Now, I’m sure I have said before that I am an avid Simulator fan, there are so many different simulators, it feels like there is a simulator for any job, you can be a pilot, farmer, trucker or anything. Some simulators are more realistic than others, with some focusing on authenticity, whilst others just seem to make them a parody. However train Sim World 2 has done everything within their power to bring you the thrills of piloting three unique trains to current gaming hardware.
The tutorials for a good job of throwing you into the driver’s seat and getting you moving, but that is as much help Dovetail Games are willing to give you. I had to go through the tutorials a few times to get used to how to get some of the trains moving. Thankfully having experience with the original Train Sim World, the transition was fairly simple and quick to get used to, but you don’t really need that much pre-existing knowledge.
For me, having the opportunity to drive on the London Underground was a real pull for me, I find the history and everything to do with the Underground fascinating. Jumping into the 1972 current stock of the Bakerloo Line, it’s fairly easy to get the train moving along. And with the short stops between each station, you quickly get used to stopping and starting the trains. You do have to speed and shut the doors a little early to keep to the timetable though – if this is how it’s supposed to be in real life, then hats off to the real life drivers.
The game, as the last instalment is broken down into bite-sized scenarios, each with different objectives and tasks that you need to perform. After a few hours I had completed a handful of the 36 various scenarios, so there really is plenty of content there (and even more coming further down the line from what I have been reading online)
I then decided to give Germany’s Koln to Aachen route a go. This is the game’s middle ground so to speak. The controls are identical to the tube’s so it was easy to get moving (sort of, there are a few more extra bits you need to do) like connecting the trains pantograph for instance. This is one of Germany’s high speed routes, sees you travelling 3 times the speeds you were on the tube, going 120mph plus, then mastering stopping distances was a real challenge, and must admit, I missed a few stations along the line, but when I did get it spot on, it was pretty satisfying.
The last route is Pennsylvania’s Sand Patch Grade, and this is very technical, both in and out of the cab. Not only do you have to master getting these huge trains moving, you also have to master switching lines and refueling the train.
The track switching really does open up a new level of attention – looking further down the line making sure that you will be going to the correct line, and realising that you have missed a switch, and having to then reverse all the way back to join the correct line – again, I made this mistake a few times. The issue with this is the tutorial never went through switching lines. You can easily do this in the map, and switch them ahead, so you don’t ever have to get in and out of the cab.
There are far more controls in this train that you will ever need to worry about, but driving this loco really did give me the appreciation for the level of detail Dovetail had managed to get into the game. You can even open up the fuse boxes and play with all the switches. All the trains have really been meticulously designed inside and out.
One of the things that did disappoint me was the level of detail given to the scenery. However I will make exceptions as that could be down to the hardware spec’s of the last gen consoles. Don’t get me wrong though, the German countryside or the dusty rails of Sand Patch Grade all look great when sitting from inside the cab, I found that when using the external cameras, this is when the game started to struggle a bit.
In summary, as a simulator, it’s pretty unforgiving. If you run a red light, even as much as a millimetre – you fail and must start the whole thing again – and when you have just spent an hour doing something and run the red light at the end, it’s extremely frustrating. I would have liked to see an Auto-Save function after every station, so if you do make a mistake, you could go back and carry on
Train Sim World 2 Review
Sometimes it did become quite boring just doing the same route over and over again. But ultimately it’s a very good simulator and should provide you with a realistic and authentic experience. If you have always wanted to be a train driver on some of the world's most famous routes, then this is the game for you. There are plans to bring new trains and routes as the game develops as well.
- You can bring your old routes and trains into the new game free of charge
- Being able to drive some of the world's most iconic trains
- Authentic sounds and designs of trains and stations
- Unforgiving if you go past a red light
- Can be boring at times
- Some of the scenery can feel PS3 like
- Graphics 0
- Gameplay 0
- Narrative 0
- Audio 0
- Technical 0