So I picked up CMS 2021 yesterday and have a few observations from my own play in the first couple hours:
- The new reservoir mechanic (brake, power steering, radiator, wiper fluid) is neat in that it gives you more of that realism I remember fans of the previous games complaining was missing (though there's still no pipes or wires). My only gripe is that the view of the fill markings gets obscured in some vehicle bays, forcing me to either pull off parts or just guesstimate.
- Speaking of realism, I like the idea that you're this young aspiring mechanic who's set up shop in an old gas station, if only because it teases you with possibilities from the start. When you get in the door the first time, you find an old bus and a bunch of junk sitting atop what is obviously the spot for a second lift, instead of starting in a "hole-in-the-wall" shop that seemingly balloons out whenever you buy an expansion.
- I both love and hate the examination system now. It groups parts into subsections (ex: engine, suspension, exhaust) that you only have to click and hold the mouse button until it examines all the parts in that section. But unlike CMS 2018, there are certain parts that aren't in those sections and you can't just examine them individually without just ripping them off the car itself. Found that out when the second story car had four items listed as "unknown" and didn't become obvious until I moved on from the engine to the brake work.
- And this last observation isn't unique to CMS 2021, but one of the drawbacks I've noticed over the years for simulator sequels is that if you got pretty comfortable in the old game after unlocking most/all of the upgrades and features, then it can feel like a real chore starting all the way back at the beginning. The good games can make that initial grind seem worth it, while the bad ones can frustrate you to the point of quitting. 2021 is similar enough to 2018 that my major gripe right now is getting up the skill tree again so unbolting things isn't such a chore, but I'm still only taking off bad parts and slapping on new ones. I've still got a bit before I'm deciding whether to restore a car or scavenge it for parts.
If you're on the fence about picking up this game, I'd say it's worth at least checking to see if the demo's still available and giving that a go. If you don't like it, then I wouldn't recommend getting the full game. But if you like what you see and want more of it, then $30 isn't too much of an ask for a good time killer. And if you already played 2018 and want more of it but with some improvements, then grab it while it's still on sale.
CdrMike, Overwatch Reject
"You know, the world could always use more heroes." - Tracer, Overwatch