62 of 72 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Disappointing to say the least, 7 Nov. 2003
One of my favourite all time games is Railroad Tycoon 2 (Plat).
No, I'm not male and no, I'm not a train fan.
The reason I love the game is its complex mixture of managing the company, the trains, the industry around it and the stockmarket. This coupled with great game play, endless numbers of scenarios and campaigns, and ability to set the difficulty level to your own ability.
With this in mind, I eagerly awaited the release of Railroad Tycoon 3 with its all singing and dancing 3D graphics and claims that it is as stable as a rock (unlike SimCity 4).
I now can't help thinking of all the other things I could've spent my hard earned cash on......
From the outset the map is so dark you can hardly see the buildings, track and stations, even after cranking up the monitor to the brightest it can go. The buildings themselves all look a bit grey and it is difficult to tell the different industries apart unless you zoom in so far you might actually be standing in that cow farm, or is it a coal mine? Once you do zoom in the graphics do improve significantly but it is very hard to get a broad overview of the region from an ant's eye view. I really hope my criticism proves unjusitifed but as yet I have tried everything to improve the visuals but to no avail.
The cargoes displayed at individual stations are also not as clear as in its predecessor, and for me the fact that you can set each train to automatically pick up the most profitable load each time significantly reduces the strategic element of the game - after all chosing the right cargoes to haul and to where, for me, is the main concept of the RailRoad Tycoon series.
The number of buildings available to build in stations is also simplified - no longer do you have to build warehouses, grain silos, post offices, telephone poles etc... to speed up your train service, it all seems a bit mundane now.
The trains also do not seem to be slowed down by going over gradients or round bends which decreases from the realism and gameplay of the previous versions.
On a positive note (yes there is one) - you can now follow each train in a sort of camera mode as they trundle along your tracks and they do look magnificant. I spent an entire 5 minutes admiring by little green steam engine and its four carriages of random goods that the computer had deemed the most profitable to carry between London and Portsmouth.
Perhaps I am judging this game unfairly and I shouldn't compare it to Railroad Tycoon 2 but play it on its own merits. Pretty difficult though when it is supposed to be a an improved sequel.
And what do I know, all other reviews I have read have been really positive - make up your own mind.