Construction Simulator PS5 Review – Those of us of a certain age will certainly remember as a child owning at least one Tonka Truck. Myself, I was lucky enough to have a few and spent a lot of my childhood in the garden digging it up to the annoyance of my parents. They were the best thing ever!
That coupled with being able to help my dad who was very hands on with home improvement meant that when he was laying foundations for the wall that still stands today around the garden or planting bases for fence posts, I was always on hand to help. Looking back, these were some of the best days of my life and memories I will take to the grave with me.
Construction Simulator PS5 Review – Laying the Groundwork
One of my colleagues got to grips with a previous release of Construction Simulator a few years ago and had a load of fun, now it was my turn to try and re-live my childhood to see if I could get the same enjoyment.
There is certainly something fun about driving around in huge machinery and Astragon Entertainment’s new soft reboot of Construction Simulator does look to provide this without the use of PPE on the job. Boasting over 70 officially licensed vehicles, machines and equipment from 25 world famous brands including numerous newly added manufacturers and set over 2 huge new maps in the US and EU, there is easily enough in there to keep people entertained for a while.
At the time of writing this review I have ploughed quite a few hours into the game and comes off as a solid game. All of the machinery you get to take on is quite easy to control. They haven’t gone overboard with fiddly control mechanics making the game more of a chore than a fun thing to do.
Take vehicles with multiple control points for example, using a crane for instance. You control the arm with the left stick and the hook with the right. Using a truck with a crane on is even better controlling the length of the arm, height of the boom and hook with both sticks. There is a level of realism to it, but at the same time has not been over-complicated.
Driving controls however do feel a little sensitive. Steering is very responsive at slow speeds and when you pick up that speed it is really easy to drift your trucks around town which certainly adds some great fun to the proceedings.
Construction Simulator PS5 Review – Building on the future
There are other simulators out there that do things better and I am a bigger fan of; Snow Runner being my personal go to for a true sense of realism. It offers a different take on mechanics throughout the game, but each game does feel like they overlap each other in a strange way.
The core driving mechanics are much more detailed in the above game and are rich in detail, but that is what the game is about. Driving in Construction Simulator feels a little diluted in comparison. There is no difference between driving on the road, crashing through roadworks or driving through a dirt laden construction site.
Don’t let this put you off though, the main focus of the game is on the construction elements even though a major part of the game is the transportation of materials and machinery. One of my main issues with this is the unbelievably slow AI vehicles that you share the road with. They are a constant hinderance throughout.
Then, as I mentioned, driving off-road with large machines doesn’t feel like a true ‘sim’ element to the game. It has been shown to be done better in other games and here it misses the mark by a long way. I feel that it is too late to implement these mechanics into the game, but certainly could be looked at on a future release.
Construction Simulator PS5 Review – Health and Safety on site
The game does hold your hand very well throughout your journey and not leave you scratching your head wondering what to do too early on. One of the first jobs you need to do is clear a road by moving the dirt which has covered the tarmac. To do this you simply collect it in the bucket of your digger and place it in a pre-determined spot just off the road. I accidently dropped it in the middle of the road at first but for some reason I wasn’t punished for that and made to move it again.
The game continues in the same vein. Whenever you have to move something there will always be a correct area to place it, but the game allows you to drop it in the general area rather than an exact position. Admittedly if you do drop it in the general area it will snap into place rather than where you placed it, but it does make things a little easier.
For casual players this won’t be an issue, but I am sure that there will be players that want everything to be precise in the game and his will dilute the experience a little. It certainly did feel like the reward at the end of a task wasn’t there and I was made to feel like I was just working through a checklist rather than building things correctly.
Construction Simulator PS5 Review – A Job Well Done?
Although the game does present its issues with any die-hard simulation fan, I still think that on the whole it has been pulled off really well. It is very much focussed on machinery in the industry rather than precision of any major level.
It does feel like you are guiding things along rather than changing anything or putting your own stamp on things. It all depends on what you are looking for from a game like this. I for one did have a lot of fun playing through the game. I always approach a game with an open mind but couldn’t help but draw comparisons when it came to writing this review.
It’s not a game that you will simply glide through, you will have to put in the time and effort. Large jobs particularly will see you grinding away at various tasks for a few hours solid. Getting hold of the materials you need and then getting them to the site does take time but doesn’t feel like a drag to do.
Playing Construction Simulator certainly won’t make you feel like you could jump on a real-life site tomorrow and be confident in your abilities, but it does give a pretty impressive view on what goes on within the industry. Graphics are pretty good along with some nice lighting and some lovely environment detail which does add to the game.