Title: Construction Simulator 2 US
Developer: weltenbauer. Software Entwicklung
Publisher: astragon Entertainment
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 06/11/2019
Price: £17.99 – Rapid Reviews was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
Construction Simulator 2 US is about a guy starting his own company in the dusty region of Westside Plains. Beginning in a small base of operations in the heart of town, you must gradually build your contracts with the community by completing jobs and running errands around the town.
The money earned from these jobs will allow you to purchase new equipment from suppliers and vehicle dealers across the road. Getting better equipment in the process will allow you to take on more lucrative jobs in the future as your company grows and expands across each new region.
Jobs are the main source of income in the West Plains and to complete these jobs you’ll need the required vehicles. Every time you acquire a new vehicle, you’ll unlock a somewhat helpful tutorial that gives you the basics on how each vehicle controls including a small scenario for you to complete. However, some of these tutorials don’t go into enough detail on how certain machinery works which often left me confused. You’ll start off with the backhoe as the first vehicle but I’d recommend picking up the flatbed truck which allows you the ability to transport cargo to different destinations across Westside Plains. This vehicle also has a crane attached to the back which proves to be a very useful tool both in the beginning of the game and throughout, so I’d definitely recommend picking it up A.S.A.P. While the backhoe allows you to dig and move earth easily, it’s also a great vehicle for small excavation jobs too.
Each vehicle has its own context menu that can be activated anytime with a press of the X button. Within each menu you have access to a variety of different options such as headlights, the unique function mode, reset vehicle and other options that allow you to use each of the vehicle’s unique machinery parts.
When you begin you will have access to three jobs that cycle every couple of minutes. There are over 60 jobs to do over the course of your rise to power. Each job requires a certain requirement to be met before a job is allowed to be undertaken – these requirements are visible in the job description.
If you don’t have a vehicle for a certain job, you can purchase one at the vehicle dealership just across from where your base of operations is located. Vehicles can be quite expensive, so you’ll also have an option to rent said vehicle per minute if you’re low on funds. However, you should definitely try and purchase vehicles instead of renting them as the price can skyrocket which may leave you out of pocket in the long run. Vehicles that should be purchased early on should be the dumper truck, portable crane, and the flatbed truck as these are the backbone of any construction operation.
Each job completed will gain you experience which will slowly level you up. Once you’ve ranked up, new contacts will become available, new vehicles will appear in vehicle dealership and new special jobs will also appear. Completing these special jobs will gain you access to new areas and more unique developments.
Upon levelling up, you’ll gain skill points that can be put into a variety of different skills which allow new improvements such as an extra 10% income bonus, cut costs for vehicle repairs and other skills. Further information can be located within your home base such as management, cost of other useful options which can be seen by pressing the + button.
Base of operations
As you earn more, you will also be able to buy other buildings that will grant you extra abilities and improvements to your base of operations. There are other establishments surrounding you such as supplies that will allow you to buy materials for construction jobs later on. There’s also a bank to undertake loans when available and of course the vehicle dealership where you can rent or buy new vehicles. These vehicles can also be stored at your home base when not in use and can be repaired there at a cost.
There are over 40 original licensed vehicles to drive in construction simulator 2 US and each one has its own unique machinery which will allow you to try a variety of different jobs as you progress. The vehicles feel unique and each one comes with a tutorial teaching you how to operate them correctly.
The map in Construction Simulator 2 US is pretty big with a thriving community buzzing around, either driving their cars or walking down the street. There’s a lot of little details at play here which makes this world feel more alive. Details like tumbleweeds rolling by, birds flying and other assets which add to the realism. Unfortunately, the graphics aren’t that stellar though: hitting cars will see them flying through the air and people fade into nothing when hit. While there is detail in some vehicle models, the graphics aren’t as nice and feel a little dated. The music, on the other hand, is fairly decent with some songs playing throughout. The songs can be quite chilled during the evening hours and quite upbeat in the daytime. Sound effects for engine noises and machinery fairs better.
There’s also a day to night cycle and option to have traffic violations happen when you’re out on a job. Running red lights or driving too fast pass speed cameras will net you fines, however, these became annoying after a while so I disabled them in the options menu.
Even with its sub-par graphics, this is a very engrossing video game. Single jobs can take up to half an hour to complete, especially when multiple tasks need to be completed. Everything associated with vehicle operation is solid and when issues do occur there’s a reset option in the context menu to re-position vehicles and arms if they get stuck which I appreciated. Driving about is also fun and the art of building is done in stages to help you feel like you’re making progress steadily. The pay-off is after you’ve completed the work that house or building you’ve created will remain there, giving you a sense that you’re populating the towns with more housing and other structures which I really like.
Whilst I’ve enjoyed playing Construction Simulator 2 US, it does have issues that hold it back somewhat. Most of the issues arose from jobs that don’t play out as planned. For example, when starting a job you’ll have a number of different tasks that must be completed before a job is done. The issue I have here is upon completing the first task you’re told to move on to the next waypoint which sometimes doesn’t appear. Then, once you’ve got to the location, the next phase doesn’t begin, and without that activation, you’re stuck in limbo. You can skip the task but you won’t get any money or experience for it or get any refund for materials that you might have spent money on.
The other issue I have is that if you use the fast travel during a job, the next phase doesn’t activate and instead the previous task that you’ve just completed will not be ticked off in your job progression list. This can be rather frustrating and feels like wasted time; especially if you’ve been playing for longer than an hour on a building job and the game crashes or causes a bug such as this one.
These issues are a great shame as the game is quite engrossing like any good simulator should be and there’s a lot here to progress with. Plus, the game is quite addictive. If they could only iron out some of the kinks it would make the experience a lot smoother.
It is worth remembering that Construction Simulator 2 US is not a game that is fast-paced, it’s a real slow burn. In fact, it is definitely one of the slowest games I’ve played in 2019. Progression and levelling-up take a long while to do and each vehicle is pretty expensive so saving up the required cash will take some time.
Even with its issues, I can’t stop playing it. There’s still so much more to do in Construction Simulator 2 US. It’s not perfect by any means and has its flaws, but it’s definitely a decent, engrossing building simulator on the Nintendo switch. There is enough content to keep you busy and it’s not a bad investment if you’re looking for a simulator on the go.