Railworks 3: Train Simulator 2012 Review

Train Simulator 2012

Railworks 3: Train Simulator 2012 is exactly what it sounds like. The player can drive a commuter train along a rail and then move on to delivering freight from one rail yard to the next.  Enthusiasts can download new routes and locomotives to expand their experience. Train Simulator 2012 already has BNSF, Union Pacific, Canadian National, and a new partnership with Amtrak to allow for new passenger routes to the many North American routes.

As someone who has no inkling of what it means to drive a locomotive, I found the simulator very confusing. It assumes an inherent knowledge of trains and train lingo without any sort of guide and little explanation. The learning curve is quite steep once the tutorials are over and the real simulator begins. Choosing from a list of pre-loaded scenarios, players can take easy, leisurely trips through the German countryside to stormy, dangerous routes in Pennsylvania. The routes are nicely varied but long. Each scenario lasts as long as the trip would in the real world which can be quite tedious. As far as a simulation goes, this seems spot on, but as a game, it’s rather boring.

The presentation of the simulator is also quite dull. The focus is obviously supposed to be on the simulation but the menu system feels more like doing my taxes than setting up a ride on a train or perhaps exactly as interesting as booking a trip online. The worst thing, however, is the load times. They’re horrible. There’s no nice way to put it. While loading each scenario, I had time to check my email, read the newspaper and make a sandwich – all necessary activities for a real trip on a train but not for playing a simulator.

Train Simulator 2012

A shining point of Train Simulator 2012 is the attention to detail. Each train is modeled in great detail and the routes are beautifully done. The graphics aren’t the best, looking quite dated, but the knowledge that these routes are meticulously recreated from the real world allowed me to enjoy parts of the world I will most likely never see. Train Simulator certainly allowed me to lose myself in the journey more than once, even to the peril of my passengers. Their digital souls are in a better place now.

Overall, Train Simulator 2012 has not convinced me to live a life on the rails. Its boring presentation and terrible load times had me looking for something else to keep my attention. If I were someone genuinely interested in experiencing what it means to drive a locomotive, I’m sure I would have a much deeper appreciation, but as something for a casual, passing interest, this is definitely something to skip.


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Author: Ben West View all posts by

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