Five star general and later President of the United States Dwight D. Eisenhower once famously said: “You will not find it difficult to prove that battles, campaigns, and even wars have been won or lost primarily because of logistics.” As an editor of my own logistics magazine I know how true this was both in the 1960’s and how essential it is in our present day. So it was with some degree of excitement that I took on the task of reviewing UIG Entertainment’s latest transport simulator Transport Giant.
As a huge fan of Tropico 5 on the PS4 I immediately assumed that Transport Giant would essentially be more of the same, albeit with a few extra bells and whistles thrown in. Noting could be further from the truth. In comparison, Tropico 5, and to some extent Industry Giant 2 (also available on the PS4) are like easy, wash and go quick fixes that you can jump into after a hard days work and are immediately rewarded after just a few minutes of play. Transport Giant on the other hand is a detailed, number crunching, statistics laden foray that will demand every bit of your attention and ability to assimilate data and make plans many moves ahead.
The game challenges you to run your own intermodal logistics network, grow your business and support the expansion of urban areas. As these areas grow, so too do your profits, the demands on your infrastructure and the threat of competition from rival AI players. A wise man (I think it might have been Notorious BIG) once said ‘Mo money, mo problems.’ Transport Giant is a great case in point. The feeling of building your business to the point where it’s turning a healthy profit only to find a competitor cutting into your margins is to say the least frustrating and completely true to life.
The learning curve in Transport Giant is a steep one and you’ll immediately feel overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of getting to grips with the game. There is a brief tutorial but this only gives you the basics of the game. Once you start the single player campaign you’ll gradually learn more about Transport Giant’s more detailed features. However, the game is tough and unforgiving. We must have restarted the game three or four times after making a critical error in planning and watching in dismay as our profit margin (already so slim it should have been on life support) gradually ran down the drain, leaving us facing potential ruin. Bugger. However Transport Giant is rewarding when you get it right. After a few false starts we finally managed to put the business on a firm enough footing that we were able to drive the competition into the ground. Ruthless? Yes. Rewarding? Oh, hell yes.
Graphically Transport Giant is no beauty pageant queen. But when you’re playing a game this immersive and demanding, quite frankly it doesn’t have to be. The graphics are functional and the interface is intuitive. UIG Entertainment set themselves the task of producing a game that wouldn’t distract you from the task at hand; creating your own logistics empire. And in this task they have excelled in every possible way. The complexity of Transport Giant will immediately remind you of Sim City or even Football Manager on the PC. These games are all about detail, planning, multi-tasking and making tough decisions with nothing but gut instinct to guide you. It’s a fact that not every gamer will relish this type of challenge. But for anyone willing to take on the role of running a simulated logistics business, with all its associated highs and lows, then there can be no better choice.
Transport Giant is the type of game that government transport ministers should be made to play. It’s also the type of game that you should play if you enjoy a challenge and the thought of becoming a giant in the world of logistics. Highly recommended.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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