It must be recognized that the management game has regained quite a bit of vigor in recent years, after a slump not very favorable to budding administrators. However, titles like Cities Skylines or, more recently, Planet Coaster have put the foot in the stirrup to this very particular genre. Newly landed on PS5, Xbox Series, PS4, and Xbox One, does the Frontier title pass the pad test? Planet Coaster is undoubtedly the worthy heir of the first RollerCoaster Tycoon. Endowed with great depth when it comes to creating the most detailed parks, the Frontier title also did quite well on its management side, including a very relevant crowd simulation, despite an overall lack of challenge. However, if there is an important question in this game which sometimes requires great precision in the handling of customizable elements, it is that of knowing if the pad is well suited to this type of game.
Obviously, it goes without saying that a Tycoon of this type will never perform better with the pad than with the keyboard/mouse. Already quite familiar with the exercise of porting to the management gamepad, Frontier Development is doing quite well again. The distribution of the keys dedicated to navigation as well as the button combinations to access a particular element works quite well, even if it must be recognized that, given a large number of menus, it will be necessary to insist a little and to do violence to itself so that the manipulations become totally intuitive. It is not quite the same for the construction of Coaster, or for the creation of personalized decorations, which will undoubtedly require a lot of patience from the creative players to really master the tool. Be aware, however, that if you have a keyboard and a mouse, the game supports its own support, although this could quickly become uncomfortable in a game configuration in sofa mode. Note also that you will find all the strengths and weaknesses on consoles that we found in the PC version. Thus, whatever the platform, fairly clear slowdowns are to be expected when your fleet will be very busy and it will display an often astronomical number of elements to be calculated individually. On the side of the excellent news, know that the console versions are not deprived of one of the strengths of the base game, namely access to the workshop. Very easily accessible, you can access the content of the community for free and share your creations with as many people as possible.
PLANET COASTER COMPLETE TEST (PC)
What about Planet Coaster for whom the enthusiasm of the public initiated to the art of tycoon has never failed? Heir to the Rollercoaster Tycoon saga, the Frontier Software title was developed with and for its fans. Its copy has always been, since its announcement in January 2015, as transparent as it is captivating, and the reasons for this pre-release enthusiasm were easy to understand. Using the Cobra engine, Planet Coaster is able to display a gargantuan amount of elements while relying its gameplay on three levers, two of which are well known to fans of the genre: management and creativity. The third-string to the bow of Planet Coaster, and not the least, is that of sharing, which justifies the choice of the PC as the only supported platform, you will quickly understand why. But if Planet Coaster already brilliantly fulfills its first two roles, namely creation, and sharing, which were very effective during the various phases of the title's testing, one essential aspect was still relatively hidden: management. Regarding the latter, the veil was lifted in mid-November with the arrival of the final version. So what does this clever, exciting set to offer, which is already considered one of the best, if not the best, amusement park management/creation game?
AN ULTRA POWERFUL ENGINE
So let's talk about the technique to start. Planet Coaster explores a very clever philosophy concerning its design, its realization, and its possibilities. With a coating that is both realistic and cartoon, especially for crowd animation, Frontier's game knows how to be economical in greedy technological processes. Don't expect an aesthetic bombshell or a graphic slap in the face of heavy shaders, no. Planet Coaster plays the more discreet card of display power, offering your configurations to display huge parks surrounded by a realistic crowd teeming with wants and needs. Everything comes alive, shines, and glitters, giving the park's well-known wonder. Be careful, however, not to be too greedy on your options because the highest settings will require you to have an ultra-beefy setup if you want to play smoothly in a busy park. The creative possibilities are worthy of a simplified 3D software but are efficient and you can build your park as you wish, without too much difficulty, shaping the land, the attractions, the alleys, but also the buildings that inhabit it. your domain and can be duplicated for your convenience. So assume that everything in Planet Coaster is just a collection of things. You can take a window, move it, add a panel to it, graft everything onto a stall while changing the colors, save your new building and reuse it at will ... Simple shapes are also available if you feel like the soul of an artist who tries to reproduce an X-Wing for a Star Wars attraction or anything that could serve you on a large scale: you are free to do whatever you want, or almost. We will nevertheless note in passing the absence of a feature allowing objects to be resized, which is a shame but understandable (in particular because of the optimization concerns that it could bring). The tool turns out to be very comprehensive and takes advantage of an efficient although sometimes capricious camera. We take pleasure in taking care of the details and then enjoy everything while slipping into the shoes of a visitor, whether they are in the aisles, in the shops, or in an attraction.
SHARING AT THE CENTER OF THE EXPERIENCE
The key feature of this Planet Coaster is sharing, as we said above. With a simple click, it is possible to share your park, its attraction, or even its atypical creation. The advantage of such a process is its practicality. It is very easy to find, download, and incorporate items created from scratch by players around the world. Thus, it is thanks to a proactive and very inventive community that Planet Coaster offers itself, upon its release, thousands of elements designed by the players. This will help inspire you and save you a lot of time if you want to include specific items in your park. The Steam Workshop takes on its full meaning here and is perfectly suited to the game. Be careful, however, not to despair when you see what others have managed to do while you are struggling to make a proper house in case you do not. not yet fully master the tool.
CAMPAIGN AND CHALLENGE MODE
What the final version now provides, in addition to additional assets, is the whole aspect of player management and progression. Based on a level and objective system to gradually unlock the elements of the campaign, Planet Coaster plays it a little shy on the stakes of the levels. I will appreciate being challenged on quantified objectives, but the heart of the experience remains creation and sharing. Management is intended to be simple, logical, and efficient, even if it lacks elements of a scenario. I would have liked to have to face large-scale concerns, weather problems (absent from the title), or natural disasters destroying parts of the park or in any case, severely hamper its operation. For each objective (easy, medium, and difficult), I unlock stars, necessary to advance towards other missions, other situations each time offering you a new starting park, designed by the developers. These parks are a great inspiration to show you what you can do. Understand how the triggers work on the rides to increase their efficiency, manage the crowd so that they circulate well, and optimize the placement of stores, refreshments, and other buildings within your creation. In short, this Campaign section, and the challenges (which change with each game load and follow one another according to your successes), only provide a little challenge for those who are fed up with creating or for those who wish to put their managerial skills to the test. Bad luck, this last aspect, eagerly awaited, does the job without surprise.
SUFFICIENT MANAGEMENT BUT NOT AMAZING
The park management aspect is also very present, it is effective there but does not really register on the same level as the "creation and sharing" aspects, whose audacity inhabit the game in a masterly way. As in the classics of the genre, a big part of this discipline revolves around employees, you can hire them, assign them to places and train them to increase their effectiveness. I will have to pay attention to their feedback and optimize their points of sale. As part of a burger vendor, the placement of the sign will be important, as well its design. The products they sell are also of interest. We can change the amount of each ingredient to reduce the production costs of a burger for example or a soda. “Salt in fries”, a great classic, is also important and visitors will naturally be thirstier if you increase this parameter. Everything follows an effective logic but not really surprising. Among the management features, I will also note a slew of tables on the income and expenses, on the overall behavior of visitors, on the populations who come to the park and what they think about it or on the loans you can make. . Also of note is the possibility of rounding up the world by funding marketing campaigns and organizing research to unlock new things for your park (attractions, buildings, various items). There you have it, it's not bad already, but maybe it's missing that bit of madness that makes Planet Coaster the ultimate game in terms of creation and sharing. Much like a City Skyline, the behavioral navigation of your visitors in the park will be the object of attention once the finances are in the green, and it will happen quickly after a few games. A park that works is a well-designed park and this is what optimization moguls will work on most once basic management is mastered.
PLEASURE IN THE RAW
Despite these few flaws and imperfections (and a lack of variety in terms of attractions), Planet Coaster brings players a real childhood dream, that of molding according to his desires an ecosystem, a place of life and fun, thanks to practical and very powerful tools. If you played LEGOs in your youth, you are sure to be in heaven during your first few games. Trying yourself the roller coasters that you have designed for hours is a real pleasure (more than a VR mode is missing), and you enjoy spending entire nights digging your new attraction underground, placing triggers here and there to frighten the public and surprise the players to whom we are going to share the park. This is a real creative panacea available to you, and the only limit will be your imagination and your fatigue with the concept. Indoor park, faithful reproduction of famous universes, crazy attractions, everything is at your fingertips, and if you lack inspiration. A quick tour of the workshop will undoubtedly be of great help to you. The latter will allow even the most ambitious a form of collaborative work, even if we would have liked an online mode where everyone works on the park in real-time ... Who knows, it may be for later ... Considering the success of the game and the forces of the latter, Frontier has something and it would be silly not to bring more content to the work.
Planet Coaster Review Conclusion
The console version of Planet Coaster contains all the charm of the PC version. In this edition, you will have plenty of time to shape the amusement park of your dreams and enjoy all the plastic successes of the Frontier game. In addition, the presence of the workshop is excellent news, which will allow you to make the most of the great creativity of the community. However, it will be necessary to put up with very noticeable slowdowns when the parks become very large, as was already the case on PC. Finally, of course, you will need a little time to adapt to the controls, but nothing insurmountable spent a few hours with the game. Not enough, also, sulk your pleasure if you had not yet jumped on this magic ride. For more information regarding this game, please make sure you visit the Planet Coaster official website for all details or if you ever played the game, let me know about your own gameplay experience in the comments below.