In another attempt at playing with big toys, I took on the mantle of the boss of a demolition company in Demolish & Build 2017. This time out, I’m tasked with rebuilding a failing demolitions company by taking on most of the work myself in a world with no other obvious people to interact with.
The machines aren’t as big for the most part but there’s a nice variety of them, from a pickup truck to a dump truck, from a skid loader to a construction crane. The game starts you off with just a bulldozer however, and you have to build up your empire from literal dust. This helps give the game some progression, but the fees become astronomical and you have to start grinding to have enough money.
The missions themselves are effectively instanced versions of the world that has some form of (probably destructible) problem to solve. These range from destroying walls, to slicing pipes and flattening dirt mounds - there’s not a lot of building outside of four missions which offer zero creativity. The destruction missions can become rather tedious, particularly when you start to notice that most of the destructible terrain is just a set of premade chunks glued together.
The rest of the physics are somewhat off, with the cars driving around the world having the same weight and driving force as an articulated digger. The player character also has the same weight as a car, however, and standing in front of a moving vehicle will cause it to instantly stop in front of you. I also experienced several instances of the vehicles just flipping after moving over some slightly uneven terrain, and my immersion was completely broken when I got air going uphill in a cargo truck.
As with most of these types of simulator, there is a radio inside the vehicles with a small selection of themed stations. None of these are especially great, and they seem to only play one song each which adds to the monotony of the piece. I spent most of my time playing this game with the radio off, the oddly dramatic background music low, and a podcast playing to fill the now-empty space since there’s no actual spoken dialogue.
The story of Demolish & Build 2017 is told through a series of phone calls to an employee of the company who acts like your boss for the entire game. He is always telling you, the real boss, what to do and is never actually seen in-game giving you a hand. He is the primary antagonist of this game, not because what he is asking you to do is bad but because he doesn’t help at any point.
The game was as stable as the buildings you’re tasked with destroying, and I experienced multiple crashes over the eleven hours I played it. These were caused in part by the loading sequences, which cause the game to freeze for some time. The camera was also abysmal to work with, and the further into the game I got the more it started to clip into buildings and vibrate wildly. This was especially prevalent in the missions that required the use of the industrial shears, which had a bad habit of getting stuck in the objects they were trying to cut.
Overall, I do not like Demolish & Build 2017 for a variety of reasons, but mostly because it was so incredibly boring. Playing it felt like a chore, which I don’t think captures how it feels to really have a demolition job. For what could have been such a great idea, I feel like it was let down by its execution and its technical issues.
Demolish & Build Company 2017 (Reviewed on Windows)
The game is average, with an even mix of positives and negatives.
A simulator so accurate it makes having a job destroying buildings feel tedious and boring, even the wonky physics can’t amuse.