I don’t know about you people, but since a few years, I don’t travel with public transport anymore.The reason for this is that they’re never on time, uncomfortable and to be honest : who likes sitting on a bus next to some bum that smells like he just got back from some eating at Chez Garbagecan ?
In Traffic Giant you get the chance to make things better. You can show the world that you’re a much better manager for public transportation than any top manager out there and you can even get the traffic jam problem solved (How’s that ? Haven’t heard any minister lately saying that he’s gonna “Kill the traffic jams” now have ?)
I had serious doubts when I decided to spill some harddrive space on this game. It’s developed by Jowood (???) and during the installation procedure I got another dubious question put in front of me : “Do you wish to install Indeo ?” For those that don’t know, Indeo is some video software from Intel (says enough in my eyes, a game developer using Intel software ????).
When launching the game, I got some meaningless 5 minute intro where I saw some dude go to work with his car and ending in some major traffic jam where he just blocks all traffic wanting to go in another direction than him.
I made 3 conclusions :
1. The guy is horrible at driving. Why doesn’t anyone take away his drivers licence ?
2. The goal for this game is to get rid of traffic jams
3. Although this Indeo movie isn’t really bad, it can’t compare to any intro I’ve seen from f.i. EA (just to name one, even the test of Serious Sam has a better intro)
After having watched this sad thingie, and choosing to start up a campaign (and adjusting my graphic settings to 1024*768) I get start off with some small town.
Nicely detailed buildings and vehicles. Easy interface. Fluid gameplay. This game actually isn’t as bad as I had dared. In some way it’s even addictive…
Each town has several goals, which you have to accomplish in a certain time, and that’s actually the only bad thing in the gameplay. After about 4 hours of playing I missed my third goal by a few hundred dollars ! (*frustrating*) When you miss your goal, you can keep on playing, but it doesn’t matter anymore and that’s something I find to be a shame. With the Civilisation series for instance you had 1 objective (get into space) and everything you did was NOT related to time. You could try to get your goal in 5 hours of play, or you could try on a different way which took you 6 months of play !
In Traffic Giant, achieving a goal is time-bound and that just sucks (here it is, my favorite review-word according to some) because if you don’t get it off in the time the developers think is good enough, you can play on, but for sure won’t advance any more (not even if your small town company is worth 20 million dollars and has trains that run on magnetic tracks)
Overall, this is a nice game that can keep you occupied for a while if you’re into the genre. Another plus is that you can laugh at all those people that are leaving their cars at home to use your crappy public transportation…