Construction Simulator 2 puts you in charge of a fledgling construction company with the hopes of building it into a successful business. You start out by taking on small jobs, such as delivering supplies and digging holes. As you grow your company, with bigger better machinery, you get offered bigger jobs that require much more time and resources, from resurfacing roads to building a mall and more.
While the game is not as hands-on, you don’t actually play as a person drilling and hammering etc. it concentrates more on the heavy machinery side of things, it is still quite involving. Digging and moving dirt, pouring concrete, using a crane to position walls and steel beams, you still get a sense of satisfaction when the job is complete.
One of my main concerns going in to CS2 was the fact it is a port of a mobile game, this alone is enough to put some people off, but my concern was how well the touch screen controls would transfer to a controller. Needless to say it’s done well, while it can be a little confusing at first with having to put the vehicle in ‘function mode’ and then clicking the right thumbstick in to enable the use of some of the vehicles functions, it can be picked up fairly quickly, and of course it goes without saying that some vehicle controls are more complex than others, though if you do find yourself struggling there’s a tutorial for each vehicle that takes you through all the steps needed to use it.
Moving on to the jobs, these come in the form of contracts that start out as a list of three, with more offered as you progress through the game. This list does refresh every 10 minutes or so. You will see the same jobs crop up now and again if you spend lots of time in one area, for example I wanted to build up a bit of cash before moving on to unlocking the second area of the game, and ended up digging the same hole for the same guy two or three times. Speaking of moving on to new areas, the game has four in total, you start out in the sleepy town of Desert Springs working your way through the suburbs of Sunny Hills, the comercial area of Westgate throught to the skyscrapers of Northridge.
Unlocking new areas will require you to do a ‘Special Job’ usually consisting of some form of road closure that you have to deal with, from a collapsed cliffside to an unsafe railway bridge. All of the jobs require specific machinery to complete them, if you don’t have the cash to buy one outright, you can always hire them at a cost-per-minute, make sure you return them once done, so you don’t incur unnecessary costs. Jobs are split into tasks making it easier to keep track of what you’re doing, even if you do forget you can always check on the jobs screen.
I do like the way it’s all done, so for example, if you have to pour concrete foundations for the mall, the game will get you to do so much of it before it has a transition screen moving the game forward a few hours with all the concrete set and ready to move on to the next task. It is time consuming too. with some of the larger jobs taking me upwards of two hours to complete, and that’s including the use of the fast travel function. Not saying that as though it’s a bad thing, I was getting really drawn into the game and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, as mentioned before that sense of satisfaction once completing a job was spot on.
To complete jobs you’re going to want vehicles, there’s over 40 to get to grips with, all licensed too from back hoe diggers, buldozers and dump trucks to concrete mixers, asphalt pavers and cranes. Featuring names like Catterpillar, Liebherr and Kenworth to name a few, as mention earlier they all have their own individual controls that can be learned from the tutorials for each. there’s plenty of camera options too, using left on the d-pad will bring up the camera options for each vehicle as some have more than others, with some having a bonnet/hood camera, though disappointingly no interior cams.
There’s a little bit af management to the game too, with vehicles incuring maintenance costs as well as your home bases, plus the supplies and materials you buy for each job, you can of course take out a bank loan if you really need one, but I found I didn’t during my playthrough. You level up too with a total of 20 levels each giving you a point to assign to skills that improve things such as money and XP earned, discounts on transactions and more. It’s not massively in depth, but nice to have a little bit more to think about so you don’t run into debt.
Visually the game is ok, you can tell it is a mobile port, though it has been optimised and enhanced for Xbox One X. There are a few glitches now and again, with the world loading in a little slower when fast travelling, it takes a second to ‘pop up’ but nothing too serious, and on the odd occasion vehicles seem to have a little bother with spawning in, making them flip out, this can be sorted easily with the vehicle reset button. The audio in game is typical of a simulator with a generic soundtrack playing throughout that changes from area to area, and whether you’re on a job or not, with vehicles sounding spot on.
I know that the developers have said this should be seen as an intermediate introduction into the world of Construction Simulator for consoles, and I think they’ve done just that. This is definitely not as in depth as Construction Simulator 2015 on PC, and is not intended to be, but at least this is another step forward as we see more simulators making their way on to consoles.