Street Cleaning Simulator Review

Street Cleaning Simulator is a broken, unrealistic mess that takes a relatively boring concept and makes it even worse.

by

UK REVIEW--The prospect of Street Cleaning Simulator may not sound appealing, but there's merit in simulation games. It's not possible to try out every job in the world, and for many of us, these games are the only way we'll get to try our hand at farming, surgery, traffic management, or, in this case, street cleaning. The main problem with this game isn't that it's a simulation in which you vacuum up filth from the side of the road; it's that it's a really, really poor game. From the lack of variety to the laughable physics and bizarre AI behaviour, Street Cleaning Simulator could only be considered a simulator in a world where the rules of gravity don't apply, where people melt through the pavement, and where street cleaners walk with an awkward swagger that would put Saturday Night Fever-era Travolta to shame. In short, it's awful.

The road is long, and it's extremely boring.

Street Cleaning Simulator starts off with the promise of many streets to clean. As the owner of a newly established street cleaning business, it's your job to tidy up the city. It's impossible to tell who cleaned up before you arrived; there's no narrative progression, and one can only assume the filth was just left to accumulate because there aren't any other rival street cleaners in the vicinity. So you've got your office (which is really just an email interface to accept jobs from the mayor, motorway services, and occasionally, mysterious businessmen), and you've got a great big orange street sweeper. This truck forms the crux of the simulation, and the attention to detail is worth noting. Everything can be manipulated, from each individual brush to the interior cab light and the windshield wipers. The truck needs refuelling, refilling with water, and emptying whenever too much litter is collected. A brief tutorial explains most of what you need to know, and at first, it may seem rather complicated. It's fine though, because after a mission or two, you soon realise that almost all you ever need to do is drive somewhere and position the brushes.

There are three different sweepers; your starter truck and two that can be purchased after prescribed points in the campaign. The second sweeper has blue brushes and an undercarriage roller (which is pretty much useless), and the third sweeper increases your speed, fuel, water, and dirt capacity. But it doesn't do so by much, and you still end up crawling around the city at a snail's pace, heading to the next identical mission. On the plus side, they're all as nicely-crafted as the starting vehicle, with all the realistic vehicle parts you'd ever need. It's all well and good having indicators, a horn, and a handbrake, but the fact that you never have to obey traffic laws makes them obsolete. In fact, it's downright impossible to obey the traffic laws. After a mission or two, you inevitably give up on waiting at red lights only to cut through traffic, as well as drive through scenery and pedestrians, to provide the shortest time possible between the mission start and the slow, boring task ahead.

The city looks better at night; maybe because you can't see it as well.

The problem with trying to obey the traffic laws is that the other cars don't. You might be patiently waiting at a red light when out of nowhere a deranged driver in a Vauxhall Corsa crashes into you, after pinging off a few dozen other cars. If you're lucky, this causes your street sweeper to grind to a halt. There's no realistic collision detection here. More often than not, though, you and the other vehicle both go flying into the sky. It's hard to believe that in the field of actual street cleaning, the sweepers can bounce 40 feet into the air before landing on their side, clipping through the road a bit and then righting themselves. Often, while making your way to a filthy road, you can spy two cars in the distance, bouncing up and down on the spot like motorised space hoppers and then sinking into the floor, never to be seen again. Pedestrians are just as incomprehensible. If you drive into them, they disappear. Much like the cars, they also frequently sink into the floor or walk through flat, untextured walls. If this were a survival horror game then it might even be creepy. But it's not. It's a street cleaning simulator.

So what of the street cleaning itself? Missions range from "clean up some sand from the gutter" to "clean up some grass from the gutter" by way of "clean up some gravel from the gutter." This cleanup is achieved by driving really, really slowly in a mostly straight line. As soon as you've worked out whether a mission requires water or not (clue: the mayor tells you), it's down to business; drive to a location marked on the map, position the brush, crawl along really slowly. Occasionally, but not often, you get the chance to go off road and clean up sand, grass, or gravel from a pavement. These sections are more taxing because they require you to make a few turns and reverse occasionally. Missions play out to the sound of spinning brushes and revving engines. Sometimes, when you have to reverse, the sweeper makes a beeping sound. This is as exciting as it gets. Some missions are timed, although the shortest limit is one hour (real time), and occasionally, the timer just fails to count down at all. These shots at building tension are so far off the mark that it's unreal.

A shot of the "action."

As the game progresses, missions are made more difficult by being placed farther away from your depot. They're the exact same missions, but they just take longer to get to, which means that for the first time, you have to pay slight attention to your fuel gauge. Sometimes, there's too much to clean up and you can't fit all the detritus in your dirt trap. When this happens, you can either return to the depot and cash the job in for a slight pay decrease, or you can drive to the depot, empty the trap, and then drive back for the rest of the muck. Jobs take about half an hour to finish. There's no option to save mid-mission. The game isn't adverse to crashing. Clearly, there's a problem here.

The most exciting moment in the game occurs in the final level, when the mayor assigns you to clean up a mess that resembles a mixture of blood, vomit, and soot following a New Year's Eve party. It's the only mission that doesn't follow the exact same formula, and that's only because the stuff you're cleaning up is red. It's worth $10,000, almost one-third of the total money you need to earn, but by this point, you won't care. After beating the final level, you're awarded a medal based on your overall company worth and then plunked back into the gameworld, with the suggestion that you might want to explore. There's nothing to do other than look at bouncing cars and smile slightly when a few pedestrians accidentally re-create the Abbey Road cover. Driving around in the painfully slow sweeper is an unappealing prospect at the best of times, and when you're not even earning money for doing so, there's literally no reason to continue playing unless you really love street sweepers. You could always take to the streets on foot, but that's even slower and more pointless than in a vehicle.

It's something of a relief that Street Cleaning Simulator is fairly easy to play and doesn't last very long. Once you learn to ignore the multitude of useless options, it's entirely possible to complete every mission by tapping the up arrow for half an hour and occasionally steering a bit. This leaves one hand free to read a book, eat a sandwich, or face-palm yourself repeatedly. And sometimes it's amusing to rotate the camera and look at the huge traffic jam your street cleaning has caused. It's also not horrifically ugly--the street sweepers don't look bad--and the reflective surfaces on the windshield interiors are pretty cool. The flat, lifeless city leaves a lot to be desired though, and given how slow the game is, you have plenty of time to look at it. There's a weird attention to detail if you search hard enough, such as gumball machines attached to walls and differing shop fronts. But given that the city is as filthy as its roads, there's no reason to check it out.

Missions play out to the sound of spinning brushes.

If it weren't such a slog, Street Cleaning Simulator might be good for the amusement factor, but driving along a curb really slowly is no laughing matter. Even if you absolutely, positively have to play a street cleaning simulation, then this broken mess will disappoint. There's no incentive to play through once, let alone twice. Missing the gold medal by $1,000 hardly encourages you to go through the entire thing again. There are numerous simulator games that do their subject matter justice. This isn't one of them. Maybe one day, someone will make a road sweeping simulation that accurately portrays the noble art. Street Cleaning Simulator is not that game; this inadequate, failed attempt is good for nothing but the garbage heap.

The Good
Nicely detailed sweeper vehicles
The Bad
Not a realistic simulation
AI vehicles do their best to try to destroy you
Horrendously slow
No replay value
1.5
Abysmal
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67 comments
lilmcnessy
lilmcnessy

Extremely biased and unfair review! 10/10 game!

TheEveryMan
TheEveryMan

What is art? Look no further my brothers and sisters.

Spinnerweb
Spinnerweb

Street Cleaning is THE job. At the end of everyday a street cleaner can be proud of what he's achieved. All these doctors, engineers and officers are lowly peasants compared to the noble street cleaners.

methodium
methodium

Arena battles are epic ! Don't get hooked , you'll never do anything else . I had a kid , I think it grew up and moved out .... I don't know , ive been trying for my epic purple PvP bristles for ages .. i keep gettin owned by other sweepers !

chaoskingz
chaoskingz

I've now been playing this game for almost 1 full year...I recently found out it has a really active modding community...anyway i downloaded this mod named "TimeOfYourLife" which add this really sleek timer to the missions which really gives this game an even faster pace. Once you start racing against the clock...don't expect to play another game for at least another year. They really need to delay the PS4 because i don't think i'm ready to part ways with so much money when I'm still getting unreal replayability from great titles like Street Cleaning Simulator.

StreetCleaning
StreetCleaning

Street Cleaning Simulator has impacted my life beyond my wildest dreams. At first I thought this was just a game. I was wrong. Street Cleaning Simulator is a way of life. When I first played this game, I cried. The storyline is beautiful and I have devoted my life to this game. I left my wife, my kids, my dog, and my European Water Buffalo to play this game. Everyday I wake up, put in 12 hours and then allow myself to pee. I will hold it in for hours just to complete an action packed mission. Do not believe those who claim the game is unworthy, they are paid employees from Street Cleaning Simulator's rival, Ghetto Janitor Simulator,  where you play as a janitor in the ghetto forced to clean bathroom after bathroom to support his wife's marijuana addiction. This game is obviously  inferior because DeSean (the protagonist) has no depth to him and resembles a potato in thoughts and feelings. I leave you now hoping you feel the same urge I do to get up and play this game and never stop.

Thank you for your time.

If you have any questions or wish to contact me, send me an e-mail at devonpye@gmail.com

nechiken
nechiken

I'm ashamed to say that I just pulled a 40 hour marathon of this game, but I loved every fucking second of it. Street Cleaning Simulator was easily the best game I have played in my entire life. There were absolutely no flaws in this game. I was the greatest sweeper to ever sit his ass in a street sweeper and sweep the streets. There's a lot of hidden depth and meaning to this game if you play through it carefully enough. You get little hints of what the world was like without street cleaners, you get hints about what the protagonist's life is like and what is was before. You discover his past as you play through the game, experiencing life in someone else's shoes. This game is a masterpiece.

pcty
pcty

The game is fantastic! I mean what is not ot like in cleaning streets with a truck?

pcty
pcty

This game really needs a DLC it is so awesome!

I bought the Collectors edition.

theslovakian38
theslovakian38

wait... does it have high octane multiplayer action? i need some competition in my life... 

LucasLinoMota
LucasLinoMota

gamespot score = 1.5

user score = 9.1

 

wat

SolidTy
SolidTy

It didn't look like much when I brought it home (I traded in my PS3, 360, a DS, a PSP, and my Wii along with games to get enough credit for this game), but a few months later I quit my job, quit school, and left my wife.

 

This game is sooo good, I would avoid playing it unless you are ready to get "swept Up" in it's righteous gameplay.

 

Street Cleaning Simulator FTW!

JBStone1981
JBStone1981

This game was a transformative experience, capturing the very essence of the modern geopolitical infrastructure. See my review for a more comprehensive take on this "timeless masterwork of modern storytelling." 

jayjay444
jayjay444

ROFl what is this shit?? whats next cut the grass simulator!! LMAFO!!!!!!!

MrTakeda
MrTakeda

 @ghara_dar 

Because they think its funny, its like me saying

"OH MY GOD I WANT THIS GAME, I WANT THIS GAME! I NEEED IT OH MY GOD IM GUNNA DIEEEEE IF I DONT GET THIS GAME ITS LOOKS SO AWESOME YEAHEHEHESSSSS!!!" see...

motorbikegame
motorbikegame

"If this were a survival horror game then it might even be creepy. But it's not. It's a street cleaning simulator."

I lol'd.

topsemag55
topsemag55

Metacritic didn't even bother to rate this horribad game. LOLOLOLOL

ghara_dar
ghara_dar

can anyone tell me why USER SCORE is 9.1 and for what ??? i don't think it is very good game

barrel224
barrel224

is there a reason other than, "for the lulz", that this is posted as number 6 on the most popular section of the PC page........iz yerra forrreallll?

Albaficas
Albaficas

1.5....... hahahahahahaahahahahah that game is totaly crap.....cant believe ppl paying for making this game

mrzisawesome
mrzisawesome

It's even better than Big Rigs, if you can believe that.

white_wind
white_wind

next GT5 update will include premium sweepers

cordelas1983
cordelas1983

USER SCORE: 9.1 i thinks it says all... G A M E = ROCKS . .:P

Dustyn-Barlow
Dustyn-Barlow

You know i really love bad game reviews because they give me a good laugh before i have to go to work.

trueepower44
trueepower44

Don't joke about this game. It has already set the standards for the worst games that could ever be made. Thus, it has already made us think of how bad games can be, and what games can actually strive to become! Don't hate, appreciate.

JoE_Morais
JoE_Morais

For all of you who throw your garbage in the streets, this is a MUST PLAY!

devastion913
devastion913

For anyone that liked this game..... Go out and do community service or get a jog in the sevice industry for that is the ultimate, no silulation required. What makes me think is what does it say about gamers who play this game? And give it high ratings for reasons other than mockery?

toasty1979
toasty1979

when is the DLC coming out? I heard two are in the pipeline 'union strike' and 'Christmas double collection week'

Hurvl
Hurvl

The user reviews on this game are really hilariously misleading. It's like the user reviews of MW3 at Metacritic, but at the opposite extreme, and yes, the reviews are really extreme. I took a picture of when this was the most popular game, http://www.gamespot.com/users/self/view_image?id=N4Nd5hRw7hif5h3jlg. To think that this game was ever the most popular game just shows that the world is mad.

Purify
Purify

It clearly invites us all to have a nice decent job,just to think we can actually have that kind of fun sweeping streets, it's clearly a moral lesson. Why would anyone like to kill zombies, aliens,be part of a fantasy world, if you can just embrace reality and help a social need like street cleaning.This game is philosophical, it goes way beyond our regular thoughts and perceptions of life,beacuse what's life itself without a nice clean pavement to walk by

Purify
Purify

Breathtaking, is the most gorgeous work of art ever made.I never thought Germans could put that kind of emotion into a videogame.

LiqMD
LiqMD

@dmblum1799 "Greenlight this baby." Rofl.

LiqMD
LiqMD

I have always dreamed of being a street sweeper, but have never been able to land a job doing it. I can now live out my dreams. Thanks guys!

Mr_Unko
Mr_Unko

where do i find this game??? I need it o so bad!!!

Driscoal
Driscoal

The most outrageous thing about this whole thing is that Ashton Raze does not immediately dismiss the idea of a street cleaning simulator. He thinks "no no, I'll play the game first and see if there's not some actual fun to be had SWEEPING STREETS ON A F***ING COMPUTER!" Driving street sweepers is something you do if you've failed at life. The people who made this game previously worked as professional torturers at Guantanamo.

eseptim
eseptim

@penpusher ohhhh I seeee XDD

kweeni
kweeni

G-Spot score: 1.5 User score: 9.1 wtf O.o

outlawst
outlawst

today i saw it's the 7th of most popular games in GS !!! can't believe my eyes!

sarsel
sarsel

AWESOME!!!!! I bet MS and SONY paid big moneys to gamespot so they rate it down!!! they're planning on releasing PS4 and next XBOX to attract people into console gamin again!!!! all thanks to this game.

penpusher
penpusher

@eseptim people are joking when they say its good, its that bad its become a sort of joke among gamespot members lol

dmblum1799
dmblum1799

A while back I worked as a consultant for a PC game company (a division of EA). My job was simple: pitch ideas for a game (I pitched a WW2 game and this was before Call of Duty, Saving Private Ryan, etc. The middle aged guy turned it down). Anyway, I can't imagine the pitch meeting for this game. How would you pitch this? "Okay guys, I got a killer idea. In this game... You drive... a garbage truck." "How do you win?" "You collect garbage. Your goal is to be the best darn garbage collector you can be." "Say no more. Greenlight this baby. Get the team together and make it happen!"

eseptim
eseptim

I really don't know who to trust, should I trust the comments here, many people say that it's good, but could it be a trap? or should I trust the gamespot reviewer. Is this good for real? or Is this bad for real? why don't I just try it and prove it myself -_-