By – Jarrett Riddle

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Review He

Everyone at some point in their lives dreams of donning some coveralls, grabbing a wrench, and getting down and dirty with a 2,000 pound hunk of nuts and bolts. Wait, that’s just me. Still, Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 from Red Dot Games aims to shove any willing gamer into the shoes of a rough, gruff auto mechanic. In this role, players will get to see what it’s like being an automobile technician; everything from ordering headlights online to replacing the front sway bar end link on a rusty station wagon. Now let’s quit playing with our crankshafts and dive in.

Welcome to the world of car repair! Gaze around your spiffy workplace and feel free to explore, but please do mind the oil spills. What was that sound? Are the mini pizza bagels ready? No, that was the phone ringing! Go ahead and answer it. Ah, it seems that we have some customers! Time to see if you know the difference between a timing chain and a chastity belt. There’s currently four orders available, but I’m afraid that you’ll have to earn some experience before I let you tackle the harder jobs. Alright, you’ve chosen to work on the modern hatchback, good choice. Now go and do your business.

This is a pretty nice ride. I can see myself in the shiny surfaces, and I can open the doors, hood, and trunk whenever I feel like it. Hey, I can even hop in and take a look around the interior! Okay, enough tomfoolery, it’s time to get some work done. Since this is an easier job, the parts needed for this car are already marked on the order menu. Looking at the list, it appears the vehicle is in dire need of some brake pads, a clutch plate, and a pine tree air freshener. Yesterday was fiesta night so the owner’s out of luck on the latter, but the other two parts should be no problem. Luckily, this shop has a top notch computer and internet access. Thanks to several devious ex-employees, we now have a secure web filter set up so the only websites available are online stores to purchase auto parts and body panels with, along with a couple of sites to pick out wheels and secure loans for those expensive projects. The designers of these pages knew what they were doing, as I’m able to sort items both by selecting a compartment or searching. This means I can easily browse all parts in the brake category, or simply type what I need into the search box. A++ would buy from again. Hey, the parts are here. That was fast! Let’s do it.

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It would be quite difficult, and perhaps dangerous to change the brake pads with the car sitting on the floor, so moving the car to a lifter would be a wise idea. Once raised, I can take a good gander at the wheels and everything underneath the vehicle. It’s so hard to tell which set of brake pads need changing. That is, if I didn’t have my mighty mechanic superpowers. This includes the ability to enter an examine mode to view the color-coded condition of parts. Since the pads in question are marked on the order list, they’ll show up as red to signify being worn and torn. After removing the lug nuts, rim, and brake calipers, the pads are changed and the parts put back into place. That half of the job is check-marked on the order now. On to the clutch plate.

The clutch plate is inside the gearbox, which is unfortunately connected to the starter in this car, which is only accessible by going through the engine compartment. Lowering the vehicle and popping the hood, the starter is spotted and removed. I’m glad the lifter never wears out in this simulation because we’re going to be hoisting again. The clutch pressure plate, clutch plate, and flywheel are all visible now that the gearbox has been unbolted. No way to force the clutch plate off without first taking off the pressure plate, so let’s do that. The second part of the job is complete now, but before the car can be given back to its owner, everything we took off has to go back on. Time to test the limits of the lifter again.

This is just one of many jobs in Car Mechanic Simulator 2015. In the earliest stages, simple air, oil, and fuel filter changes will make up a lot of the work. As progress is made, vehicles coming in will be in increasingly worse shape, with some even requiring the entire engine block to be replaced. An experience meter tallies how much work you’ve been doing, going up when parts are replaced and tasks are completed. Each 1,000 XP nets an upgrade point that can be used on a variety of things including tools, repair skills, shop extensions, and appearance customization.

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Review He

Tools aid tremendously in the process of discovering what’s wrong with cars and fixing them. Using the OBD scanner, compression tester, and electronic meter on the spark plugs, engine block, and battery respectively will yield an impressive amount of information about the condition of parts without having to remove a hundred different things to test them manually. Gadgets aren’t the only tools at your disposal, though, as you can also earn general know-how that grants abilities like fast unbolting, near-instant identification in examine mode, and a hand-held tablet that saves the mechanic oodles of time by allowing purchases of parts from the internet without having to run back and forth from the car to the computer. Repairing is useful for keeping cash in your pocket, as it allows you to restore the condition of worn items instead of buying new ones. All of these upgrades are useful, but I find that the compression tester is perhaps the most important, since it identifies hard-to-reach places such as the crankshaft area inside the engine.

Several beneficial additions to the already impressive garage can be purchased. The path test room has the player sitting behind the wheel of the car as it runs along a track. Here, the brakes and suspension of the vehicle can be thoroughly challenged to determine the overall condition of them. The paint shop allows recoloring of a car in a color of your choice, though the owner usually wants it in its basic factory appearance.  The personal lot gives the player space to store their own vehicles bought from auctions, but is very expensive and probably won’t be obtained until late-game. The old testing grounds are particularly useful for learning about the state of the car, as you’ll not only get the diagnostic report upon completion, but also have a first-hand experience pinpointing what’s wrong with elements like the running gear and brakes. It helps that it’s quite a bit of fun, too.

Wrecking in this location doesn’t seem to damage any body panels, either, so if you feel that powersliding into a water tower with someone else’s classic muscle car is necessary for proper engine evaluation, go for it.  With all of the tools and tests available, nearly everything on a car can be identified before the job even really starts. This makes the experience system of the game very important while also helping the player to feel more mechanic-like and expediting a lot of the work.

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Car Mechanic Simulator 2015’s graphical fidelity may not be the best ever seen, but it is pretty enough to need me to turn down some settings so lag won’t interfere. Along with resolution choice, texture size, anti-aliasing, and floor reflection options are available. An interesting feature in the video menu is that the game attempts to display the frames per second the simulation will run in with the selections chosen. In actuality, the number it displays doesn’t really change whether you have it on 1920×1080 with max settings or 1076×768 and bare minimum options, so the game will need to be played to determine what works best.

In a game of this nature, the camera can really make or break the whole experience. CMS truly shines in this area, allowing the player to fully rotate and zoom the camera as they wish. Different viewing perspectives can be toggled as well, effectively giving the mechanic another superpower: x-ray vision. Spotting a broken-down axle by looking through the chassis can surely be a time saver. At no time during my playthrough of the game have sections of the car gotten in my way so badly that I couldn’t fix it with the basic camera controls. I feel this is a vital element of the simulation that has been executed nearly flawlessly.

Who doesn’t like a little Dubstep while they’re rebuilding a transmission? Well, most mechanics, probably. Aside from a somewhat strange background music choice of various dance and trance song styles, the audio in the game is nicely done and never really gets irritating for me. The boombox in the player’s garage allows the changing of tunes, or if you prefer silence or your own music, an on/off switch. Everything with automobiles sounds as it should, from the slamming of a trunk to the roar of a Stingray lookalike’s V8 engine as you slalom around the test track. Overall, a good representation of the goings-on of your local car repair shop.

The only area I have a problem with in this game is the lack of educational information. If you’re already knowledgeable about inner-workings of cars going in, you’ll be fine. For the rest of us, it’ll take a while of first-hand experience to understand where everything is in various vehicle types. Still, after the general locations of said parts are discovered, you’ll never truly know each component does unless you find out from the real world. Since the internet element is included, I would’ve appreciated some kind of informational database or website that would provide further details about parts. That being said, now that I’ve put a considerable amount of time into the simulation, I feel a little more well-informed about repairing and, heck, maybe someday I’ll even start my own real-life car project.

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Conclusion – Is It Worth Your money?

Whether you’re the definition of a layman like me, or a pit crew member for Mario Andretti, Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 should have enough horses under its gameplay hood. With a great selection of cars ranging from common to collector’s and an insanely detailed modeling of each interior and exterior, this game is well worth the $19.99 asking price. In addition to the wide variety of activities available in the base game, detailed DLC is being released that’ll keep players hooked for even more fun wrenching on pet projects.

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Technical Summary:

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 Review He

  • Time Played – 19 Hours
  • Widescreen Support – Yes
  • Windowed Mode – Yes
  • Resolution Played – 1920×1080
  • Bugs/Crashes Encountered – None
  • DRM – Steam
  • System Specs – 3.7 GHz AMD A10-6700, 768MB Radeon 8670D, 8GB RAM
  • Control Scheme – M/KB
  • Acquisition Method – Review Copy
  • Availability – Steam
  • Demo – No
  • Saved Game Location – SteamApps\common\Car Mechanic Simulator 2015\cms2015_Data
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