When it comes to simulation games there is no shortage of them on consoles to choose from. I’ve only dabbled with a few in the past such as Lawn Mowing Simulator, Powerwash Simulator, and a couple others but there are many, many more to choose from. I decided to try something new by reviewing the new Construction Simulator from publisher Astragon Entertainment and developer Weltenbauer Software Entwicklung and here is what I thought of the PlayStation 5 version.
Construction Simulator lets you get behind the controls of some heavy-duty machinery and play through two campaigns set in the USA and Germany. If you are familiar with construction brands chances are you’ll find them here with names such as CASE, BELL, Caterpillar, Bobcat, Kenworth, and many more all represented with there being over 70 machines to use in total. You’ll get to use these in the USA and Germany campaigns each of which puts you in a big map and has you working to build up your company. You’ll play through a short tutorial at the start that should help to get you familiar with some basic things. Many of these simulator games aren’t the easiest to learn and that is the case with this one too but as I kept playing, I grew more comfortable with what I was doing.
In order to build your company, you’ll have to take on jobs to make money. Different jobs require different types of vehicles and materials so you need to make sure you have enough money to spend on what you’ll be needing. What is nice about this game is that you don’t have to own everything that you need and can instead opt to rent out say a dump truck or crane and then return it when you’re done. Being able to do this early on is a godsend but once you get your company going and racking in the money you can then buy your own and not have to rent anymore should you choose. When you accept a job, you have to drive there and each of the two maps is a decent size to navigate. I enjoyed driving and seeing the sights early on but should you get tired of this part at any point you can opt to fast travel which I started to do more of later on.
The types of jobs you’ll be doing are varied and can be something like filling in holes with dirt, moving objects out of the way, building various things, and so on. Driving the different machines in the game didn’t feel the best but that has always been the case for me in these simulator games. Something about them just always feels a bit janky for some reason or another. Some of the jobs will have you using multiple different types of construction vehicles and luckily you can easily swap between them with the press of a button. What’s also cool is that the game supports online play with others so you can divide and conquer these jobs with each friend handling a different task. I only briefly played around online but it seemed to run fine so if you got some construction buddies I can see this being a good time.
I wish I could say I was impressed by the visuals on the PlayStation 5 version but I really wasn’t. The world and character models look like a game that would’ve released eight years ago or so. The machines on the other hand do pack a good amount of detail in them and you can tell this is where the attention was really spent. Performance was OK but the game is a bit buggy in its current state with it having crashed on me a few times and other times I was hit with slowdown as the game seemed to struggle with what was going on. Hopefully these things will be ironed out in a future patch. The game does feature voice acting and it’s serviceable as are the sounds of the machines but everything else about the audio was pretty forgettable.
Construction Simulator like many simulator games before it is only going to appeal to a niche audience. If you relish getting behind the controls of a steam roller or excavater in a video game and completing jobs then you’ll likely enjoy this as there is dozens and dozens of hours worth of content for you. Just be prepared to experience some technical issues and a learning curve along the way.
*Construction Simulator is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.
- Loads of content to play through
- Lots of machines from real brands and each is full of detail
- Online play lets you take on jobs with friends
- Lots to learn and machines don't control the best
- Looks a bit dated and has some technical issues
- Only going to appeal to a certain crowd