Thank you astragon Software for sending us this game to review!
There are simulator games for almost everything these days. What I don't understand are the work related ones. Why come home from working all day to play games that are "virtual" work? I don't get it. Can somebody please explain this to me?
Construction Simulator 2015 aims to give you an authentic construction experience by letting you control fifteen different machines by name brands including Liebherr, Still, and MAN. You'll get to drive around flatbed trucks, deposit tippers, forklifts, and excavators.
When you first launch the game you get to choose your character. As a female gamer I was disappointed to see no option for a female construction worker. There's a several part tutorial mission to get used to running errands and familiarizing yourself with the different vehicle types and their controls.
The controls are surprisingly complex. So much so that this game will be hard to grasp for younger boys that wish to emulate Bob the Builder. When using the excavator you have to individually control each wheel. If you're using the keyboard that means using the WASD keys and the arrow keys. Fortunately, there is partial controller support and my wired Xbox 360 controller worked just fine. Other controllers may not be supported.
After learning how to make a vehicle move, the next step is mastering how to operate it. Some vehicles have multiple modes with separate controls for each (naturally). I'm not sure what you need more of to master this game, practice or patience. Interacting with objects is quite challenging and unfortunately, buggy.
Graphically this game is decent, but some of the object interactions are not natural and the physics system is a bit wonky at times. People don't seem to care or mind if you run them over or bump into other cars on your way to pick up or drop off building materials.
There will be plenty of errand/fetch quests and the suggested route will be highlighted on the circular map on the lower left hand side of the screen. On my way to pick up materials for a job my 10,000 pound deposit tipper truck was rear ended by a little sedan. Naturally, it was my truck that was tipped over and glitched out the remainder of my mission. Thankfully you can restart at check points or cancel jobs as you see fit.
In fact, there is a Steam achievement for canceling the tutorial. I find it humorous that there are steam achievements for playing for various lengths of time. I earned the one hour achievement, but have no plans on picking up this game to go for the five or ten hour achievements. I just don't find this game fun whatsoever.
But for those that do enjoy it, there are over two hundred missions including jobs to build swimming pools, schools, and sports arenas. After the tutorial is either completed or skipped, you can join or create multiplayer sessions where jobs can be finished as a team with up to four players. The couple of times I looked, the US region had an open server to join while Europe had quite a few ready to join. I guess there's a demand for construction simulators across the pond.
While Construction Simulator 2015 is family friendly, like any online capable game there is a possibility for naughty language online. I didn't notice a swear filter in place when naming the multiplayer session.
There is no voice acting in this game whatsoever. All of the dialogue is text driven. If the complex controls don't discourage getting this game for younger children, make sure they can at least read the dialogue so they can have a chance of understanding what to do in this game. Even though I could read, I still didn't know what I was doing half of the time! For what it's worth, sound effects were present and did the job nicely.
Construction Simulator is available on Steam for $29.99. The reviews are mixed and many people complain about the multiplayer lag and various bugs. The reviews on Amazon are even harsher and several of the users are demanding their money back. If this game still piques your interest, I'd wait for a sale before buying it.