WW2 Rebuilder Review
If you thought cleaning up your house after a party that got a little out of hand was daunting, then prepare yourself for a post World War II clean-up! In WW2 Rebuilder, the main goal is to travel across Europe and clear away the wreckage left by war, before rebuilding areas to make them look better than ever. That’s right, it’s yet another simulator game in a genre that surely must be running out of things to simulate at this point. But does WW2 Rebuilder blitz the competition, or is it yet another dud in the vast array of simulation titles?
You won’t find much story here, other than a brief narrated introduction to each level, and the occasional scenes showing what caused the destruction of the place you’re currently rebuilding. It is more than we’ve come to expect from simulator titles, so it was nice to have even a little bit of context as to how these areas came to ruin.
Whilst games in the genre aren’t renowned for their graphical prowess, WW2 Rebuilder actually looks quite good. It’s mostly static — save for the occasional labourer working away in the background — with little animation outside of the cutscenes. The majority of textures are rather high quality, though, from the rain soaked streets of London, to the crater filled Normandy beach all looking rather lovely; despite their war torn aesthetic.
The music and sound effects don’t fare so well, unless you’re keen on hearing the same few songs repeated on loop. Whilst the sound effects of cutting through metal or demolishing buildings are all fine, there is little variety in the overall sound design; turning the music off and putting on your favourite podcast is recommended here.
It isn’t optimised very well either, and can take a good few minutes to load up to the main menu from Steam, although after this the loading times are rather short. A few bugs and glitches cropped up during my playthrough, mainly with the menus showing the wrong assets, or the loading screens of a previously completed level replacing one I was about to start. There was also one time I got stuck in a level's geometry and panicked about having to restart, but thankfully the pause menu offers an option to reset the player. Crisis averted!
Despite its rather serious subject matter, I found WW2 Rebuilder to be a very relaxed experience, with simple yet rewarding gameplay mechanics that kept me wanting to jump into the next level to see what new things I’d be able to do.
The main flow of each level is simple: follow the main missions — taking on the smaller optional tasks if you desire — in order to unlock the next map. There is a good variety of missions though, from the simple tasks of cleaning up a railway line, to jumping onto a bulldozer to demolish a crumbling building. The side missions are just as varied, such as defusing an unexploded bomb, or repairing a train's wheelset, with hidden quests found in each level to give players the incentive to fully explore.
Armed with a variety of tools, you’ll use each one depending on the task at hand. Got a derailed train cart that’s blocking your way? Get the blowtorch out and start cutting! Similarly, once you start the rebuilding process, you’ll use one of four materials gathered from the initial clean-up to repair objects and buildings in each map. A handy pop-up in your heads-up display will always show you which item or tool is needed, so no need to scroll through your inventory trying to figure out which is best.
WW2 Rebuilder almost feels like a cross between Train Station Renovation and House Flipper, although feeling much more polished than the former. Just like House Flipper, you’ll level up your skills to make certain processes quicker, and whilst not being quite as free-form, WW2 Rebuilder does allow you to place objects in the world to not only raise your level score, but to make the place look all nice and lovely.
In summary, WW2 Rebuilder is a relaxing title, and much like the previous simulator game I got hooked on — PowerWash Simulator — I’ve spent many, many hours cleaning up other people's messes. Whilst not technically perfect, it’s an enjoyable trip around post-war Europe, without any of the soldiers or tanks hell-bent on taking you out.
WW2 Rebuilder (Reviewed on Windows)
This game is great, with minimal or no negatives.
Despite a few rough edges, WW2 Rebuilder has an addictive gameplay loop with new mechanics added in almost every level. A fun, stress-free simulator that is sure to delight fans of the genre.