Construction Simulator Review
Version tested: Xbox Series X & Steam Deck
There seems to be a Simulator for just about everything now a days and the Construction Simulators have been around before but for some reason they have always eluded me! This time around though we have our hands on a couple of copies, one for the console and the other for PC that we will be testing with the Steam Deck.
For many Construction Simulator will be a way into the Construction world without the danger and qualifications needed to use some of these huge pieces of machinery! I have been on building sites in the past but never got my hands on the huge excavators and cranes that you see all over the place, I just think I’d love to just have a go on that and that is what CS is great for.
It isn’t long into the game before you are driving some of the more tricky machines, tearing the ground up with some decent physics as you see the bucket of your excavator remove the ground in your trench or using the crane to move items to where they are needed. The controls aren’t ultra realistic but they are pretty intuitive and once your used to them things become much easier!
While we are on the subject of controls it is worth mentioning how well the game plays with a controller and this includes the Steam Deck. The controls work well on the controller with use of the thumb sticks which is something you won’t get with a keyboard and mouse! Small movements of the thumb sticks make it easier to perform the more accurate manoeuvres with some of the machinery so using a controller is highly recommended! The controls can be remapped and on the Steam Deck this is maybe something that you would want to do so everything is to your liking but all in all the controls are very solid throughout no matter what heavy plant you may be using. One downside to using a controller can be the camera as the right analogue stick is used for functions on the vehicle so it doesn’t control the camera. This setup can sometimes make certain tasks awkward such as reversing a truck as you will need to wait for the camera to move behind the vehicle after you have already started moving backwards. This is game breaking but does take some getting used to and can be highly frustrating at times.
The game itself is pretty well stocked when it comes to content and it is one of them games that you can just plough hours into and not even realise. Different missions and tasks are set out to you and there is also a co-op mode if you want to play along with a friend. Some may find the tasks a bit repetitive but personally I found it relaxing and just something to pick up and play when I had a few spare minutes, especially on the Steam Deck.
The Steam Deck doesn’t fully support the game as of the time of this review but it still plays reasonably well on the Deck, you will need to lower some visual settings and tweak it but was able to get a stable 30 – 40 fps once I played around with it a bit. Obviously with the extra power of the Series X the game looked great and ran smoothly but for a handheld the Deck does very well and it is a good match for this type of game where you can take it on the go with you.
One part of CS that could be improved is the way the game doesn’t penalise you for any mistake, hitting things doesn’t do a thing and even dumping materials down in the wrong place just auto corrects it as soon as your finished which takes away any real need to take your time and do things right. As a Sim it would make sense to maybe punish players for mistakes but as of right now there is no real need to take your time it’s all about getting the set task done and moving straight onto the next one.
Construction Simulator won’t be for everyone but I had a good time with it, visuals and performance were good and the game itself offers plenty of different things to do and machines to play around with. Controls were solid for the most part especially when using a controller and last but not least the sound was pretty good too! Machines all have specific sounds and the backing music fits the game well. Steam Deck players will be able to get the game playing reasonably well and after a few weeks or months I would imagine things will improve further. Everything considered CS is a solid game that you can pile a few few hours into and not even realise!
8.3 / 10
Code was provided free of charge for my honest unbiased review.