Train Simulator is a game where you get to operate one of the many trains that are available. You can get a small train that is easier to control or a large freight or passenger train. There are challenges that you have to complete, such as getting your cargo to its destination on time. While you’re behind the controls of the train, you can see the weather as it changes. It could be sunny on one trip and raining the next day or even raining by the time you end your challenge. Snow is another weather event that you might have to endure. Unfortunately, you can’t choose what kind of weather you experience. The sounds of the game are realistic from the whistles to the wheels chugging along the tracks.
You’ll discover tracks across the world in areas that include France and Germany. When you operate the train, you can do so in a first-person point of view that allows you to see the gears and controls on the screen or in a third-person view where the train is on the screen and the controls are at the bottom. There are 13 trains to choose from, most that are easy to operate.
Some of the smaller trains can be difficult to maintain the speed because they aren’t as heavy as the larger trains. Some of the challenges involve controlling your speed, so the larger trains might work better with these tasks. When you first see the control panel, you might be overwhelmed because of the number of switches and buttons that are present. Everything is detailed so that you know which control operates which device on the train. Overall, this is a decent simulation game with realistic graphics and sounds.
- Simple concept
- Controls easy to understand
- Realistic views and sounds
- Not very challenging
Don’t expect a huge improvement over Train Simulator 2015. There are some minor enhancements, such as rain on the windscreen, but graphically the game looks very similar, and doesn’t look fresh. In terms of controls, it’s pretty much unchanged too.
Train Simulator allows you to drive trains along three routes, with 13 locomotives shared between them. Much more is available as premium downloadable content.
Don’t touch that dial
Like many simulators, Train Simulator might be daunting to begin with. There are lots of controls and, while everything is documented, it’s still a lot to learn. Of course, this is perfect for train enthusiasts, who will delight in the detail. More casual players should note that there is no attempt by the sim to make trains more exciting than they already aren’t.
Detailed and realistic, but lacking innovations
While there are no headline improvements, Train Simulator remains as the best in class. It’s attention to detail is impressive, and the various routes capture the spirit of their real life counterparts. The simulator tries to be faithful to train driving – so if that doesn’t sound exciting, this is not the sim for you. But for fans of trains, this is the one to go for.
Train Simulator 2017 is now available! Take a look at our review.
Train Simulator is the latest in the long-running railway series. It’s available as a standalone game, or a free upgrade for Train Simulator 15.