by Vito Caresimo 30th March 2016, UK
Looking for my next review I came across Construction Simulator on Steam. I thought this looks like a great candidate for PCSimulators.org to do a quick look and review on.
I downloaded the game and fired it up with some degree of curiosity and anticipation. First thing I wanted to do was sort out my settings, I put everything right up to the max and set up my controllers.
I arrived at the setup profile screen, there are 3 empty slots for profiles so you can set up more than one character.
I configured my profile and was presented with a screen to enter my company name, assign a company color and choose my character.You get a small amount of characters to choose from, each wearing different builders outfits.I couldnt see any option to customise how they look however. I chose my character and then proceeded to start my career as a builder.
The opening intro takes you to the train station in wolfsheim which I believe is in Germany where you meet Pete who gives you some starting tasks to get going. One of the first tasks was to get into a flatbed lorry and drive it to the company premises where you will be assigned more tasks.
Movement of the character is done using the standard keys used in most first person shooters the famous WASD keys. W to move forward, S to move backwards and A and D to move left and right respectively. You can run by pressing the Shift Key when moving with those keys too. However sometimes as the character moves he seems to run forward and his head is turned to the side! Looks a little odd but doesnt always happen. A minor glitch I think.
Moving on, I move over to the truck and whats great about this game is the Help option. Pressing F1 or the ? icon in the top left of the screen displays a list of keys you can use for your current vehicle.It shows both the Primary keys and any secondary keys you have set.I was using a logitech G27 but unfortunately it was hard to tell which button was which on the help display for my secondary controller (the G27). For example for one action is said it was Y but I havent got a Y key on my G27!
Ok so I get in the truck by using the keys shown (F in this case). In the truck you have a number of different camera views too which is a great touch. Pressing V cycles through those views, Cockpit, Action Cam, Free Cam etc. With Free cam moving the mouse allows you to move the camera wherever you want. As soon as you get in the truck, the engine starts for you and you are ready to set off. I notice one big disappointment I cant get the Trackir to work.TrackIR is a great piece of hardware you can clip onto you cap or headset so when you move your head you can see in the virtual world. If you look left then you look left in the game, its like mouse look but much better. I did eventually work out that if you move the wheel while stationary this allows you to look left and right. Handy for coming out of junctions but nowhere near as good as TrackIR.
Another point of note if you want to use a Logitech G27 wheel with this game is that if you press ESC a menu will pop up with the game options, you need to ensure that under the Gameplay option the steering wheel input is active.Within these menus you can also set your keys and other options for graphics and audio etc. You may also need to check under imput devices to see if your device is recognised,if your device is not listed pressing the refresh icon (which looks like a circle) in the input devices option will reload the devices the game recognises.
An important note about key allocation is that each vehicle has its own set of controls and keys, therefore if you set the flatbed truck to move forward using the W key then this doesn't necessarily mean the Fork Lift truck will move forward with W as well. Each vehicle keys can be changed through the key assignment menu in the options.
Setting the keys how you want did take me some time so patience is required to get this right!
OK enough about the menus, lets continue. I get into the truck and and need to get to the company premises. The map in the bottom left corner of the screenguides you to your next destination showing your route as a green line. Driving the truck is not like Euro Truck Simulator at all , I found it very arcade like but the menu options does have an option to set it to simulation, but I found it didnt really change much at all. It's OK but not as realistic as other driving sims.
Driving through the town to my destination I enter the premises and get out of the truck to talk to another chap who gives me a task to get into the small excavator to dig a hole between some pylons. This is where the fun starts! So many different keys for the excavator but the handy F1 help shows me the controls I need to use and in no time am digging a hole in the ground! Great fun, the soil seeps out of thes shovel falling to the ground. The noise of the mechanical arms moving is very authentic. Once Ive dug my hole, I'm given another task to go and purchase some drain pipes from the local merchant.
For this task I need the flatbed truck and the trailer. I walk over to the truck , hop in and reverse the truck near the trailer, when I'm close enough a prompt appears for me to connect the trailer to the truck. Outriggers need to be lowered as well but be warned you need to HOLD Down the relevant keys for the outrigger to be deployed, this is like a little wheel between the trailer and the truck. If you dont hold down Left Shit and Q and just press these keys it wont deploy so you are left wondering why you cant move off and the message keeps appearing to tell you to deploy the outrigger!
Finally after working this out I'm able to move and drive over to the merchant. When speaking to the merchant a menu appears where you can purchase materials and rent vehicles.
At first I purchased the pipes and didnt see the option to rent a vehcile which is important in the next task. After you purchased the pipes you need to use a Fork Lift to put them onto the lorry to transport them back to the building site. As I didnt notice the rent vehicle option when talking to the merchant , I was walking around for a while before it clicked!
After renting the forklift I then move over to the yard behing where themerchant is standing where my fork lift truck is ready, I will have to use the fork lift to lift the pallet of pipes onto the back of my lorry! Before I do this I need to lower the lorries side panels by pressing Y whilst in the truck so that the pallet can be loaded onto the truck. Such attention to detail here. Ok, so after lowering the side panels I get into the fork lift and its so much fun to drive, I move over to the pallets and there is an epic fail trying to lift them, I knock them over so am there for a while trying to get them back onto the fork lift. I 'm eventually successful and drive over to the truck where I am able to load the pallette on the truck .Next thing that needs to be done is to attach the load onto the truck so it doesnt slide off during transfer. Another fine detail that hasnt been left out and makes the difference in a simulator game.
Finally I get back to the building site where I am told to use the Excavator to take the pipes off the truck. This was a little tricky as you need to get the excavator arm lined up over the palette where you will then be prompted to attach the hook. However be aware if you DONT detach the palette nothing will happen and you can't move the palette off the truck. You need to detach the palette from the truck BEFORE you try to use the excavator to move the load. Once attached I placed the pipes between the pylons and was given my last task which was to use the deposit tipper truck to return a conatiner to the gravel plant. Once in the deposit tipper you attach the container and lift it onto the tipper by extending the boom which are basically the arms of the tipper which connect to the container to lift it onto the truck. Drive to the gravel plant and the tasks are complete!
To summarise this simulator is great fun, attention to detail which is necessary in any simulator is there, the only downsides are the lack of TrackIR support and the way the truck drives is too arcade like for me.
PCSimulators.org Score 8/10.