Ever wanted to own your own construction company? Ok, it may not sound like the most glamorous job, but something about driving those big machines and turning a plot of dirt into a house just screams awesome, doesn't it? Construction Simulator 2015 enters the well-stocked market of construction games with a detailed, realistic simulation that manages to be accessible to a wide audience despite a handful of technical shortcomings.
Construction Simulator 2015 puts you in the jumpsuit of a new hire on a construction crew in a small country town. The green vistas, the bucolic houses, the drivers who wait ever so patiently while you park your rig in the middle of the road just because you're too lazy to drive into the lot. It's a great setting for a building game, and you have a surprising amount of freedom when it comes to exploring your surroundings. Don't wanna build? Fine, just run around the freeway trying to jump on top of cars. You can't die, nobody'll get mad at you, so have at it.
When you're ready to get down to business, Construction Simulator 2015 supplies you with a handful of tutorial missions followed by dozens of other quests. Each one follows the basic pattern of "We need XX material for the job site", so you go to the shop, buy what you need, load it onto a truck and carry it to the construction zone. You do all of the loading and unloading yourself. Grab the forklift, raise the pallet, put it on the flatbed, repeat until full, then strap it down, hop in the truck and start driving. Most of your time will be spent loading, transporting and unloading cargo, not actually constructing things. Keep that in mind.
The loading and unloading part is quite the adventure, however. Controls for each vehicle are amazingly detailed, so much so that I felt like a keyboard and mouse just wasn't sufficient. Take the digger, for example. You drive the thing by operating the treads individually. You can turn, reverse, speed up and slow down with just a few buttons. Switch to digging mode, and suddenly every button does something else. You can rotate the machine, move the big arm up and down, move the small arm up and down, raise and lower the bucket, and half a dozen other things I'm sure I left out. That detail is overwhelming at first. Laughably overwhelming. Key overlays make things simpler, and given some time you'll figure out the basics. By then you'll move on to another vehicle and need to learn things all over again. It's complex, but it's fun, especially in co-op when you get to watch your buddies fumble in the dirt when all they're trying to do is dig a trench.
Construction Simulator 2015 really holds your hand during the first part of the game, but then it just sort of leaves you alone, which is very disorienting at first. Should you rent some new equipment for your job or are you fine with what you have? Where exactly do you need to go to get gravel? Do you have to take a container there or do they provide one? You'll need to figure out a lot of things on your own, which can get frustrating if you just want to, you know, complete the mission.