Simulator 2 is probably not on too many people’s radar, but if you like simulation games like Mudrunners or Farming Simulator, you should give it a try.
THE VERDICT: 7/10
*A Review key was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.
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Tags: Astragon, Construction Simulator 2 US, Jonathan Ober, Nintendo, Nintendo Switch, review, Switch Review, Weltenbauer
This post was written by jonathanober