Synopsis: Train Sim World 2 is currently available for free on the Epic store, so naturally I added it to my giant heap of unplayed games. Unlike most other games acquired through this method, I actually had a great interest in playing this one. Let’s just say trains are in my family. On one side, my grandfather built diesel locomotive engines. On the other, my grandfather headed up the railroad police. While I never had great ambitions to become an engineer and ride the rails, I’ve always had a great fondness for trains.
Train Sim World 2 is exactly as described on the tin. It’s a real-world train simulator, based on actual engines, cars, and rail lines. The level of detail truly is remarkable; allowing your virtual character to do everything from manually flipping rail switches, filling the engine with diesel, to interacting with fuses in the breaker panel inside the engine’s cab. In what feels like a sequence of cheesy ‘new job orientation videos’, the game initially does a great job explaining what each lever and button does, and the correct sequence in which to do things.
I say initially because much like actual cheesy new job orientation videos, some vital pieces of information are missing and you’ll just have to learn on the job. Which is how I suddenly found myself in a gigantic switchyard with miles of track, dodging oncoming trains while frantically flipping switches to get my engine onto the correct set of tracks. There’s a virtual character along for the ride in the engine with me, but I’ll be damned if they actually do anything except stare blankly while you fumble with the controls.
That being said, the game is a heck of a lot of fun, at least so far. I haven’t gotten through the orientation steps yet, as they do take some time. Once I have the controls mastered I’ll head out onto the open rails and see the countryside. It’s too bad the game hasn’t told me when that may happen.
Edit: I gave up and googled my frustrations with this game; as it turns out some of the issues I’m experiencing are undocumented, or at the very least, severely underdocumented.
What I like: If you like trains (of any sort), you’ll probably like this game. Great graphics & sound. Very realistic, great attention to detail.
What I don’t like: Steep learning curve, ambiguous mission requirements, lots (and lots) of buttons (and levers) to learn.
Would I buy it again?: Yes