Constructor Brings Shady Simulation to the Switch [E3 2017 Preview]

If you’ve ever had the urge to mess with other people’s cities in SimCity, then System 3’s new title, Constructor, might be just what you’re looking for. You’re placed in the shoes of a slumlord, slowly building an empire based in brides, violence, and foul play. Starting the day doing honest and diligent work building lumber yards and concrete mills, only to turn around and send a mobster to break the other landlords windows.

It’s a downright nasty game, and the developers say it reflects their time working on it.“It was inspired by my time in the video game industry,” Said Mark Cale, the “engine driver”over at System 3.

The Constructor you’re reading about right now is a remake of a 1997 PC game that became popular outside the US. After seeing its success there, Cale brought the game to EA with the goal of a licensing deal- but plans fell through. Now, it’s back again in the form of a new remake.

And even with games like Sims, SimCity, and RollerCoaster Tycoon stealing the spotlight in the sim genre. Constructor still has a lot of unique features that make it stand out. “You have a lot of undesirable things you can do,” Cale said, “From sending hippies to campout and lower property values to hiring the ‘Cyclone’ to bring a chainsaw to the other properties.”

You’re given a lot of customizable options that aren’t available in other sims. One example is how you can pick which people move into your properties based off some funky stats. “You can choose the tenants based off things like how much noise they make, how much they complain, and how fast they breed,” Cale said.

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The combination of building up your average simulated city combined with the underhanded tactics of criminal activity really makes for some crazy matches. And you don’t have to do it alone, the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game will have 4 player multiplayer, so you can be sure to send a hitman to take out your actual neighbor’s annoying dog.

Beyond the building and destroying you’ll be doing, Constructor has room for some zany scenarios that you might run into naturally. “If you cause or have a lot of deaths than you can have a zombie outbreak and if you don’t upgrade your bathrooms they could lead to a cockroach infestation,” Cale said. “Conversely you can build a police station who will patrol and drive undesirables away.”

While I was intrigued by most of what I saw with the game, the metallic looking UI and somewhat poorly detailed models did put a damper on my excitement for the game. All the humor and strategy they’ve built off of in the original game feels mute if it looks so bland on the surface.

Either way, Constructor is on my watch list for the Switch.

Constructor is hitting PS4 and Xbox One one July 21st, while the Switch version launches on September 29th. The Switch version multiplayer mode won’t be ready for launch, but it will come as an update later on. It released on May 26th on Steam, you can pick it up there now if that’s your platform of choice.