PC Building Simulator: IT Expansion BETA (Impressions)

in Hive Gaming2 months ago

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I only just put out a review of the oddly satisfying PC Building Simulator in which I wrote that I did enjoy the experience in general, but was a bit disappointed by the lack of an overarching story or purpose to fixing and upgrading computers. The eSports expansion did give some purpose to the whole experience, but that is a 10 euro DLC add-on!

So, when I saw that the game was looking for Beta testers for the IT Expansion, I hopped on board in the hopes that the basic vanilla game would be fleshed out with some sort of reason for doing what you were doing!

Keep in mind, that this is just an impressions review of a beta product, and is just my thoughts on an incomplete product!

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So, the premise is pretty simple, you are the new IT go-to for a start up at Irratech Corporation... or maybe not a start up? Anyway, this time around, you have bosses and an ongoing workflow from technically-incompetent colleagues! Fun!

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Anyway, the founder of the corporation is the eccentric Ira T. Elstar.. one of the "made-for-internet" dot-com heroes who built themselves up from absolutely nothing but a vision, a positive belief in themselves and a robust work ethic...

... and a 13.6 million dollar seed round from their parents...

... but completely self-made! Anyone can do it, if they only decided they wanted to be rich instead of poor! LOL!

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Taking a quick look around your "office", you have quite a nice studio that would actually be a pleasant place for a bachelor to live in! It is a nice change from having the IT department in the basement or something like that... but I do note that it is still physically removed from the "real" workforce!

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... motivational posters... CHECK! Well, actually, I realised later that these are more like informational posters for the new programmes... but I figured out what those programmes were through a process of trial and error!

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The Beta (I hope the real game as well...) starts you off with a fully kitted out workbench of three stations. This is quite useful this time, as you will have more than a few jobs from the start that will require quite a decent amount of installation time and booting... so, it is easier just to set them all up, and do something else when a particular machine is installing or booting up.

Plus, there are a few jobs that will require some wait time for components to arrive, so it is handy to have that extra space to just let things sit around.

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The jobs start off being quite a good deal more involved than the vanilla game. There are usually multiple things to fix, and then some additional "bonus" tasks that you will pick up on if you actually read the support ticket/email! Otherwise, things are very similar to the vanilla game.

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Of course, nothing is better than getting favourable reviews from the rest of the staff... if only that led to some sort of personal bonus or something like that. I have to say that the support tickets are quite funny to read though..

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There is the addition of a "night shift" feature where you can just shunt jobs to he night-shift worker to handle. This means that you will lose the money from completing the job.... wait, why are you getting paid to handle the IT workflow? Shouldn't the IT department have a set budget, and not have to scalp bounties in order to keep running? Or do I misunderstand how capitalist companies work... and that departments are actually in direct open economic warfare against each other?

I'm afraid that I've never had a "normal" office job, so maybe this is just the lack of my experience showing!

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Another handy addition is the TikkIT workflow app on your (also new) Tablet. It allows you to easily track and jump to all the orders that you are currently dealing with... all without needing to return back to your computer workstation! Definitely a plus!

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All the tool upgrade options (like the work stations) are unlocked... I do wonder if that is just for the Beta testing or if it is just like that in the expansion, but it really is handy not to have to individually screw and unscrew each bloody screw... and don't get me started about cabling!

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There is a MUCH larger variety of programs that need to be installed, uninstalled and run on the computers. This is definitely a plus, however, the way that they are laid out (NOT ALPHABETICAL) is really annoying... you will start to know where each program is... but there could have been a bit more logic to the layout!

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... aahhhh... the printer! I'm not sure why the printer is in the off-site IT workplace, but here is. So far, you can fix it by smashing it with your fist... or turning it off and on... or unjamming the paper!

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A new addition is the off-site repair jobs. At the moment, it is a sort of nice flavour and a way to change the scenery... however, in practice, it is just a loading screen and a specialised job. Perhaps it develops into something really exciting and unique, but for the moment, it is just a change of scenery... with no provided lunch!

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Still, you do get to visit some interesting places... even if they look like the set of a E-grade adult movie!

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... and the loading screen isn't that exciting either... plus, it leads to the question... why is the door open? And why is the parking downstairs in a car park when you seem to be housed in a nice studio building?.... so many existential and immersion-breaking questions!

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There is the addition of collectibles that are gifted to you from your colleagues in return for outstanding IT support. It is a nice flavour touch, but in the end it has very little in the way of game mechanics... just cosmetic!

So, wrapping up... the IT expansion for PC Building Simulator is a great way to add some purpose and story flavour to the vanilla game, much in the same way as the eSports expansion. However, you will find that the core mechanics are pretty much the same... with the same limitations, such as the lack of a useable OS cut and paste feature on your machines, which is pretty annoying when you are searching for the correct combination of components!

So, mixed thoughts! But I'm going to keep playing... just in case the story develops into something really cool!

Review Specs

Played at 1080p (144Hz) on:

XMG Fusion 15

CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: SSD (SATA/Nvme)
GPU: Nvidia GTX 2070 Max-Q

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