Riding the rails — Train Sim World review

Video games allow people to do things that they wouldn’t get a chance to do otherwise, and simulator games are some of the best examples of that. Train Sim World lets players jump into a handful of trains and transport passengers to their various destinations.

Train Sim World follows the basic premise of taking control of trains and stopping at various train stations. The game is played in first person as you operate the controls. There are two main ways to play: looking at the designated controls, holding X, and moving the left stick to adjust as needed, or you can use the button shortcuts. Using the controls is nice because it requires you to interact with the world around you. It keeps you engaged with the area inside of the train, which I appreciated. At the same time, the shortcuts are helpful if you can’t remember where some of the train controls are or if you want to do something quickly. For example, R2 increases the throttle, R1 decreases the throttle, L2 increases the brakes, L1 decreases the brakes, holding down the left D-pad opens a menu to open and close the passenger doors, and holding the right D-pad opens a menu to adjust the lights. I personally did a mix of both options, and they worked together perfectly.

There are 17 different scenarios that you can play through, with each one taking a different amount of time to complete. Each scenario has the approximate time of completion next to its title; they range from around 25 minutes to about an hour per scenario. This is meant to feel more realistic, although they feel like they drag on at times. The scenarios aren’t bad by any means, they just take a long time to complete. For people who really get into the game, this is a plus, but for others who aren’t as invested, it might put a damper on the fun. The stories behind the scenarios are different, but the gameplay itself doesn’t change all that much. There also short five minute tutorials for each of the different trains, which are extremely helpful to teach you how to operate each train before you take on the scenarios.

When playing, you won’t be stuck operating the train the entire time. When you are traveling long stretches of track, you should take the time to walk around the rest of the train cars. At any time, you can get up from the driver’s seat and do whatever you want. Wish you could just relax and watch the world you’re passing by? Just walk over to an empty seat, sit down, and stare out the window for a few minutes. There aren’t many passengers in the train, so you won’t have trouble finding a place to sit, although you can’t sit in every empty seat. Unfortunately, you can’t interact with any of the passengers either. Make sure you don’t sit there too long because you’ll eventually have to get back to those controls and slow the train to stop at the next destination.

One of the other interesting aspects is the camera options. You can switch between driver’s seat and secondary seat for the internal cameras, which adjusts the point of view while operating the controls. The external cameras include two angles of the front of the train, two angles of the back of the train, and a free cam that doesn’t follow the train. The different camera angles are nice to look at, and they offer a much needed change of scenery compared to only seeing the inside of the train cars. That being said, just like when sitting with the passengers, you’ll want to keep an eye on the distance to your next destination so that you don’t miss it and fail the scenario.

Train Sim World is a nice addition to the simulation game genre, although it may not be for everybody. The game is relaxing, but if you’re not super invested in the gameplay, that can quickly lean towards boredom. This game is clearly meant to target lovers of trains and simulation games in general, so if you fall into one or both of those categories, you may want to check this out. Playing through every scenario will provide you with over a dozen hours of train operating entertainment if you choose to partake. That being said, know that this isn’t an exciting game by any means, but it will scratch an itch for a certain group of gamers.



Train Sim World

Review Guidelines

Train Sim World is a relaxing game where you operate a variety of trains as you travel to specified destinations. There is a nice selection of trains, helpful tutorials, and 17 scenarios to play through. The game isn't the most exciting experience, and sometimes leans towards monotonous and boring. If you love simulation games and trains, this might be right up your alley.

Codi loves to play video games and watch movies. He will watch almost any kind of movie just to experience them. His ideas take inspiration from the shows and movies he watches, and games he plays. He also loves a good pun.

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