A more modern theme park tycoon game had almost been overdue. And Planet Coaster is the spiritual successor to RollerCoaster Tycoon 3
in being developed by the same studio. But is it really a 'successor', and is it really in good spirit? I'm not sure about that. Something about this game stinks. Can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe its the tall asking price on release, maybe its the perverse DRM, or the pre-order bonuses, or lack of Linux support (Cities: Skylines
, an actually good modern sim game managed to get this right). Not to mention poor performance with low fps, game interrupting hitching and bugs, even on high end systems, a far cry from the original RCT game RollerCoaster Tycoon
that was hand coded in assembly language.
In return for the drop in performance, graphics here are kind of not that great in my opinion, while the game is certainly more detailed, the visuals suffer from odd lighting and styling that I feel other modern cartoon styled games also suffer from such as Yooka-Laylee
. The overall direction of the game also feels off, going for a kind of indie theme, but its reminiscent of what The Sims 3
did, in that the theming seems to simply be trying to hype itself up to more than its real worth leaving the game quickly feeling dated
The gameplay itself seems a bit more tighter than previous generations, managing ride prices is more crucial, managing staff is more in death, guests have more opinions about your park, but there's not a whole lot more that makes the game more fun to play. In fact there are some step backs, track design although having more control, feels more fatiguing like a lot of the UI. Also small things like not being able to pick up guests or blow up rides which added to the charm of the original.
There's just not a enough more here to justify itself over the previous RCT games, especially since they have more content, solid performance and solid reliability.