Chugging along (cntd.)
The trains themselves look very nice, something that can be appreciated by the most hardcore train aficionado. My personal favorite is the EMD SD40-2, which is normally used to haul heavy cargo and a lot of it. The trains, the cars they haul, they all look really good on the outside; and the same can be said on the inside. Though my favorite train had an almost deafening roar from the cabin view, I loved it. Forward view was restricted to a small window, I was cramped in behind all the controls, and in comparison to the other trains it felt very old and clunky but that was the allure of it I think.
Of course not every train is like this, each having a unique cabin with unique control layouts. Another very interesting thing is that if you're commandeering a passenger train, you can switch to the view of sitting in a passenger seat. While this is unique, in my experience even with a loaded train it appears to put the camera view in an empty car. So you can either stare at empty seats, or gaze longingly out the window wondering where everyone has gone.
On that note it's important I point out that most of my time was spent outside of the very unforgiving career mode. Just a little too fast at a certain point constantly resulted in a game over, and let me tell you thirty minutes into an otherwise flawless run makes that very annoying. Currently, even though I toggled it off in the options, the ability to toggle off the game over if you're in danger appears to be broken. But, a simple patch could easily fix that.
The other currently broken part of the game rests with one train in particular, which is the horn on the EMD SD40-2. If you're using the streamlined hud to make it easier, the horn works just fine. If you're playing using the actual controls, then pulling the lever for the horn results in a horn that you cannot deactivate. No really, trying to wait it out does nothing and pushing it back up into place only stops the horn until you release your left click at which point it falls right back into place. As if the engine itself wasn't loud enough...
Now Approaching The Station!
While an enjoyable experience, it leaves a lot to be desired. There are two editions of the game available: the Standard and the Steam edition. The Standard Edition includes three rail line packs, while the steam edition includes five. But, should you wish, there is a lot of DLC to pick up; and boy I mean A LOT of it. In fact, there are 185 other add-ons you can get ranging from trains to new routes, and if you are train crazy and want to complete that collection be prepared to shell out a jaw dropping amount of money.
When I first saw this, it was shocking, but my colleagues Murray and Quinn explained that these DLCs have been interchangeable between the previous releases, and are not meant to all be bought. In a case of different strokes for different folks, the developers have put out a large variety for fans to choose from. These DLC's aren't required for a full experience as the routes and trains that come included with the game feel unique in their own rights and offer several beginning and ending destinations along the train lines. Still, I can't help but feel that a few more would've gone a long way without having to look to paid additional content. Perhaps that is just me being slightly bothered that there wasn't one old age steam engine included by default.
End Of The Line
Train Simulator 2015 was an interesting experience. It reignited a childhood spark for a brief amount of time, as well as brought into context that while the life on the rails is simple in movement it is not simply pushing the throttle forward and waiting. Yes, there is downtime but even in that downtime you'll be adjusting your speed to make sure whatever you're transporting gets to its destination safe and sound. A simulator that doubles as a virtual train set with all the optional DLC, this game is for only the most dedicated locomotive enthusiasts.
In depth controls pulls you right into the cabin of several types of trains, the routes and trains available all have distinct looks and feels.
While the included trains and train lines are great and have distinct feels, I would've loved at least a few more, engine audio while in first person may be just a little too loud by default, currently two broken features both of which can result in