Friday, July 27, 2018

Train Sim World Gameplay Review

I'm playing Train Sim World, a locomotive simulation by Dovetail Games.


The game is a collection of the base release plus three expansions, for a total of four routes with eight trains: Leipzig, London, New York, and Pennsylvania. A total of twenty-five scenarios are included, which last from 20 minutes to several hours. There is no time acceleration in the game, so a three-hour scenario lasts three real hours. In addition, if a scenario is finished ahead of schedule, you still have to wait at the station until the full time expires. Very simple tutorials are included for each train, and help is not extended to the scenarios: the game won’t tell you why the train is not moving, for example. Beyond the scenarios, there are many services that can be completed, but you can’t customize them and they usually involve the entire lengthy route, just at different times of day. Controls are performed using the mouse to click on the actual levers inside each train, keyboard shortcuts, or a gamepad. Each train is similar (throttle, brake, reverser) but also different enough to allow for confusion when changing models. While there is track switching, adding or releasing cars, using the turntable, and (of course) blowing the horn, most of the scenarios simply involve following the speed limit, stopping at certain places, and watching the scenery pass. The in-game map lacks any sort of detail to immerse you into the game, just showing the route and surrounding trains. Train Sim World is a seemingly accurate simulation, but a lack of time acceleration, no scenario flexibility, abbreviated help, and less content compared to other, more established simulations keeps the game at the station.