Rail Simulator

Overview

Who ever thought there would be a game about trains? In fact who ever thought a game about trains would ever be popular? But with the booming popularity of “Tycoon” style games there have been games that have come out and surprised us. Today we are checking out the latest Rail game that hopes to continue the surprising success of past Rail titles in Rail Simulator for the PC. Is this game all that its cracked up to be? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

I will be frank with you all, I really am not sure who in there right mind sat down and said, making a train simulator would be fun. I suppose you would look back on the times when your a young toddler and the fascination with trains and building massive train tracks but I really never saw it becoming a video game. However when the first Rail Tycoon title came out, I loved it. Now here a bit after the “Tycoon” boom, EA has teamed up with Kuju Entertainment in hopes of keeping the series alive and well. But can they accomplish that?

So the game is broken down into the very typical set of modes which include a career mode as well as a free mode which basically means there are no rules and not objectives, just have fun. So once you have installed the game there will be time for you to learn the ropes, and learn you will because this is one of those titles that truly takes time to learn. Rail Simulator is exactly what its title suggests, and what that means is that the margin for error is actually quite small and can truly frustrate the casual gamer who may not be as key on learning a very complex system.

I can’t tell you how long even on the easiest settings it took me to get the hang of just the basic functions of controlling the train. For those who have played the Flight Simulator titles, you can then probably begin to understand that of which I speak, and it truly can be frustrating. But after the steep learning curve there truly is a great game to be had in Rail Simulator. As much as trains aren’t necessarily used as much as a common use of people getting from place to place, I still think trains hold a special place in a lot of people’s minds, there is something nostalgic about them.

What I thought would drive the game is actually the weakest point of the title and that are the scenarios themselves. I enjoy having structure in my gameplay, and in Rail Simulator it seems as though the developers took a bit of a shortcut in this area of the game and didn’t necessarily flesh out the scenarios as well as they obviously could have been.

In the end however what does work is the train simulation. I am no expert on trains, so I don’t know if this is necessarily an accurate play on trains, but if its not then they sure fooled me. There is a ton of content in this game, a ton of things to learn, and if you give this game the time it truly can reward you.

Graphics

I have to say, the visuals were a bit on the bland side of things, especially for a game that should be taking you some gorgeous countryside’s and all sorts of great landscapes. Unfortunately a lot of what you see in the game keeps things a bit to far on the simple side and really misses the ball on a part of the game that you would kind of just expect to be a big part. The one thing that the developers did do a great job of, was the trains themselves which actually do carry a good amount of detail and style to them.

Fun Factor

I am not one that is easily frustrated by a game, but with Rail Simulator I can honestly say that this is one of those that started out brutal. But like many simulation games out there, the more time you put into the game the more you reap the benefit. For those who also want to design your own tracks, the games editor is also quite expansive and allows plenty of content outside of the main modes. To me if you let this game grow on you it truly can reward you.

Overall

When it is all said and done, this may not be the perfect outing that fans of the series may have been hoping for. However what Rail Simulator is, is a solid simulation title that offers up a great deal of content, and a game that for anyone willing to give it a chance, that will truly reward in the end.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.