Demolition Company’s ambitions self-destruct due to shoddy controls and mind-numbing gameplay.
When a game offers me the chance to destroy buildings, walls and other structures with a selection of demolition machines and tools, how can I refuse? Set over 30 missions, Demolition Company does just that, providing bulldozers, wrecking balls and jackhammers as your tools of destruction.
Around an hour into the game, when you’ve slowly but surely knocked down your umpteenth wall with a sledgehammer, making sure to break up every single separate piece which falls down from the wreckage, it becomes rather obvious that this is going to be anything but fun. Even when Demolition Company threatens to be exciting, throwing explosives and huge cranes into the mix, it does a great job of being utterly hopeless in execution, be it the terrible controls, the stuttering frame-rate or the unbearable machinery noises.
In retrospect, it should have been rather obvious when one of the core features listed on the official site is “Explosions.”
Demolition City puts you in the shoes of a demolitions rookie, learning the tools of the trade and then putting them to good use, tearing down abandoned buildings and blowing up unstable structures. Over time you’ll earn cash and experience, which can then be used to buy even more powerful tools and vehicles for your destructive needs.
Initial impressions aren’t great, and they only get worse. The controls are nigh-on impossible to use, as the mouse turning circle is dreadfully slow and the useful keys on the keyboard are all over the place. Eventually I plugged an Xbox 360 controller in, which provided a slightly better experience, but was still pretty useless.
That’s only in first-person mode too – just wait until you climb into a vehicle. Managing to drive where you actually want to go is a chore in itself, but then partaking in the act of knocking down a building is anger-inducing. Watch as you get stuck in the building numerous times, and have to climb out and knock the wall down manually.
To add insult to injury, the action moves along at an alarmingly slow rate. The game has been poorly optimized, and whenever there are lots of objects to break, the framerate is reduced to unplayable levels. It’s never acceptable to release a game in this state.
The main walking area between missions consists of a small section of city in which there is barely anything to do. There are pointless vending machines, pointless stairways to walkways that serve no purpose, and pointless roads that lead to nowhere.
The missions are just as ridiculous. You’ll waste hours of your life breaking walls apart bit by bit, in the slowest manner possible. The game mechanics are hopeless to the point of hilarity – one level told me, and I quote: “Should you fall off the roof by accident, do not worry: In Demolition Company you cannot get injured”. True to its word, falling from a four storey building didn’t hurt me at all, although it did allow me to witness the laugh-out-loud gravity, which involves moving downwards at a constant rate.
Then there’s the sound effects. Demolition Company features no music – you work to the sound of drills, hammers and diggers. At some point in your life, you’ll have been walking through a city and cringed at the sound of loud roadwork. Now imagine having to listen to that for hours on end, while you play a truly awful game. I treated it as a challenge, to see how long I could last before turning my speakers off.
Does Demolition Company do anything right? Well, using explosives borders on fun – you can plant them around a building, then step outside and watch the building crumble. As we’ve already discovered, however, you cannot be hurt in this game – hence, it’s far more fun to simply stand in the building and set them off, then witness the whole place topple around you. For what is meant to be a Demolition simulator, it hasn’t exactly got the simulation bit sussed out.
Demolition Company is one of the worst games I have ever played. It’s broken, it’s irritating and it very nearly made me cry. I cannot dissuade you from buying this game enough. It’s not even worth downloading the demo just to see how terrible it really is. If I had a sledgehammer, I’d be rounding up copies of this game, and breaking them up into tiny, little pieces.