Although TrainzDE is primarily a forum for the Trainz series, we always keep our eyes open to see what else is going on in the world of simulators.
About a week ago, the newest member in the world of train simulators, Train Sim World 2, released.
We played the new simulator to test whether it could also be of interest to trainzers...
TSW2's gameplay is unsurprising. As you'd expect from a train simulator, the player spends the majority of the time driving trains.
Unlike most train simulators, however, the player can also get up from his driver's seat and explore the stations or ride as a passenger and enjoy the view from the window.
As an inspiration for exploring the world, there are also a few things to do on every route, such as filling up the newspaper dispenser, repairing broken displays or hanging up network plans. However, each of these activities is carried out by approaching the empty spot on the wall, whereupon the plan or poster appears and the player is rewarded with a fanfare for success.
For driving, scenarios are available as you already know from other train simulators, whereby these are mostly just normal timetable journeys. Outside of the scenarios, you can also access a 24-hour timetable and take over almost every train in this timetable and drive yourself. At the end of the route you can also get on another train and continue with it, which is otherwise not possible in any other train simulator.
It's already in the title of the game. Even with the predecessor, you couldn't help but say that the world must be pretty small if the game only shows routes from Germany, Great Britain and the United States though...
The game world itself is very appealing and offers a high recognition value. Anyone who has ever taken the train as a passenger will surely immediately feel like they are traveling, at least as long as they are on the platform and otherwise only travel when there is a strike.
The typical shopping areas or the like of larger train stations are just as unavailable as there is adequate train traffic. While the former is admittedly not really the task of a train simulator, the latter is more important.
TSW2 is one thing above all else: dead and empty. Only one RE line and one ICE line run between Cologne and Aachen. The RE every hour and the ICE every two hours.
S-Bahn and other regional and long-distance lines are searched in vain. Rush hour in Cologne Central Station in TSW2 has already been reached when 3 trains are in the station at the same time.
Aachen HBF in the afternoon, a lone ICE is waiting for departure
In the future, freight traffic as well as another S-Bahn and RE line are to be added, mind you, but only if you purchase two more route DLCs that contain these trains.
TSW2 comes with three routes, one each from Germany, Great Britain and the United States.
Schnellfahrstrecke Köln - Aachen
The route between Cologne and Aachen is divided into two parts. In the first half from Cologne, the line has four tracks. While the S-Bahn strikes a more relaxed tone here, ICE trains travel to Belgium at up to 250 km / h. From Düren the route becomes double-tracked and considerably more curvy, so that the LZB guidance ends and even high speed trains have to slow down a bit more.
With the ICE, the journey to Aachen takes a good half an hour, with the 160 km / h fast RE which stops more frequently along the way, 60 minutes. The route unfortunately stands and falls with the yawning emptiness on the track and with just 16 ICE trips in the timetable you've quickly seen everything here too.
Located in (or rather, under London), the Bakerloo Line is a typical route of the London Underground. Strict timetables, sharp turns and hard braking determine the gameplay.
The Bakerloo Line also shines with beautifully designed stations and still stumbles over a bad timetable mode.
Although the route has over 200 timetable journeys, it is very little for a subway. There is also no clear timing. At some times of the day the trains run every 5-10 minutes, at other times there is a waiting time of 30 minutes for the displays. Mind you, at lunchtime, not just before closing time!
Even in London, you sometimes need to be patient when waiting for the next train
Sand Patch Grade
Located in the USA, Sand Patch Grade represents a main route through the Allegheny Mountains. Only goods traffic takes place here. The route comes with three different locomotives and numerous wagons and as such offers probably the greatest variety. In addition to just driving on the route, there are also some shunting tasks or coal to be fetched from the mine. This is where the first-person perspective of TSW2 shines the most, as you can now operate the couplings and switches “by hand” when maneuvering by walking towards them instead of clicking on them from the outside camera.
However, if you own the first Train Sim World, you already have this route. It was visually revised for TSW2 and additional switching tasks were added, but the experience is not that different.
One of Trainz's great strengths has always been the easily accessible tools for creating your own routes, tasks and other content, but what about TSW2?
When it comes to creating things yourself, TSW2 only offers two options. A “scenario planner” and a "livery designer".
The Scenario Planner
A player train and other AI trains can be placed on a route here. A start time for each train can be set and the stations at which the train should stop can also be set.
Unfortunately, the scope ends there, there are no timetables or weather settings here. Another weakness is that only a few predefined paths along the route can be selected and trains cannot be placed freely, for example to ensure that parking is filled or the like. Thus, Cologne main station remains as empty as before.
The Livery Designer
Although it has a lot of potential at first glance, it is unfortunately quite difficult to use in practice. You can choose from one of around 40 shapes, which can be attached to the train in any position and color. Most of the time you will probably work with the square, as this is the best way to puzzle together more advanced livery designs.
The placement takes place exclusively via keyboard, color values cannot be entered directly or somehow saved but must always be eyeballed for each shape. There is also no way of entering text, instead each letter has to be placed as an individual shape.
The paint job editor is accessible to everyone, but creating good-looking paint jobs is unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming.
A TrainzDE-ICE? Or would you prefer a Burlington Northern grain hopper? You're welcome! Logos have to be pieced together manually from shapes though...
Train Sim World 2 has fundamentally different priorities than Trainz. If you want to take a break and play something else, TSW2 will certainly certainl offer something to your enjoyment within the three included routes. For 30 € the game is absolutely okay in terms of price to just pick it up, especially when it is on sale.
But don't expect too much for this price. There is no freeware content and the tools it contains are so limited that most Trainzers will probably not get all that much play time out of this game.