Back in 2016, the Park Sim genre of video games made a comeback. It had been twelve years since the iconic RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 , and the franchise had been run into the ground by Atari ever since. The developers of RCT3, Frontier Developments, crafted the spiritual successor to the threequel, Planet Coaster, and was met with rave reviews. Atari followed up with RollerCoaster Tycoon World, which was nothing but a laughing stock - and that's putting it nicely.
Four years later, Planet Coaster has continued to be a much loved park sim, with its own sister title Planet Zoo releasing late last year. Come 2020, the means of creating your very own theme park has made its way to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S via Planet Coaster: Console Edition, a marvellous port of the original PC title, ready and waiting to be tackled with a controller. It must have been no easy feat to translate such a complex PC title to console, but Frontier have struck gold with the Planet franchise once again.
With 500+ hours in the original PC release of Planet Coaster, who better than to put their muscle memory to the test with a whole new Planet Coaster experience? Please keep arms and legs inside the car at all times, and hold on tight. This is one smooth ride.
Reviewed on PS4.
6 - The Controls Are Excellent
Transitioning between around 100 individual keys to something with only a handful of buttons at its disposal was no easy feat. However, Frontier have done what many might see as impossible: have every ounce of control available in the original Planet Coaster easily accessible with a controller. The button mappings to navigate menus, build roller coasters, and move around in 3D space (sometimes all at the same time) is nothing short of sublime.
As much as they are a little finicky to get your head around and master, once you’ve got the basics under control (definitely play the tutorial level - that I’ll get to), you’ll be breezing about your park, building attractions and placing flamboyant toilet buildings like a pro. It obvious the development team took a leaf from Jurassic World Evolution’s book, which is only a good thing, as kicking back and building a park from your sofa is as precise as you’d probably have hoped.