2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A Heaven for Train and Railway Enthusiasts!,
This review is from: Railworks3 - Train Simulator 2012 (PC) (Video Game)Rail Simulator 3, aka Train Simulator 2012, in my opinion the best train simulator on the market, marks the latest incarnation in a series that has steadily but slowly improved in the right direction.
As one would expect, the graphics have significantly improved, although they are still not "leading edge". There are higher resolution textures, lightmaps, dynamic shadows, superb trees and grass, animated plants that sway in the wind and now even raindrops on the windscreen with working wipers. This latter aspect adds a lot to the immersion feeling of being in a train. However, the animated people still look like they are from a game made in the 1990s!
Out of the box it comes with several routes and trains. Add-ons can be added manually, or purchased as DLC on Steam. This is the perfect solution - DLC for those who want it, while old fashioned manual add-ons are still allowed. Not to mention the fact that the game also ships with a powerful editor that can be used to create good quality content. The effect is like having a gigantic trainset at your finger tips!
The controls and function of Rail Simulator are almost identical to earlier versions. The locomotives are superbly done, with beautiful attention to detail and with authentic controls. DLC has grwon enormously in the last couple of years or so, and although default trains haven't changed so much with regard to functionality, there are many add-ons that can be downloaded that offer more functionality, like Peter Gillam's beautifully modelled 56XX tank locomotive. It's highly accurate controls and cab features offer one of the most realistic steam driving experiences available for the PC. I can tell that sdriving that train is not easy. It has however a challenge, and great fun!
Another DLC classic to mention is the recently released "Woodhead Route", offering an authentic recreation of this old route and the class 76 and 77 locos that were specially built for it. These trains also have custom controls, including the "Regenerative Brake".
I like many kinds of games, from World of Warcraft to GTA IV, from Silent Hunter V to Fallout 3, and yet, I must say that I find that driving trains in Rail Simulator strangely immersive and therapeutic. For me it recalls a childhood fascination with trains, railways and train sets.
In conclusion I'd say this is definitely a step forward from the previous verions, and well worth having for sim fans and train enthusiasts alike. It is not revolutionary, but it is a much needed update and revival of a unique simulation genre. I'm glad that developers and publishers dare to produce such things, because they have a tiny, tiny market when compared to games like Unreal III and World of Warcraft. Just imagine how boring the gaming world would be if all we got were FPSs and MMORPGs!!!