Constructor HD Review
Initially released back in 1997, Constructor saw us building our own town with a twist – you play the role of a crime lord property tycoon and it’s up to you whether you want to play by the books or just fleece every resident and business for all they have. Twenty years on, have developers System 3 managed to re-capture your inside villain?
Voiced by what can only be described as Boycie from Only Fools and Horses; your guide in Constructor HD will help you when in need. After a very informative and lengthy tutorial, Boycie will send you on your way as crime lord to manage things on your own. Build apartments and houses and then assign tenants with varying degrees of wealth – which depict the type of tenant they will be. Will they be lazy thus not needing many requirements giving you more opportunity to raise their rent? Or will you welcome a wealthy family who never seem to be happy in their new home? Maybe you will just ‘off’ them as it’s the easiest way, paving way for more ‘respectful’ tenants? Employ foremen with teams of builders to build your homes and businesses whilst employing repairmen will fix just about anything that goes wrong in your town.
Controls are old-school, requiring the use of the analogue stick to move your cursor around acting like a mouse pointer. There are shortcuts to menus to save you from moving the cursor around, however for the most time, you will become used to the cursor and forget about the shortcuts. The cursor speed can be changed if it seems too slow for you. For these types of games, especially on consoles, the better approach seems to be a radial menu, especially for those that aren’t used to tycoon and sim titles.
There is no campaign mode in this title which seems to be a huge let-down. Instead, you build your town from scratch, picking from the various different scenarios that adjusts the difficulty and introduces you to the different mechanics of the game. Once you’re happy with your town, you can upload it and share it online with other players. This is where the real crime lord will be identified. Other players can infiltrate your town and disrupt up as they see fit, identified by that player’s colour, although the online mode was briefly tackled due to a connection drop-out and then struggling to find other players.
For fans of the original game, this may come as some sort of disappointment for you. You would expect that twenty years later, they would’ve added all sorts of mods and cons to the title, but it just seems to have spruced up its graphics and whacked on an online mode because ‘that’s what we need’. There are some bugs that need ironing out. For example, the game crashed half-way through the tutorial which would’ve required a restart if it wasn’t for the constant manual-saving which seems to be a personal habit. Good reasons too, by the looks of things.
The price is too expensive for what it’s worth, considering other great sim and tycoon titles for around the same price or less; you’re basically paying for a re-hashed title from twenty years ago. With that being said, if you want some nostalgia, this will give it to you, if only for a brief moment. Other than that, this title needs a lot of work and a campaign mode added. Not everyone wants to bother with online modes in genre’s like these.
Constructor HD is available now to download from the Xbox Store, priced at £31.99.
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