Those who remember my review from Dovetail Games’ previous installment, you’ll know I had a good time despite it being slow and methodical. Well they’re back once again with another set of cool trains to play with in Train Sim World 2020. If you love trains, have a ton of patience and a nice amount of funds for DLC, you’ll want to go full steam ahead with this one.
If you hadn’t guessed by the title, this is where you drive all sorts of cool trains all over the world on numerous routes that either the game makes for you or any you decide to run. The first thing I noticed is how they’ve improved the tutorial a bit to better explain and make sure you understand the controls, levers, brake system, etc., as you’ll need every bit of knowledge to get your train on track (sorry, couldn’t resist). It also grades you on your performance and offers tips on how you can improve that’s a nice bonus in itself.
Once you’ve got the controls for the various trains down to a science, you’ll be ready to set out on the different routes where you’ll pick people up from stations and get them to their destinations quickly and safely. Some of the cool new places they’ve included in this version are a new US west coast route, some previous ones such as the Main-Spessart Bahn, Northern Trans-Pennine, and Long Island RailRoad routes, and some others that’ll keep you more than busy.
If that’s not enough for you, you can check out the new “Journey” mode that’ll line up a whopping 24 hours of routes for you to challenge your endurance. Hardcore sim fans are sure to love this added feature while other players such as myself will have to work toward getting to that point.
And since this is a simulation game, you’ll be running these distances in real time. So if you’re taking passengers along a twenty minute route, you’re going to be driving for exactly twenty minutes. There are no speed sim options here, so you’ll want to make sure you’ve got plenty of time and patience before you tackle any of the stages.
Those who endure will have loads of beautiful scenery and trains to look at, as the graphics for the trains are nearly photo-realistic. The sounds are also pretty good, though outside the rumble of your train on the tracks, footsteps of you and the passengers, and switches, levers, etc being used, things are pretty quiet.
There’s also plenty of other trains and routes you can pick up through DLC, but get ready to spend a few hundred dollars if you plan on checking them all out. It would’ve been nice for the base game to include most of these already, and here’s hoping they will break down and do that at some point (Train Sim World 2021 with all previous DLC included please).
If you love trains and have the patience to make your way through slow but super realistic routes where you control everything from speeding and braking to turning on your headlights, windshield wipers and opening/closing the doors for passengers, you’ll absolutely want to hop on board with Train Sim World 2020. It would’ve been nice if more trains/routes were included in the base game, and the DLC can get expensive, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a better, more in-depth train experience that anyone can get into.