Planet Coaster: Console Edition Review – A Second Gate Worth Visiting

No matter where one chooses to go, Planet Coaster: Console Edition gameplay remains the same. Players need to build out paths, place rides, hire employees, and keep everything running smoothly. Much like the PC version before it, Planet Coaster: Console Edition offers tons of options in every category, letting players theme their park to several different options or mix and match. No matter what they choose, the presentation is downright joyful. Each ride comes with appropriate music and adds to the overall ambiance wonderfully. Zooming around the ground level of a huge creation is a perfect home facsimile of arriving in Orlando, sitting on a bench, and taking it all in.

Despite this being the console edition of Planet Coaster, the game doesn’t do a great job of hiding its PC origins. That’s great for those who want a complex tycoon experience and those that want to take advantage of the built-in features to craft roller coasters and track rides from scratch in any mode. The game even supports those that want to bring in a keyboard and mouse to the living room. The issue comes in the fact that the majority of users will be using a controller to play Planet Coaster: Console Edition, and that never feels like an adequate tool to really take advantage of everything. There are layers and layers of menus to dig through for almost every action players want to take, and that contrasts starkly with the chill vibes the rest of the game puts out.

Thankfully, players who want variety but don’t want to dig too deep into creation should soon have plenty of options. Frontier has built out the console version of the Steam Workshop feature, letting players share their own parks and custom rides with the rest of the console community. In this one instance, Planet Coaster‘s insistence on not compromising its PC roots pays off handily. It almost makes up for the fact that the game seemingly lacks several of the DLC options from the Steam version, including licensed creation packs based on Ghostbusters and Back to the Future.

Planet Coaster on consoles is a game defined by its PC counterpart. It’s slightly reduced in content but almost equal in complexity, for better or worse. We live in an age beyond console-specific PC ports like Civilization Revolution and Battlefield: Bad Company, but it still would have been great to see some console optimization for those looking for a plug-and-play experience in the living room. However, if players really want to dig into a huge sandbox of theme park creation, Planet Coaster is a deep and joyous rabbit hole that’s worth an Annual Pass.

Planet Coaster: Console Edition is out now on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. An Xbox One code was provided to Screen Rant for the purposes of this review.