Game Review #450: Construction Simulator 2 US - Console Edition (Nintendo Switch)
  • John Bush

Game Review #450: Construction Simulator 2 US - Console Edition (Nintendo Switch)

Reviewer: John B Developer: weltenbauer Publisher: astragon Category: Simulation Release Date: 11.6.2019 Price: $19.99


Buy Construction Simulator 2 US - Console Edition from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


I’ve tried a number of real-world industrial simulation games for the Switch. A lot of them felt like Facebook or cheap mobile games that pretty much only consisted of lazily navigating menus and waiting for a timer bar to fill. Given that, it’s no surprise that I was a little hesitant when Construction Simulator 2 came across the review desk. Its logo was similar to other games I’ve just described, albeit from a developer and publisher with which I was previously unfamiliar. After spending a few hours with it, it’s clear that I had nothing to worry about regarding this game’s possible shovelware status; it’s a solidly-built game with plenty of specialized mechanics that actually simulate the many construction-related tasks the game presents. No timer bars need apply.



Build Your World

Construction Simulator 2 is an open-world construction simulator, which is a pretty cool concept that is executed fairly well. You start out with just a flatbed truck for the tutorial to familiarize you with the controls, but you quickly gain the option to purchase new vehicles— around 40, if you’re keeping track. I didn’t buy them all, but the ones I got to buy each had unique control mechanics to simulate the functions of their real-world counterparts. For example, the first vehicle you unlock is the backhoe, which you can set up to use for digging holes and moving dirt. The game consists of accepting construction jobs and using the right vehicles to complete them. Sometimes you’ll need a vehicle you can’t afford to buy outright, so the game does let you rent out certain vehicles for a period of time.



Out of Control

These are big vehicles, so as you might expect, the handling and controls aren’t that tight. Trying to turn a corner with even the smallest vehicles requires a pretty big arc, which takes some getting used to. The controls are not always super-intuitive, either. Using the backhoe as an example, the shovel is controlled by using both thumbsticks, and it took me a long while to get used to what each direction actually controlled. It works this way for every piece of equipment; the tutorial will give you a basic idea of what to do, but acclimating to the machine’s controls takes a little bit. For jobs where multiple vehicles are required, this issue becomes even more pronounced when you’re trying to remember the intricacies of a vehicle you haven’t used in a bit.



Construction Simulator, Not Architect Simulator

Overall, Construction Simulator 2’s graphics are competent and presentable, if unspectacular. The construction vehicles themselves obviously received the most attention from the developers, as they look fantastic. They boast a superb level of realistic detail, and are obviously where most of the graphics team’s time was spent. The buildings, pedestrians, other cars, and scenery are definitely a level below the construction equipment in terms of detail and realism, but they hardly look terrible; just inconsistent with the quality of the construction vehicles.


The sound design is fine; the vehicles have realistic sounds, and whenever there is music, it just kind of fades into the background. The focus, as it should be, is clearly on the gameplay, and the art design does enough to support that without being detrimental to the experience in any way, so it gets a passing grade.



Build This One Into Your Schedule

Realistic simulators aren’t really my jam; when I turn on a console, I want an out-of-this-world experience with adventure, strategy, and/or action. Construction Simulator 2 isn’t really that in any way, but I still had a bit of fun toying around with it for a while. The vehicles look great, and while they don’t handle perfectly, the gameplay is engaging enough to keep anyone entertained for a few hours, at least. It was really cool exploring all of the different pieces of equipment, building up my fictional company (JP’s Constructionmania), and finishing jobs. If you’re looking for a realistic simulator experience, or are just curious about what a good simulator looks like, Construction Simulator 2 is the best place to start that I’ve found.


Score: 7.5/10


Buy Construction Simulator 2 US - Console Edition from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.


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*A game code was provided for review purposes.

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